I have been writing at veviski.com for about 6 years. During this time, I covered almost every subject related to whiskey culture, I wrote dozens of articles under different titles, but I did not write any of the "Best" articles that we frequently see on many sites. Until now…
There are 2 reasons why I haven't written a "Best" article until now. The most important reason is that I do not think that such articles mislead the readers. With their interesting titles, these types of articles are literally “Clickbait” (Turkish clickbait) content. They are arbitrarily prepared lists without specifying the evaluation criteria and logic. The other reason why I stay away from these lists is that I don't believe in the concept of "Best". As in every subject, concepts such as good/bad or quality/poor quality in whiskey are personal. In addition to the product evaluated, there are dozens of factors that vary depending on the person. Therefore, I think it is not possible to be completely objective.
I took these criticisms into consideration while creating my list and came up with certain rules. I recommend that you take a very brief look at the list before browsing.
- The whiskeys in the list have been selected only among the whiskeys I have tasted in 2021. I have not included the whiskeys I have not tasted in the list.
- Although I aim to be objective in my choices, I certainly make no claim that the list is objective. In order to talk about objectivity, the comments of a jury or a panel are required, not a single person.
- My choices reflect my personal preferences.
Finally, I have divided the list into 3 parts so that it can create wealth and serve different purposes.
- in Chapter 1There is a selection of new whiskeys available for sale in 2021.
- in Chapter 2includes a selection of whiskeys that I tasted for the first time in 2021. The whiskeys here are not new but that I had the opportunity to taste for the first time.
- in Chapter 3There is a selection of whiskeys that entered the Turkish market in 2021.
The Best New Whiskeys of 2021
2021 has been a very productive year for me for whiskey. After the London Whiskey Show 2021, Scotland tours and the tastings I attended in London, I had the opportunity to taste nearly 150 different whiskeys. A large part of these whiskeys were the ones that were launched this year. In this title, I shared my top 5 choices from the whiskeys that were newly introduced to the market in 2021.
1. Talisker 43 Year Old Xpedition Oak
It was an expression that fascinated me with its taste as much as its story. A special bottle that first appeared at the London Whiskey Show and then at the Talisker vertical tasting at Milroys.
He embarks on a 3264-mile transatlantic voyage with sailor James Aiken. During this journey, pieces of barrels are placed on the deck. After fighting the raging waves and winds throughout the journey, these pieces come to the distillery, are brought together and barreled, and the whiskeys that were distilled in the 1970s, that is, matured for about 40 years, are filled for a short time to finish. Result: Surprisingly fresh and fruity aromas and intense oak character from aging are added to Talisker's familiar sooty, salty and peppery flavors.
2. Octomore Edition 12.2
2021’de satışan sunulan Octomore Edition 12 serisinin 2. üyesi. Her sene çıkarılan bu özel serinin her .2 şişelemesinde olduğu gibi burada da ilginç bir şarap fıçısı kullanılarak markanın yoğun isli karakterine zengin aromalar eklenmek istenmiş. Bourbon fıçılarda olgunlaştıktan sonra Sauternes fıçılarında bitiş verilen Octomore Edition 12.2, %57.3 alkol derecesine sahip.
A perfect harmony of full fruity with intense sooty and medicinal notes. Despite its high alcohol and pronounced business character, it is quite enjoyable and balanced. By far my favorite in the 12 series.
3. Redbreast PX Edition
A bottling of Redbreast that is matured in Bourbon and Oloroso sherry barrels and finished in Pedro Ximénez hogshead barrels. Redbreast PX Edition has been one of the most enjoyable whiskeys of the London Whiskey Show 2021 for me. The PX touch brought the sweet-spicy balance of the brand that we are accustomed to a little sweeter and became a very aromatic expression. A delicious whiskey for Redbreast and sherry cask lovers like me.
4. Laphroaig 10 Year Old Cask Strength – Batch 013
Islay bölgesinin en ikonik markalarından Laphroaig’un 10 yıllık Cask Strength serisinin 13. batch’i. 2021 Ocak ayında %57,9 alkol derecesiyle şişelenen sahip Laphroaig 10 Year Old Cask Strength – Batch 013, listemdeki en vahşi viski diyebilirim.
As someone who has moved away from heavy sooty whiskeys, especially in recent years, this whiskey has surprisingly been a malt that has been engraved in my memory. The intense burnt and medicinal character is enriched by a little airing of the glass and a very complex whiskey emerges. A warm whiskey that will make smoke lovers very happy.
5. Lagavulin 11 year old Offerman Edition: Guinness Cask Finish
Büyük ön yargıyla tatmama rağmen çok keyif aldığım bir şişeleme. 2021’de sınırlı sayıda satışa sunulan Lagavulin 11 Year Old Offerman Edition #2 Bourbon fıçılardan 11 yıl olgunlaştırıldıktan sonra Guinness fıçılardan yaklaşık 4 ay kadar geçirip, %46 alkol derecesiyle şişeleniyor.
In addition to the peat character we are accustomed to, Lagavulin is a whiskey that I especially enjoy with its aromatic and full-bodied character on the palate.
My First Taste in 2021
In addition to the newly released whiskeys, 2021 was a year when I encountered and had the chance to taste many whiskeys that I had not tasted in the past years, but remained in my mind. In this title, I have shared my top 5 whiskeys that I have tasted for the first time in 2021, which are not newly released to the market.
1. Longmorn 18
Longmorn 18 is really a great whiskey, but what really makes this whiskey special for me is that it's the last whiskey I drank with my close friends before I moved to London.
Chivas Brothers 2020’de çıkardığı ve çok özel viskilerin yer aldığı The Secret Speyside Collection serisinin üyelerinden biri. American meşe and Hogshead fıçılarda olgunlaştırılan ekspresyon %48 dereceyle şişelenmiş. Taze meyve aromalarının belirgin olduğu zarif, kolay içimli ama bir o kadar da dolgun ve tok bir ekspresyon. Özellikle burundan bitişe size eşlik eden meyve tatları ve fıçıdan gelen dengeli karakter çok hoşuma gitti.
2. Highland Park 18
Highland Park 18 is the 18-year expression of the Highland Park distillery located on the island of Orkney, the northernmost part of Scotland. Also known as "Viking Pride", it is stated that sherry barrels are mostly used in the maturation of the expression. The perfect harmony of smoked flavors and spicy character from oak… A very balanced and rich bottling.
3. Bunnahabhain 18
Bunnahabhain 18, Islay bölgesinde bulunan damıtımevinin 18 yıl şeri fıçılarda olgunlaştırdıktan sonra %46,3 alkol derecesiyle şişelediği ekspresyonu. Özellikle burunda çok keyif aldığım bir viski oldu. Şeri fıçı ve deniz etkisi harika bir dengeyle sunulmuş. Damaktaki şeri karakteri fazlasıyla tatmin edici.
4. Kilchoman Sanaig
Kilchoman’ın Oloroso Şeri ve Bourbon fıçılardan olgunlaştırıp, yıl ibaresiz olarak %46 dereceyle şişelediği ekspresyonu. “Farm distillery” olarak da bilinen bu butik markanın 2021 Şubat ayı itibariyle Türkiye’ye de giriş yaptığını belirteyim.
Sanaig, which makes you feel the sherry character with its dry fruit flavors, is a full and aromatic whiskey that fills the palate with its sweet, spicy and chocolate flavors. It will be a good choice for those who like business and sherry characters like me.
5. John Walker & Sons Bicentenary Blend 28
An expression that takes whiskey lovers back to the early years of Johnnie Walker's story that began in Kilmarnock, Scotland in 1820. When creating this blend, legendary head Blender Jim Beveridge and his team focused on the products and flavors of the products that the founder of the brand, John Walker, first sold at his shop in Kilmarnock, getting lost in the Diageo archives.
John Walker & Sons Bicentenary Blend, which has a very rich character, is a blend that makes you feel that you are drinking a special whiskey while drinking it. An elegant whiskey that balances tropical flavors, dried fruit and oak characters.
Best New Arrivals to Turkey in 2021
Despite constantly increasing prices and taxes, 2021 has been a very productive year for Turkish whiskey lovers when we look at the new whiskeys entering the Turkish market. In this topic, I shared 5 of my favorite whiskeys that entered the Turkish market in 2021. In this title, I have included 2 whiskeys, taking into account the "Price/Performance" criterion.
1. Paul John Christmas Edition 2021
A special whiskey that entered Turkey in December 2021 and qualified to be on the list at the last minute. Paul John Christmas Edition 2021 is the Christmas special bottling of Indian whiskey brand Paul John. Launched in 2018, the Christmas series draws attention with its different barrel details and flavors reflecting the spirit of "Christmas" every year.
An extremely rich and layered expression on both the nose and palate. It is an ideal choice for those who like different sweet barrel finishes and hot whiskeys with spice character.
2. Benriach The Twelve
Among the Brown Forman malts that entered Turkey in April 2021, it is the most prominent expression for me. A 12-year bottling that emerged by marrying whiskeys matured separately in Bourbon, Port and Sherry barrels. A full, rich and elegant expression with fruity and spicy flavors evident. Ideal for daily drinking.
3. Compass Box Spice Tree
The entry of Compass Box into the Turkish market is definitely one of the best news of 2021 for Turkish whiskey lovers. The independent bottler, which has made a name for itself with the bottling it has released in recent years, is one of the brands to follow.
Compass Box The Spice Tree, Clynelish (%60), Dailuaine (%20) ve Teaninich (%20) damıtımevlerinde üretilmiş malt viskilerin, Amerikan fıçılarda vatlandıktan sonra, 2 yıl süreyle içleri yoğun miktarda yakılmış fıçılarda olgunlaştırılıp, 46 dereceyle şişelenmesiyle üretiliyor. Burunda tatlı ve hafif baharatlı, damakta ise bol baharatlı ve hafif tatlı aromalar sunan dolgun, sıcak ve kolay içimli bir ekspresyon.
4. Ballantine's 7 Bourbon Cask Finish
An expression that I think should be included in the price/performance category on the list. A bottling that is finished in Bourbon barrels after aging in traditional oak barrels for 7 years. Created by head blender Sandy Hyslop, Ballantine's 7 Bourbon Cask Finish was introduced in September 2020 and takes its place in the brand's main portfolio.
In general, I can say that it is an easy-drinking and balanced whiskey with pronounced vanilla and fruit character. Especially the creaminess on the palate is quite successful for a whiskey in this category. A nice price/performance blend for whiskey lovers.
5. Cardhu Gold Reserve
Cardhu Gold Reserve is another whiskey that I have included in the list due to its price / performance success. Gold-labeled expression of Cardhu, aged in specially selected and toasted barrels and offered for sale without year indication. Expression, which entered Turkey in the last quarter, stands out as one of the most affordable malt whiskeys.
Compared to the brand's standard 12-year expression, it is lighter and fruitier on the nose, and has a slightly warmer and more spicy character on the palate. A very light, easy-drinking Speyside malt.
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