It’s almost that time of the year, when the prestigious World Whisky Awards winners are announced, and we all run out to purchase the winning bottles to determine just what makes them so special.
For those of you who haven’t heard, the World Whiskies Awards are part of the prestigious World Drinks Awards programme, which launched in 2007 and includes the World Whiskies Awards and World Beer Awards. TheDrinksReport.com, the world’s No. 1 online resource for drinks professionals, are behind the movement and present the awards each year.
So far, only the round 1 results have been released presenting the winners under each sub-category (including regions, countries, and styles). The winners of each sub-category then qualify to become the category winner and, finally, the World’s Best Whisky. The results of round 2 and 3 will be released on March 30th, and will determine the final winners.
While the awards cover many different styles of whisky, from Canadian rye to Japanese single malts, we’re going to focus on Scotch, which is what we know and love best, and give you our predictions for the World’s Best Single Malt Whisky award, and the World’s Best Blended Malt Whisky Award.
We’ll look at the category winners for each Scottish region this year, and let you know who we believe will take home the prestigious awards.
The Highlands category showcased many wonderful bottles this year. Yet, the winner of the 21 & Over category, was the Dalmore 25 Year-Old. Winning the World’s Best Single Malt award is no small feat, and is an award usually given to whiskies matured for several decades.
The Speyside category was by far the strongest, featuring exquisite releases like a 35 Year-Old bottle of Benromach and a 40 Year-Old release by the Glenfiddich distillery.
The winner of the category, however, was the gorgeous Craigellachie 31 Year-Old.
The Islay category was dominated by the well-known bottling of Ardbeg Twenty One, a wonderful, peaty whisky which showcases the very best from the isle of Islay.
The winner of the Lowlands 21 & Over category was the Grant’s 25 Year-Old, which is a premium blended whisky comprising of 25 different whiskies, each aged for at least 25 years.
Islands (non Islay)
In the Islands category the winner of 21 & Over was the spectacular 21 Year-Old bottling by the Jura distillery.
Blended Malt – Scotch
In the 21 & Over section of the Scotch blended malt category the winner was That Boutique-y Whisky Company Blended Whisky #1, 35 Years Old.
- World’s Best Blended Malt Whisky – That Boutique-y Whisky Company Blended Whisky #1, 35 Years Old.
Why? This release won the World’s Best Blended Malt award back in 2015 and has since won the gold in both the International Spirits Challenge and the International Wine & Spirits Competition. It’s a wonderful, balanced blend which has proven its quality time and time again.
- World’ Best Single Malt Whisky – Craigellachie 31 Year-Old
Why? To win in the Speyside category, the whisky region of Scotland home to the largest number of distilleries, in no easy task. Winning over releases matured for several years more, this whisky brings a wonderful balance of mellowed maturation and intensity, bottled at cask strength.