The 2020 Distiller AwardsBy Mikael Mossberg
In 2017 we created the Distiller Awards as a way to highlight the spirits and the amazing Distiller users who make this community thrive. In a year like no other, we saw some truly astonishing contributions from new and veteran community members alike. There was also no shortage of new releases that caught your attention, driving an unprecedented number of new Tastes.
Congratulations to all of the amazing users and spirits that grabbed the top spots this year.
The Top User Awards 2020
Last year we honored users who were in a league all their own when it came to writing Tastes and sharing their opinions with the Distiller community. This year we were nothing short of amazed when it came time to discover who took the top spots.
Taster of the Year: ContemplativeFox
With 833 Tastes written in 2020, ContemplativeFox is Distiller’s Taster of the Year. Last year’s winner, MagicalPoet, created 622 Tastes in 2019. That puts ContemplativeFox a full 211 Tastes ahead. Congratulations ContemplativeFox!
Rookie of the Year: Jose-Massu-Espinel
This new award goes to the Distiller user who created the most Tastes out of all of the users who created accounts this calendar year. With 672 Tastes created in 2020, Jose-Massu-Espinel is an exciting and impressive addition to the Distiller community. Congratulations Jose-Massu-Espinel!
The Wordsmith: ContemplativeFox
Not only was ContemplativeFox the Taster of the Year with 833 Tastes created, they also took The Wordsmith Award with a staggering 250,780 words written in their Tastes. That much writing could fill a George R.R. Martin book. If you’re not following ContemplativeFox, it’s time to rectify that immediately.
The Home Sipper: KenMacEachern
2020 was an incredibly difficult year for so many reasons. While we were all locked down to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we could not patronize our favorite bars and restaurants. Still, that didn’t prevent Distiller users from trying all sorts of new spirits. This award goes to the Distiller user who checked in at a single location more than anyone else. KenMacEachern checked in at the same location 381 times this year. Congratulations on winning this new award, KenMacEachern!
The Collector: 1901
User 1901 has been a member of the Distiller community since 2017 and they are so much fun to follow. They post insightful Tastes and even created a Scotch Deathmatch for users to follow along with. With 486 bottles added to Distiller’s database, they’re taking home The Collector award for the most bottles created this year. Congratulations 1901!
The Most Tasted New Spirits Of 2020
While we all stayed home this year, it didn’t seem to affect the pace at which Distiller users were creating new Tastes. Last year Distiller users created just over 200,000 new Tastes. This year that number rose to more than 225,000. Out of all of those Tastes, these 5 spirits that were released in 2020 were Tasted more than any others.
#1 – Ardbeg Wee Beastie (263 Tastes // 3.9 Average)
Ardbeg Wee Beastie first launched in April 2020 as a permanent addition to Ardbeg’s core lineup of single malt whiskies. Aged for 5 years, it’s the only Scotch whisky to crack the top 5 this year.
#2 – Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Bourbon Batch B520 (257 Tastes // 4.4 Average)
B520 means that this is the second (B) release of the year, came out in May (5) in the year 2020 (20). It’s aged for 12 years and bottled with no dilution or chill filtration at 127.2 proof. This is the first of two Elijah Craig bourbons to crack the top 5 this year.
#3 – Elijah Craig Toasted Barrel Bourbon (216 Tastes // 3.91 Average)
This new permanent addition to the Elijah Craig lineup didn’t hit shelves until September 2020. It starts life as fully matured Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon, then is dumped into a second barrel at barrel proof. These barrels were made using staves that were air dried for 18 months, then moderately toasted and flash charred. This release comes in at 47% ABV.
#4 – George Dickel Bottled in Bond Tennessee Whisky 11 Year (Fall 2008) (176 Tastes // 3.86 Average)
This bottled-in-bond bourbon is the second release by Nicole Austin after taking over as Cascade Hollow Distilling Co.’s head distiller. The whiskies used to create this release went in to barrels in 2008 and didn’t come out again for 11 years. This Tennessee whisky was added to the Distiller database in June 2020.
#5 – Knob Creek 9 Year Small Batch Bourbon (164 Tastes // 3.76 Average)
In a world of disappearing age statements, this release is something of an anomaly. Knob Creek Small Batch first debuted in 1992 and carried a 9 year age statement. Then in 2016 the brand removed the age statement. Four long years later, the 9 year age statement is back and still carries the 50% ABV.
Congratulations to all of the winners of the 2020 Distiller Awards. If you won a Distiller User Award make sure that you check your email. We’ll be reaching out to learn the best place to ship your award.
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