Amanda and Adam attend a special gathering of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society at Fine and Rare in Manhattan in early December, photo by Joshua Feldman

Amanda and Adam attend a Scotch Malt Whisky Society event at Fine and Rare in Manhattan early December, photo by Joshua Feldman

No matter what you thought of 2016, it was certainly a year for imbibing.

News of the world aside, there was a lot to drink about. It seemed new spirits of every category were popping up faster than you can say, “cask strength.” There was so much bourbon, it made us question why it only gets one heritage month in the states, and now it’s even big in the UK. It was a trending year for beer, as design met hops and new breweries focused on craft, and brew pubs on selection. A trip to Sicily with Stemmari proved that wine varietals are all about what terroir (and focus) makes of them, and the American trend of single vineyard releases is something worth further exploration. The sherry thing is far from over, and it seems tiki is just gathering storm. We did some fun experiments with coffee and how best to cool that whisky down. It was such a blast to visit Anchor Distilling in San Francisco 20 years after the dawn of the craft spirits era. We also visited Bayou Rum to learn first hand how the American rum industry has evolved since the colonial era. If this year of loss taught us anything, it was the value of a tried and true brand ambassador, a dedicated bartender and the comfort of a local haunt to drown our sorrows, especially with a good Martini – whether that local is in New York, San Diego, Sydney, London or even Cleveland. For those playing along at home, we made you a series of video how tos so you can get dressed up in a Tuxedo and take the mystery out of making Mai Tais.

We also made it to our second annual WSWA convention, this time in Vegas (hey, we told you almost all we could of what went on). And no year of booziness is complete without Tales of the Cocktail, in New Orleans, this year with a bartender’s perspective, and even a trip on a boozy bus to get there!

With closing time on 2016 drawing near, our professorial faculty is looking forward to serving up another round in 2017. We’re so excited more of you have found us this year, and our goal is to keep serving up our own special recipe of content to fill your glasses. Thanks so much to everyone for visiting!

We couldn’t enter Alcohol Professor year four (!!!) without the astonishingly dedicated and talented staff of writers who have joined us over the years, and they continue to make my job as editor thrilling and entertaining. And of course, thanks to Adam Levy for making all of this possible in the first place.

Cheers, everyone! Too much pressure for greatness in 2017, let’s all just try to stay alive, shall we? It’ll start with drinking well.

Amanda Schuster