Yesterday’s post purported to look back to the year in whisky in 2016. I have to admit that not all of it was serious—I mean, I still don’t really know how to pronounce “Glenglassaugh”. Here now is a far more sincere look-ahead to January on the blog. As always, I welcome nominations from my long list of potential whisky reviews to a shortlist. I’ll probably also get back to reviewing brandies this month. I have a number of interesting samples in hand: some Calvados, some Armagnac, a Cognac or two, and even an Italian brandy. And I may also post my first-ever rum reviews this month. On the food front, I still have a few reports to come from our trip to Montreal in late October. Those will be mixed in with reports from the Twin Cities. And after a few months off, I’ll be posting recipes again this month.
Check out the whisky list below and, if you’re interested, scroll down to the end for a look at the most read posts on the blog in 2016. Thanks for reading along last year and I hope you’ll be back this year and maybe even post a comment from time to time.
- Auchentoshan 1983-2004 (Scott’s Selection)
- Aultmore 18, 1997 (SMWSA)
- Blair Athol 25, 1988 (Signatory for LMDW)
- Blair Athol 26, 1988 (Signatory for Spec’s)
- Bowmore 10, 2002 (van Wees)
- Bowmore 17 for Feis Ile 2015 (SMWS)
- Brora 25, 7th Release
- Brora 30, 5th Release
- Bunnahabhain 1988-2004 (Scott’s Selection)
- Caol Ila, Feis Ile 2009
- Clynelish 12, 1997 (James Macarthur)
- Craigellachie 13, 2002 (Malts of Scotland)
- Craigellachie 25, 1990 (SMWSA)
- Evan Williams Single Barrel
- Four Roses Small Batch, Ltd. Edition 2016
- Glen Garioch 25, 1990 (Signatory)
- Glenlivet 1977-2004 (Scott’s Selection)
- Henry McKenna, Bottled in Bond
- Highland Park 19, 1995 (SMWSA)
- Home Blend 35, 1980 (Wilson & Morgan)
- Jack Daniel’s
- Kavalan Peaty Cask
- Lagavulin, Distiller’s Edition
- Linkwood 29, 1984 (Malts of Scotland)
- Littlemill 12
- Littlemill 21, 1992 (Berry Bros. & Rudd)
- Lochside 29, 1981 (Captain Burn’s)
- Longmorn 46, 1964 (Gordon and MacPhail for van Wees)
- Macduff 31, 1980 (Wilson & Morgan)
- Old Pulteney 9, 2006 (Malts of Scotland)
- Tobermory 18, 1994 (Wilson & Morgan)
- Tobermory 20, 1994, Oloroso Sherry (Wilson & Morgan)
- Undisclosed Speyside 15, (TWE Time Series 1)
Once again, please let me know if there’s anything above you’re particularly interested in seeing reviewed.
And now, here’s a short snapshot of what was popular on the blog in 2016:
- Of the top 10 posts in terms of page views in 2016 (i.e. not including any of the index or other static pages) only five were actually posted in 2016, and only one was a whisky review (Laphroaig Cairdeas 2015, in fourth place).
- The most viewed post was a recipe (for rajma with cauliflower); this was followed closely by my in-depth analysis of the US elections and the ever-popular discussion of Glendronach’s “single cask” shenanigans.
- Rounding out the top five was a recipe posted in 2015 (for pineapple chutney—I do wish at least one person who views this recipe in 2017 will actually post a comment on how it turned out for them).
- The rest of the top 10 was filled out, in order, by two more recipes (for palak posole and shorshe-bata maach, the latter posted in 2015), my discussion of the bourbon industry’s deployment of “tradition”, yet another recipe from 2015 (for hybrid chicken curry), and finally my attempt to help Sku with an existential crisis.
- The most-read whisky reviews actually posted in 2016 were of the Berry Bros. & Rudd Laphroaig 18, 1997, the E.H. Taylor Bottled in Bond, and the Lagavulin 8. However, a number of reviews posted in November and December seemed to be of interest to a lot of people as well, with lots of views in a shorter period of time. These included K&L’s uninspiring recent lot of Signatory casks, the Old Pulteney 17, and the new Kilkerran 12. And if I’d reviewed the Laphroaig Cairdeas 2016 earlier it might well have cracked the top 10 too.
Once again, in terms of referral traffic, far more people were sent to the blog from food forums and sites than from other whisky blogs or sites. Since the blog’s primary readership remains whisky-related, I assume this means that most of my whisky readers are returning readers—again, I wish more of you would comment from time to time.
In terms of audience location, WordPress.com tells me that the following are the top 10: the U.S.A. (almost 70% of my readership—up a bit from 2015), followed by Canada, the U.K., Germany, Australia, India, the Netherlands, Finland, Hong Kong and Singapore. In related news, I was startled recently to see how high Alexa currently ranks my blog (653,118 as of today) but, alas, this is a lot of bollocks: they also say that 97% of my traffic comes from China and, as you can see, WordPress’s own stats (derived from the more reliable Google Analytics, I believe) don’t even have China in the top 10 for 2016 (and have not had it in the top 10 in any month in 2016) and only have Hong Kong at #9. And when you look at the relative rankings of people with manifestly larger readerships you realize that something is very off with Alexa’s sampling and that their rankings should not be taken very seriously at all.
Finally, this is my 1,071st post. That’s a lot of posts in less than four years—what have I done with my life?