Happy Year-End, all you liberty and whisk(e)y lovers! As 2017 draws to a close and 2018 lurks at the door (in a nice, non-threatening way), I pray that your hearts and your glasses are full, in more ways than one.
That said, our 2017 Whiskey of the Year is none other than Connecticut's own Litchfield Distillery! Litchfield deserves our respect and admiration this year for two simple reasons, the whiskey and the people.
Having tasted a number of Litchfield Distillery's spirit offerings, I particularly enjoyed the Double Barreled 8-year-old Bourbon as well as the 100 Proof Port Cask Finish. But I must confess that my favorite, after several iterations, is undoubtedly their Straight Bourbon Whiskey. I could drink this stuff every day, but thanks to various responsibilities, such as children and a job, I must exercise restraint. It presents like a much older Bourbon, thanks to the secondary maturation in an eight-year-old cask. The toasted marshmallow, burnt sugar, and vanilla flavors are exquisite. I'll offer my full tasting notes at a later date. :-)
Jack and David Baker are friendly, accessible, and firmly devoted to process. All equipment is top notch, as are the locally sourced ingredients. The warehouse is spotless and smells heavenly - the sweet scents from the resting, breathing casks floating around like butterflies on a Spring day. I know it sounds dramatic. You can take my word for it, or go see for yourself.
Their emphasis on transparency and hospitality sets them apart. I had the privilege of spending a day with David in 2016, during which time he taught me the entire end-to-end brewing and distillation process. The brothers are always open to questions, even divulging the exact specs on the Bourbon mash bill, unlike other producers. I was treated to more of the same in 2017, upon meeting Brand Ambassador Dimitrios Zahariadis, who exudes hospitality, knowledge, and an eagerness to educate about the spirit and their ideal presentations.
For these reasons, we recognize The Batchers at Litchfield Distillery as our 2017 Whiskey of the Year. Well deserved!
And a big thanks to all our readers for your love and support. This wouldn't be possible without you. We look forward to many adventures in 2018. Cheers, and Happy New Year!