Sunday 17 February 2013

#101drams - a charitable challenge

Last Updated 7/2/2017 (71 whiskies tasted)


Reading the Qantas magazine on a recent flight (as far as in-flight mags go, it's actually pretty good), I noticed an article for Sebastien Terry's "100 Things" challenge - in a nutshell, one Aussie's goal to tick 100 things off his "bucket list", and raise $100,000 for Camp Quality in doing so (he's currently at $65,000, with a little recent help from TimeforWhisky).

At the time I was trying to come up with new ideas for this blog, and that's when it hit me - why not a similar challenge, with a whisky focus? Instead of 100 things, how about 100 drams (and hey, why not 101)?

"But Martin", I hear you say. "Sebastien started his list for a good cause, and you've taken his idea and applied it to...drinking?"

Fair call. So how about this - for every 20 drams I tick off the list, I'll donate $100 to Cancer Council Australia (chosen for personal reasons). For the 101st dram, I'll donate another $100. That's $600 all up - all for a great cause.

The drams I've included are a real mixture - with only one commonality being that I want to try them but haven't. Some are readily available (some even in sample format from Single Malt Whisky or Master of Malt), some are whiskies I really should have tried already (#2, #19), some will be easy to tick off this year (#17, #23), some will take me a few years (#13), and some I might never get to taste (#4). But hey, what's the point in a goal if you don't reach for it?

I'll revisit this post every time I try one of the drams, and mark it off (and add a link to the tasting post). Actually since starting the list, I've already ticked off #18 and #21.

..and so with that in mind, onto the list:

1: Glenfiddich Age of Discovery "Dawin Edition" Red Wine cask 19yo - because I loved the first AoD release and I have an obsession with all things 'fiddich.
2: Ballantine's 17yo (World Whisky of the Year 2011) - because the one time I attempted to order it, the bar (on my honeymoon in the Maldives, of all places) ran out, and gave me a 30yo for the same price. A great dram, but it means I still haven't tried the 17yo.
3: Kininvie Hazelwood (either 105 or fact I'll settle for any Kininvie single malt, future releases included) - Not just because it's super rare and expensive, but because when I toured the Glenfiddich distillery with my dad in 2009, and heard all about how Kininvie was a single malt produced by WGS that very, very rarely saw the light of day as a single malt, and when I tried Monkey Shoulder, I knew I had to try Kininvie as a single malt.
4: Glenfiddich 50yo - I'd include the Janet Sheed Roberts Reserve, but I think this one I might actually stand a chance of trying. One day. Possibly. If I'm extremely lucky.
5: A distillery-bottled Port Ellen - I can't be too specific with the release, because trying any Port Ellen would be brilliant. Apart from the rave reviews, I love the idea of trying a whisky from a since-defunct distillery.
6: Ardbeg Supernova - Because I've loved every Ardbeg I've tried to date, especially other special releases (Ardbeg Day, Corryvreckan).
7: Octomore Orpheus
8: Hellyers Road Pinot Noir Finish - I love trying new Tassie whiskies and I love Pinot Noir.
9: Something I've barrel-aged myself - Most probably with this kit from Master of Malt.
10: The Nant 3yo Cask Strength - I don't always agree with Jim Murray (see here for example), but I've enjoyed the other Nants I've tried, and I'm keen to experience the Tassie whisky that Jim deems worthy of a 95.5.
11: Shine On Georgia Moon Corn Whisky - I saw this at a Whisky store in London about 5 years ago and have wanted to try it ever since. I'm sure it's horrible. (It was).
12: Balcones Single Malt Whisky - Because these guys seem to be destined for big things.
13: Makers Mark from my own barrel - Should be ready in about 2015. Now I just need to find an excuse to be near Kentucky then.
14: Ardbeg Galileo - See #6.
15: Talisker 25yo - I love the 10yo, 18yo and 57˚ North, so it stands to reason I'll love this.
16: Seagram's Blender's Pride - I work with a few colleagues who are in India and for my birthday last year they told me they were pouring a "Blender's Pride" for me. I hadn't heard of it, but in the interests of trying as many world whiskies as I can, I'd like to.
17: Four Roses Bourbon
18: Glenfiddich Age of Discovery Bourbon Cask Finish 19yo - See #1.
19: Balvenie 21yo Portwood - Because I haven't met a Balvenie yet I haven't enjoyed
20: Something distilled the year I was born - '83, by the way.
21: Glenfiddich 125th Anniversary
22: Johnnie Walker "The Royal Silk Route" - Hopefully I'll be able to tick this off the list when I travel after May 2013, as the first in the series (Spice Road) has been available for tasting in various duty-free stores.
23: AnCnoc 12yo 
24: Ardbeg Alligator - See #6.
25: Caol Ila Distillers Edition
26: Yoichi 10yo - Because every Japanese whisky I've tried to date has impressed me.
27: Ardbeg Rollercoaster - See #6
28: Limeburners Single Malt Standard - An Aussie whisky I sadly haven't yet tried.
29: Mackinlay's Shackleton Rare Old Highland Malt - "Journey Edition" - I tried the Discovery Edition. It was decent, but it's the back story that makes this whisky interesting.
30: Glenfarclas 40yo
31: Laphroaig PX Cask - I really enjoyed the Lagavulin PX finish, so would like to see how Laphroaig have approached it.
32: Grant's Ale Cask reserve - Beer aged? Why not.
33: Amrut Single Malt - Loved the Fusion.
34: Pappy Van Winkle's 23 Year Old Family Reserve - Tried the 15yo, found it fantastic. An old colleague says this is the best Bourbon he's ever tried.
35: Glenmorangie Sonnalta PX - See #31, replace "Laphroaig" with "Glenmorangie"
36: Dalwhinnie 1995 Oloroso Finish (Distillers Edition)
37: Old Pulteney 40yo
38: Thomas H Handy Straight Rye - I've been getting more and more into Rye whiskies of late, and this is supposed to be one of (if not the) best.
39: Penderyn Madeira Finished Single Malt - Because I've never tried a Welsh whisky before.
40: Hakushu 12yo
41: Balvenie TUN 1401 (any batch) - Because everyone seems to love these releases.
42: Springbank 10yo
43: Caol Ila 25yo
44: Brenne French Single Malt - French? Cognac barrel aged? That ticks two boxes for me - 1) interesting and 2) a world whisky from a region I haven't tried.
45: Millstone French Oak 8yo - Dutch whisky, another region I haven't tried.
46: Jack Daniels White Rabbit Saloon
47: Strathclyde Grain Whisky - Any age
48: Mackmyra Small Casks - Swedish, aged in 30L casks? Sure to be interesting.
49: Compass Box "The Peat Monster"
50: Moonshine - Not even sure where to start looking with this one.
51: Auchentoshan Valinch - I gave packs of miniature Auchentoshans to my groomsmen as part of a thankyou just before our wedding. Kept a few for myself and enjoyed every one, but haven't tried the Valinch.
52: Aberlour 18yo - Because the A'bunadh is brilliant.
53: Laphroaig 18yo - I like the 15yo and the Quarter Cask, and even the standard 10yo, so it stands to reason I'll like this.
54: Mortlach 16yo
55: "Elements of Islay" Ar# (any release) - I've tried a few, including the CL4 and BR4, but I'm keen to see how their Ardbeg fares.
56: Oban Montilla Fino Finish (Distillers Edition) - I was lucky enough to visit Oban a few years ago. Lovely town, and lovely whisky.
57: Speyburn 10yo
58: The Glenlivet 25yo
59: The Macallan 21yo [Fine Oak] - Truth be told, I don't really like any of the Macallans (clarification: Fine Oak range) I've tried to date (including the 18yo). Maybe the 21yo will change my mind?
60Jura Prophecy
61: A distillery-bottled Brora - For the same reason as #5.
62: Glenmorangie Ealanta
63: Kilchoman 100% Islay
64: Tobermory 15yo - Because I always see this case at Dan Murphys and it catches my eye, every time.
65Glenmorangie Finealta
66: George T Stagg Bourbon - 71.4% ABV? 97.5 pts from Mr Murray? Phwoar.
67: Nikka All Malt
68: Bain's Cape Mountain Whisky - Continuing with the world whisky theme - a South African grain whisky.
69: Powers 12yo - I'm still on a mission to find an Irish whisky that I really like (the Jameson 18yo came close)
70: Old Pulteney 17yo
71: Black Bottle - The price may be an indication of the quality that lies within..but a blend of (almost) every Islay malt? Sign me up.
72Master of Malt 40yo
73: Bowmore 18yo - In the interests of expanding my Islay whisky exposure (also, I've enjoyed the few Bowmores I've tried to date)
74Finlaggan Old Reserve - It's Caol Ila, right?
75: Laphroaig Cairdeas
76: Old Pulteney 21yo
77: Dalmore King Alexander III - Not one, not two, but SIX different types of casks!
78: Glenfarclas Movember edition - I do Movember every year, but had no idea there was a whisky dedicated to it!
80Johnnie Walker "The Gold Route" - See #22.
81: Big Peat - Coal Ila, Bowmore, Ardbeg and Port Ellen? Yes please.
82: Four Roses Single Barrel Bourbon
83: Yamazaki Bourbon Barrel - Love the 12 and 18yo.
84: Ben Nevis 10yo
85: Aberfeldy 12yo
86: Bailie Nicol Jarvie Blended Whisky - A bunch of guys on a whisky forum are always talking about this being a decent drop for the (relatively little) money. 
87: Sazerac Rye - Neat (I've had it in plenty of cocktails before. Plenty of tasty, sharp, strong cocktails).
88: Balcones Baby Blue Corn Whisky
89: Balvenie 17yo Doublewood
90Laphroaig cask strength - I meant to buy this one a recent trip overseas, but got sidetracked by a few new Glenfiddich releases.
91: The Chivas Brothers' Blend - As far as blends go, I don't mind Chivas, and I should hopefully be able to tick this one off the list when I next travel.
92: Teerenpeli Finnish Single Malt Whisky - I was curious if there were any Estonian whiskies out there (seeing as I'm a small part Estonian), but it seems there's only one, now-defunct distillery bottling Scottish whisky in Estonia. This Finnish whisky seemed a bit easier.
93: Woodford Reserve Double Oaked - I love Woodford Reserve and since their NSW Brand Ambassador told me about this, I've been wanting to try it.
94: Redbreast 12yo
95: Hammer Head Czech Whisky
96: An Islay new make - I've tried a few Scottish new makes (and Glenfiddich twice), but never an Islay new make. Not sure if this one will be easy or not, but they can't all be easy.
97: A special bottling made specifically for a bar - But not the Highlander Bar's special bottling from Highlander Singapore, because I've already tried that...
98: A Scotch bottled in the 70s
99: A Scotch bottled in the 80s
100: A Scotch bottled in the 90s
101: Master of Malt 50yo - A 50yo whisky that I'll most probably have the opportunity to try sooner rather than later.

....easy, right? Let's get tasting!



  1. If you ever visit the US, we have plenty of Shine On Georgia Moon in the specialty liquor stores. To tell you the truth, Georgia Moon is more of a novelty item than a serious whiskey.

    Great list but I think Karuizawa needs a place if you've put Port Ellen and Brora on there.

  2. Thanks Eric, appreciate the comments. :) Unfortunately I used to travel to the US for work all the time - now not so much.

    Karuizawa - I'd definitely it if I was writing the list today! I have actually tried one though, here:

    - Martin.

  3. Hey Martin,

    How are you going with this list?

    1. I've tasted another 15 or so just haven't had a chance to get the notes up...thanks for the reminder!

  4. Moonshine is available from Balcony Bar which is 3 doors down from Shirt Bar

    1. Know it well! We used to have the odd work event there. Unfortunately I'm looking for "proper" moonshine, not the commercially released stuff called "moonshine" (which I've tried). Little bit harder to find!