#1 Parker’s Heritage Collection release number 12, Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Finished in Orange Curacao Barrels. 55% alcohol, 110 proof. Not great. Was hoping it would get better after being opened a while…. I’m still hoping and it’s been a few months. I gave this a 78 out of 100 and I think I was being overly generous. I will re-rate it again after it’s opened for six months, and hopefully it’s better; I’m not optimistic. You gotta give some credit to the secondary market though, it came out at $200-$225 initially and has been crushed, as it should be. Now trading between $100-$120, right where it has been offered at retail. My guess is that is floors at $100 and then in a few years completionists will bid it up a little bit but it will go no-where. Avoid this release, which was by far the worst ever for PHC. Sad too because the story is great.
#2 Weller C.Y.P.B. is a perfectly fine Bourbon. It’s like an average OWA chill filtered pick. But it’s impossible to get, trading around $350 in secondary and it’s just not that great. Opening my bottle was one of the biggest disappointments for me in 2018.
#3 2018 Buffalo Trace Antique Collection Sazerac 18. This has routinely been one of my favorite releases of the year and it just came out so flat and bitter this time. I yearn for the tanked juice. What’s crazy here is secondary is still holding in really high. This one is trading like a collectible and not a drinking whiskey clearly. If you own it, sell/trade it now because I’d rather have a WLW+GTS, which I think it close to where it is.
#4 Knob Creek Cask Strength Rye 2009 Distilled special release. I don’t know why I even buy these anymore… the store picks are almost always better, and I’m such a sucker for a special release. They trade lower in secondary and no one likes them. I’m just lucky I only bought one this year. Avoid!
#5 Bad craft distillers who market well like Breckenridge Distillery… I’m picking on these guys, but Hudson (Tuttletown Spirits), Brooklyn Distillery, etc etc all qualify by putting out expensive, bad products, in good marketing packaging. My wife JUST got a bottle of Breckenridge from one of her clients (last year she got Hudson Baby Bourbon) and I wonder why her clients must hate her so much? Prediction for 2019… by the end of the year at least one “major” craft distiller will go bankrupt because people will realize their juice is terrible and overpriced, while you will see some of the good ones rising in popularity and respect.
There is is… 2018’s top disappointments… However there was so much to celebrate in 2018, check out my top 5 list. Or check out last year’s top 5 disappointments….