The GreatDrams 2021 Year in Review

let’s begin

What a year it has been...

As is traditional this time of year, I start thinking about the statistical side of things and looking back at the Great Drams shared in last year. Let’s see how we stacked up in the GreatDrams 2021 Year In Review.

In summary; it started with the US insurrection of Capitol Hill. Then we had more Coronavirus lockdowns, then were free, then were jabbed, then double jabbed, now triple jabbed. England made it to the final of the Euros amazingly. BoJo has been endlessly daffy and the government has been endlessly stupid and brought on so many own goals it’s been unbelievable to watch.

Liverpool have been simply incredible and Mo Sarah even better than the team’s performance. We were all allowed to leave the country, then not, then allowed, now not. We had snow, we had rain, we had storms, we had -8º temperatures whilst I was standing out at markets. We were awarded DOUBLE GOLD at the World Spirits Competition in San Fran (along with other awards), and our two boys have kept us awake most of the year so we have literally lived most minutes of it… the bigger one started school and it has been incredible to see his development since September, the smaller one has continued to grow and become a lovely, funny, curly-haired boy and has brought joy to so many people with his smile… 

Crazy to even start reflecting on most of the above, but thankfully I only need to reflect on GreatDrams, and of course what’s been going on in whisky. 

I SAY IT EVERY YEAR, BUT THIS YEAR HAS BEEN AMONGST MY BUSIEST;

428,725 + GreatDrams readers this year (4k less then last year but nearly double 2019)

103k followers across social media and email

10,340 (approx) samples of our products given out at events to thirsty whisky drinkers

5,248 bottles of GreatDrams limited edition Scotch whisky sold to our awesome customers (3.5x 2019)

1,927 articles now on GreatDrams (including a load scheduled for future publishing, up 300 on 2020)

94 events including Makers Markets and Pub in the Park promoting and selling the GreatDrams independently bottled whiskies

31 casks bought for our independent bottling programme

16 award wins – highlights at the bottom of this email

15 hours on trains to meetings (down from 90 in 2019…)

14 limited edition Scotch whisky releases in our range, all of which sold out

5 distilleries visited across England, Ireland and Scotland (down from 18 in 2019, 31 in 2018)

0 hours airborne on planes to presentations and meetings

Countless whiskies tried, enjoyed and commented on.

SOME PARTICULAR HIGHLIGHTS

Meeting so many really passionate whisky drinkers at the events we have been doing with our own independently bottled whiskies, hearing such great feedback and seeing the bottles fly off the shelves – our Christmas limited edition especially as it sold out before we even got to December! 

IN WHISKY I WAS FORTUNATE TO TRY SOME INCREDIBLE WHISKIES

(IN THE ORDER IN WHICH I REMEMBERED THEM OR TRIED THEM, NOT PREFERENCE);

All the GreatDrams releases
The Glevlivet 80 Year Old 
Royal Brackla 12 Year Old (new)
Royal Brackla 18 Year Old (new)
Royal Brackla 21 Year Old (new)
Dewar’s 27 Year Old 
Smokehead Twisted Cask
All the Diageo Special Releases
Craigellachie 21 Year Old Spirit of Speyside Festival 
Stauning Rye
Stauning Triple Malt
Stauning Peated
Stauning El Classico
Arran Amarone
Glen Moray 2004 Burgundy Cask
Bimber all sorts of releases 
Raasay Multiple cask maturation
Laphroaig 10 Sherry Cask Finish 
Glen Deveron 10 Year Old
Aultmore 12 Year Old 
Aultmore 18 Year Old 
Aultmore 21 Year Old 
Dewar’s 175th Anniversary 
5 Year Old Spade & Bushell
10 Year Old Spade & Bushell
Ballyhoo
Bulleit Barrel Strength
Noah’s Mill
Johnnie Drum
Buffalo Trace
Cotswolds Distillery 2015
Cotswolds Distillery Sherry Cask
The English Whisky Original
The English – Triple Distilled Whisky
Hibiki Harmony
Ardbeg Blaaack
Lakes Orange Wine
Teeling Irish Oak DE
Mackmyra 10
Cardrona Just Hatched
Octomore 9.3
Glenfarclas 25
Lagavulin Offerman Guinness
Mortlach 12 Year Old
Caisteal Chamuis Blended Malt Scotch
Label 5 Single Grain
Gladston’e Axe
Cotswolds Bourbon Cask
Aberfeldy 19 Year Old Sherry
Old Pulteney 15 Year Old 
Smokehead Stout Cask
Dewars 21 Year Old
Linkwood Peated
Aberfeldy 19 hand fill
Cotswolds Sherry Cask
Nc’Nean
Spirit of Yorkshire
Steel Bonnets – Lakes
Black & White Pre-War
Haig Original (1950s)
Invergordon 1973
Macallan Rare Cask
Suntory Very Rare
Laphroaig 20 Year Old 
Laphroaig Select
Laphroaig 22 Year Old
Laphroaig Four Oak
Jameson Black Barrel
Connemara Distillers Edition
Green Spot
Method & Madness Single Grain
Tullamore Dew 14-year-old
Milk & Honey Red Wine Finish
Puni Red
Abasolo El Whisky De Mexico
Gibson’s Finest 12-year-old
Alfred Giraud Heritage

Along with all these stunning whiskies and a very busy year, we have seen Scotch exports up, volumes up and huge investment into new and expanding distillery operations throughout Scotland, Ireland and China in particular, with many new distilleries opening up in England too.

2022 looks to be another busy year with many new distilleries having spirit old enough to start releasing their first bottlings after three or more years of patience, and I’m sure a degree of nervous anticipation. Maybe even a few of them see a GreatDrams release!

Thanks for reading, following, liking, Tweeting, Facebooking, Instagramming and tagging GreatDrams across the web this year, I’ve had a blast and it’s been so lovely to help so many GreatDrammers with their whisky choices and to meet a fair few of you at events around the UK over the last twelve months.

As always, please do send me pics of your whisky exploration, or tag me in festivities so I can share with the wider GreatDrams Network and please also keep sending your feedback, questions and comments to me, I reply to every single email I get sent; [email protected]



Greg Dillon & Kirsty Dillon
Founders, GreatDrams.com 

Tags: 2021 review2021 Year in ReviewGreat DramsGreat Drams 2021 reviewGreatDrams 2021GreatDrams 2021 reviewGreatDrams AwardGreatDrams BlogGreatDrams Company BlogGreatDrams WhiskiesYear in Review
Greg

Greg

My name is Greg, and I’m a brand strategy consultant, writer, speaker, host and judge specialising in premium spirits. My mission is to experience, share and inspire with everything great about whisky, whiskey, gin, beer and fine dining through my writing, my brand building and my whisky tastings.

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