Thursday, February 25, 2016
Other NDP Award Winners
As a small follow-up to yesterday's post, I looked at the Whisky Advocate Whisky Awards (announced in November) to see if any of them went to non-distiller-produced (NDP) whiskeys.
Out of the top ten, I found two.
Ranked at number eight is Compass Box, "This Is Not A Luxury Whisky," which at $225 a bottle is an homage to the Belgian surrealist René Magritte. As an independent scotch bottler, Compass Box is what Americans call an NDP.
Ranked at number one is John E. Fitzgerald Very Special Reserve 20 year old. Although the producer is Heaven Hill and Heaven Hill now owns the Old Fitzgerald brand and makes the whiskey for it, this whiskey was distilled at Stitzel-Weller when Guinness (predecessor to Diageo) owned Old Fitzgerald, so for purposes of this product, Heaven Hill is an NDP.
There is nothing wrong with an NDP whiskey winning an award unless the contest rules specify that all entries must be house-made, which most do not. Logic dictates that awards purporting to honor small distilleries should have such a rule, but competitions that welcome all comers shouldn't hesitate to take NDP products.
The fact that I want to know who actually made something is a separate issue. When I know a product is NDP, I try to find out who made it. If the NDP won't tell me I'm disappointed, but that doesn't diminish the whiskey.