While I was putting together my top 10 for the year I realized it was mostly stuff that is super hard to get so I decided to do a “Things you can actually get” list first. While not all of these sit on the shelves they are attainable with a bit of effort ie paying attention to the Smoke Wagon restock emails and do not require something like camping out at @specs1962 for 3 days. So here we go, my top 5 attainable whiskies of 2022:
Noah’s Mill (22- releases) - In 2021 Willett upped the age on Noah’s Mill and it made a huge difference. The 2022 release is just as good as the 2021 and maybe a shade better. It tastes like Willett with plenty of mint and cinnamon. It also makes a killer Old Fashioned. I specifically have batch 22-06.
Smoke Wagon Malted Rye - This unusual mashbill rye still brings the herbal goodness of MGP rye with a fair bit of additional sweetness and just a little something different. I’m enjoying it both neat and on a rock. I have batch 3C.
Smoke Wagon Uncut Unfiltered - I know there is a lot of discussion on whether the old UCUF batches are better than the new ones and for a while, I was on team pre-batch # but the later releases this year have brought me around. I have batch 159f and I’d easily put it up against the OG batches I got from Vegas back in the day. UCUF is still my favorite attainable MGP bourbon.
A local store pick - find a local store, club or Instagram person who does picks you like and grab those. Everyone has a different palate but if you can find a place that consistently has picks you like that’s the best value in bourbon. Austin has a few places that dropped great picks consistently throughout the year and some of them are still sitting there.
Calumet 16 - I’m still surprised this is sitting on shelves. Sure it’s a little pricey but it’s 16 year old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey at 106 proof. I’ve already killed a bottle this year and grabbed a couple backups because this one hits for me. You can taste the age in a great way on this bottle.
Those are my top 5 attainable releases from this year. Let me know if there’s anything you disagree with or think I missed!