As the year comes to close, I begin to reflect on some of the great whiskies of 2010. From the Pappy Van Winkle bourbons to the 1989 Limited Edition Black Art from Bruichladdich, it seems as if each year brings a new wave of interesting, amazing and sometimes unconventional bottlings that are only around for a few weeks, Those of us lucky enough to secure the goods will be able to cherish them for years to come. Recently I have started to read some interesting blogs and trade publications that have gone to the edge and claim one as the “best” of the year. I’ve always had a hard time with this concept due to the fact that at Bounty Hunter, we only offer the “best”. If it’s not great, we don’t sell it. Trying to pick a single malt that is better than another, is like trying to argue that Wayne Gretzky was better at hockey than Michael Jordan was at basketball. Okay, maybe that's a bit extreme, but even if I tried to stick to a region, take Islay for instance, I would be hard-pressed to pick a Bruichladdich over a Lagavulin because they are stylistically different. Neither is superior, they’re both great for different reasons.
All I can say, is that at the end of the day (and year) I am going to sit back, kick up my feet and sip some of the best dram out there. It could be the Compass Box 3rd edition “Flaming Heart” or the new 1994 Glenrothes - it will depend on my mood at the time. What would you consider to be the "best" whisky of 2010?
--Stefan Matulich, Spirits Buyer