The Top Whiskies According To The World Whisky Awards
Whiskey in a glass for tasting.
The World Whisky Awards were held at the Honourable Artillery Companyin London on Thursday, 24 March 2022. Sponsored by Whisky Magazine, an imprint of UK-based Paragraph Publishing, the World Whisky Awards celebrate the top whiskies around the world as well as recognise the Icons of Whisky global winners. The awards also saw the induction of four new members to Whisky Magazines Hall of Fame.
This was the first time since 2020, that the awards ceremony had returned to London as an in-person event.
From bartenders to brand ambassadors, from retailers to visitor centre managers, the Icons of Whisky awards are designed to recognize and honour those individuals who have worked tirelessly to produce and promote whisky and its industry around the world.
Among this years winners were Buffalo Trace Distillery, which gained the title of Distiller of the Year, as well as Sullivans Cove Distillery, which took home the title of Craft Distiller of the Year, and Kevin OGorman of Midleton Distillery, who was named Master Distiller/Master Blender of the Year.
The World Whiskies Awards also recognized the winners of the Worlds Best Whiskies across a broad array of categories. The winners were selected by an expert judging panel drawn from whisky exports all over the world.
Anita Ujszaszi, Awards Director, praised the judging of this years awards, noting that:
Large selection of Scottish malt whisky at the bar
What Makes A Good Whisky
We asked whisky expert, Greg Dillon, from greatdrams.com what to look out for:Distilled on copper pot stills and matured for a legal minimum of three years, single malt is renowned for its depth of character and breadth of flavour across brands, products and ages.Flavour profiles span from the sweet and smooth , to the big peated Islay whiskies. In-between theres the fruity, citrus-soaked Speysiders, while the Highlanders & Islands offer up more robust malts. So there really is a single malt for everyone!If youre still unsure about what whisky to go for, read our helpful whisky guide.
The Singleton Of Dufftown 54
Average Price: Roughly $40,100
Alcohol Content: 44.1%
Why We Like It:
The Singleton Of Dufftown 54-Year-Old is the oldest single malt release from The Singleton of Dufftown and Diageo.
It was only available in exceptionally limited quantities when it was released. It is a rich deep amber and has a light body. Its sweet with hints of fruit and spice on the palate.
This 54-year-old whisky was aged in a precious oak butt cask that was slowly hand-filled on October 31, 1966, and sealed in time.
Finally, it was transferred to a Pedro-Ximenez Sherry-seasoned cask for its exquisite final maturation.
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Best Peated Scotch: Kilchoman Distillery Machir Bay Islay Single Malt Whisky
A sweet and savory blend of caramel and grill char, this peated single malt was practically made for barbecue pairings. Expect mesquite aromas followed by some welcome buttery and caramel sweetness on the palate for balance. This will surely be the star of your next cookout.
Average price: $66
Terminology: The Terms To Know When Talking About Whisky
The world of whisky can sometimes be obscure to the uninitiated. Here are the most important terms you need to know when shopping for whisky.
- Angels Share: As the whisky ages, some of the liquid naturally evaporates. In its simplest term, the Angels share is the percentage of whisky lost to evaporation as the spirit ages.
- ABV: Alcohol By Volume the percentage of ethanol in a beverage.
- Blended: As the name suggests, blended whisky is a blend of two or more malt and grain whiskies. Blended whiskies are overlooked by a master blender to ensure a consistent flavor throughout. Due to the nature of the drink, blended whiskies are often cheaper than their single-malt counterparts.
- Dram: The traditional Scottish term for a serving of whisky.
- Peat: When used in a whisky distillery, peat can be the difference between a light sip and a smoky drink. Peat layers form on bogs over thousands of years and are used to smoke barley grains during the drying process. The longer the grain is subjected to the peat smoke, the smokier the resulting drink will be.
- Single Malt: A whisky that is produced by a single distillery using a single malted grain, typically barley. They can be produced all over the world but are most favored among Scotch whisky.
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Best Single Malt Scotch: The Glen Grant 15 Year Old
For this single malt, age is but a number. Despite its 15-year age statement, its floral and citrus-forward aromas give the Scotch a youthful profile. Add to that sweet undertones of cake batter, and the result is a rounded, balanced sip thats lively but with a restrained alcohol content not too hot on the palate.
Average price: $93
Aberlour A’bunadh Alba Single Malt Scotch Whisky
If you have been lucky enough to go to a whisky distillery then you may well have tried whisky straight from the cask. This Aberlour A’Bunadh Alba Single Malt Scotch Whisky is the closest we’ve got to that experience at home. It’s a beautiful dram, rich with apple and pear notes. It’s been matured in 1st fill American Oak barrels and that has added a sherbet sweetness to proceedings, too. This one is over 60% so you may want to mix with water – however you drink it, you will, like us, be savouring every last drop. Lovely stuff
Its called 95 because the mash is made up of that percentage of rye, the remainder barley. Thats a really high ratio, so while the original Buillet is a classic bourbon, we like the rye version for its spicy flavour.
Unlike scotch, bourbon is sweeter and here you get toffee and maple flavours. Its still smooth enough to drink neat but try using it for cocktails like an old fashioned for that extra level of flavour.
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Midleton Very Rare 2022 Edition
Whiskey enthusiasts eagerly await the release of Midletons Very Rare expression each year, and its anyones guess which of the 38 editions consumers and collectors most prefer. In this case, the 2022 iteration blends Irish single-pot still and single-grain whiskies, aged in ex-bourbon American Oak barrels and ranging from 12 to 33 years in age. Call it a very rare masterclass in hitting just the right, ultra-delicate balance. 94 points, $200
Four Roses Distillery 2022 Limited Edition Small Batch
The annual Four Roses LE Small Batch is a non-chill-filtered and barrel-strength release. Bottled at 109 proof, youll get a lot of vanilla and butterscotch on the nose, while the palette brings out cloves, apricot, cocoa, berries and brown sugar. Its rich and almost dessert-like in mouthfeel, while still balanced and complex enough to let in other flavors I got more oak, cinnamon and even a hint of mint on subsequent sips.
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Russells Reserve Single Rickhouse Camp Nelson C
Can the location of a barrel truly influence what youre drinking? Definitely, as proven by the latest limited-edition release from Russells Reserve, the brainchild of Master Distiller Eddie Russell . Here, the whiskey is taken from barrels of a recently decommissioned rickhouse that was originally built in 1946. The end result is a non-chill filtered bourbon aged for over 10 years and bottled at 112.4 barrel proof, with thick, rich notes of toffee, coconut and vanilla, rounded out by a long, silky finish.
Nikka From The Barrel
This is an absolute stunner. The unique square bottle holds the quintessential Japanese whisky for any collection. It’s without a doubt the best bang for your buck in the Japanese whisky market, and maybe for whisky in general. Both single malt and grain whiskies from Nikka’s two distilleries come together here: Yoichi, whose spirits tend towards smoke and peat, and Miyagikyo, which provides sweeter and more floral notes. The palate has some hints of smoke and peat, then sweet spice hits you beautifully, carrying on a wave of salted-toffee sweetness.
Find it: thewhiskyexchange.com
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Best Peated Scotch: Bowmore 12 Year Old
Region: Islay, Scotland| ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Peat, Chocolate, Cherry
While the Scottish island of Islay is known for producing whiskys featuring heavy smoke flavors . Bowmore is only mildly peated compared to some other Islay bottlingsbut the smoke character is nevertheless distinctly present. That said, the peatiness is balanced out in this 12-year-old whisky by a rich array of fruit and spice flavors, complimented by notes of honey and vanilla. The distillery is the first recorded to be in operation on Islay, and this long, storied history is present in this approachable yet pleasantly smoky single malt.
Teeling Purple Muscat Cask Aged 32 Years
This is the pinnacle of Irish whiskey and a sign of the times. As Irish whiskey continues to explode, the older expressions just keep topping one another. It is truly uncanny. Teeling won Worlds Best Whiskey a few years back with their 24-year-old, and I can say with confidence that this new, extremely limited 32-Year expression tops that winning and beloved pour of Irish whiskey.
This is full of tropical fruit, something this Dublin distillery is known for. The pineapple and guava on the palate are bountiful, and then upside-down pineapple cake just comes in and whisks you away!
This is hands down worth buying for both drinking and collecting purposes. Its perfect neat, but a drop or two of water really lets it bloom into a fruity, creamy dream of a sip.
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Which Is The Smoothest Whiskey
Top 10 Whiskies of 2019
- Highland Park 16 Year Old Twisted Tattoo.
- Legent Bourbon.
- Balvenie 12 Year Old The Sweet Toast of American Oak.
- Glengoyne Legacy Series, Chapter One.
- Colonel E.H. Taylor Amaranth. Rating: 91/100.
- Kilchoman Loch Gorm 2019. Rating: 85/100.
- George Dickel Bottled in Bond. Rating: 78/100.
Best Rye: Frey Ranch Straight Rye Whiskey
These are exciting times for rye whiskey, especially among the nations smaller-scale producers. Among them all large and small none capture the spicy, savory, herbaceous essence of the grain in distilled form as purely and attractively as Nevadas Frey Ranch Distillery. A bonafide grain to glass release, this producer grows all of the winter cereal used in this 100 percent rye whiskey, and the finished product is undeniably worth the effort.
Average price: $66
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Johnnie Walker Blue Label
Average Price: Roughly $185.99
Alcohol Content: 40%
Why We Like It:
Made from Scotlands rarest and most expensive whiskies, the Johnnie Walker Blue Label is an outstanding whisky of style and taste.
Its the brands most prestigious blended whisky.
Its also a popular whiskey choice for novices and experts. The casks with elusive quality and character are hand-selected and set aside to create the signature flavor of Johnnie Walker Blue Label.
On the palate, its rich and velvety. There are honey, hazelnut, dried fruits, and sherry tasting notes. We can taste a little bit of sweetness with hints of pepper and oranges. The finish is smooth and lingering.
Which Whiskeys Are Top Shelf
Top 10 Most Popular Whiskies
- Ardbeg 10 Year Old Ten.
- Talisker 10 Year Old. Rating: 81/100.
- Laphroaig 10 Year Old. Rating: 80/100.
- Dalwhinnie 15 Year Old. Rating: 79/100.
- Highland Park 12 Year Old. Rating: 81/100.
- Chivas Regal 12 Year Old. Rating: 69/100.
- Monkey Shoulder. Rating: 75/100.
- Glenlivet 12 Year Old. Rating: 75/100.
Best Japanese Whisky: The Hakushu Single Malt Japanese Whisky Aged 12 Years
The youngest and most available expression from Suntorys Hakushu line, this release still arrives with a hefty price tag but such is the nature of shopping for high-quality Japanese whisky. Stump up for a bottle and rest assured that the liquid inside will deliver considerable consolation. Delicately peated, this single malt serves tantalizing smokiness that weaves wonderfully among savory notes of herbal green tea. Orchard and stone fruit provide a robust, attractive, fruity core.
Average price: $204
Got Questions About Whiskey Weve Got You Covered
Whiskey is a lifelong passion! Once you taste some, you will always want more.
The term whisky means the water of life. Originally, it came from the Gaelic word uisge beatha or usquebaugh
Both are correct! It means the same thing. If the whisky is made in Scotland, Canada or Japan, it is usually spelled without the letter e, which is whisky. If referring to whiskey made in the United States or Ireland then it is spelled with an e whiskey.
There are nine main types of whiskey in the market though additional, not as mainstream types are also available for purchase.
The 9 main types of whisky consist of:
- Single malt whisky
Irish whiskey is also considered to be the father of all whiskeys. It has a smoother flavour compared to other types of whisky and is made from a mix of malt. It can only be distilled using water and caramel colouring.
Scotch whiskey is made in Scotland. It is also known simply as Scotch and is originally made from malted barley. However, nowadays it can be made from malt or grain or a blend of the two.
There are five main categories of Scotch Whiskey which are
- single malt scotch whiskey
- blended scotch whiskey
Japanese whiskey is created to imitate scotch whiskey. It uses similar distilling methods as scotch whiskey.
Canadian whiskey contains a high percentage of corn, which makes it lighter and smoother than other types of whisky. Usually, Canadian whiskey is made from corn and rye but may sometimes be made out of wheat or barley as well.
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Jura Distillery Exclusive Fis Le Edition 2022
This one stands out amongst many and has to be the best from this years Fèis Ìle Whisky Festival on Islay. The whisky in the bottle is a 14-year-old malt that was matured in ex-sherry butts until it was just right for this special, one-off bottling for the whisky fest of only 700 bottles.
The nose has that beautiful and light Jura smoke with some stunning sweetness to it. The orange comes to life with sea-salted caramel and continues into the palate with citrus and more subtle smoke and coffee notes. The orange citrus notes continue into the finish and pair perfectly with the sea salt that is so complimentary to this dram.
Finally, something from the tiny town that could! Dubbed as the most difficult place in the world to get to and where George Orwell wrote 1984, Jura has some fantastic releases but often gets overlooked as The Dalmores younger sibling. This excellent release should help to change all of that.
Macallan 12 Year Double Cask
Average Price: Roughly $67.99
Alcohol Content: 43%
Why We Like It:
The Macallan 12-Year-Old Double Cask is 100% sherry-seasoned. It is created from a mash bill of 100% malted barley and aged for 12 years.
It has malt, honey, brown sugar, nuts, and orange peel aromas. It has tasting notes of malt, brown sugar, orange zest, and cinnamon.
It has a medium finish with a fruity and vanilla taste. We like that the elements are individually distinguishable but also contribute to the whole.
Average Price: Roughly $29.99
Alcohol Content: 43%
Why We Like It:
The Monkey Shoulder is made with single malts from three famous Speyside distilleries, which gives it a distinctive fruity and complex flavor profile.
Its one of the best whisky brands, having won a Gold award at The Scotch Whisky Masters in the Speyside No Age Statement in 2014.
On the palate, its very malty with a suggestion of dried apricot notes. It has tasting notes of vanilla, marmalade, cloves, and Manuka honey. It has a medium-length finish with rich spiciness and toasted oak notes.
Its best enjoyed neat, but it is superbly designed as a mixing spirit. It can be a base spirit for delicious whisky ginger or a lazy Old Fashioned.
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Best Whiskey Brands: Finding The Perfect Whiskey Brands For You
There is just something about enjoying a smooth and tasty glass of whiskey. Well, with this list of the best whiskey brands, you can make sure that you find the right whiskey brand for you and your taste preferences.
In this list of the best whiskey brands, we will highlight the top whiskey brands from around the world. From American bourbons to Scotch whiskeys to up-and-coming Japanese whiskeys, the whiskey brands on this list are sure to please.
And, whether you are new to the whiskey world or would consider yourself an expert, the whiskeys on this list are sure to have something for you.
The other great thing about the whiskey brands on this list is that some of them have multiple types and flavors of whiskey to offer. So not only is this list going to introduce you to some world-class whiskey brands, but you will also get to experience some of the different bottles that each brand has to offer.
As a side note, some of these brands on this list spell whiskey without an e in it. For simplicitys sake, this list will use an e in each spelling of the word whiskey.
Whiskey Type: Straight Rye Whiskey
Distillery Location: Shoreham, Vermont
Whiskey Type: Single Malt Scotch Whiskey
Distillery Location: Isle of Islay, United Kingdom
Whiskey Type: Blended Canadian Whiskey
Distillery Location: Gimli, Manitoba
Whiskey Type: Single Malt Whiskey