There is no shortage of alcohol awards in the world but when it comes to choosing a bottle off the shelf, the one I trust the most is the World Whiskies Awards.
The 2019 World Whiskies Awards were announced two weeks ago but I wasn’t at a computer to share the results with you gentlemen because I was in the hospital for the birth of my son. Now that things have settled and I’m back to my daily rhythm I wanted to share this year’s results with you all so you could start beefing up your home bar.
For some of the winners, I’ve included the descriptions of the spirits which are listed on the Awards’ website. You can click here or follow any of the links below to learn more.
World’s Best Bourbon – Four Roses – 130th Anniversary 2018 Limited Edition Small Batch — “Classic Bourbon nose — very nice. A candy shop profile. Hot on the nose but the aroma is otherwise pleasant. Very nice flavours, hot and pleasant sweetness. Overall, well balanced and complex.” (link)
World’s Best Rye Whisky – Stork Club Whisky – Straight Rye Whisky (link)
World’s Best Blended Whisky – Suntory Hibiki 21-Year-Old (link) For what it’s worht, this was the best whiskey I drank last year.
World’s Best Single Cask Single Malt – Sullivans Cove – French Oak — “Fruity toffee, with a hint of burnt caramel. Leathery touches. Palate is sweet and candied with a rich toffee core. Spiciness and black liquorice build from the middle, along with rich apple sauce. Finish has apple skin, liquorice and sweet cinnamon sugar. The apples linger.” (link)
World’s Best Canadian Blended – J.P. Wiser’s – 35 Years Old — “Spice and stone fruit on the nose. Smooth, buttery and rich. Vanilla and sweet notes leading gradually into an exceptionally well balanced and complex whisky, with a lingering finish. Beautiful balanced wood notes are seamless and cohesive. Flavours of maple, butter and rich spices. Sweet and nut on the finish are flawless.”
World’s Best Tennessee Whiskey – Uncle Nearest 1856 – Premium Aged Whiskey — “Floral notes on the nose with hints of wood. ‘Delicate “rose” brings a nice sweetness on the palate, with liquorice and caramel, hot but light in body. Creamy finish with some dryness This whiskey is a great example of what America’s Southern whiskey drinkers call ‘Sippin’ Whiskey’ to be savoured and enjoyed. It has everything nicely gathered together for a great tasting experience. Classic Tennessee whiskey. Although no age is stated, it has the poise and bearing of a well-matured, corn-forward, older Bourbon or Tennessee whiskey.”
World’s Best Corn Whisky – Ironroot Republic – Hubris Corn Whiskey — “Nice nose, rich, big and bold. Rich oak and spiced fruit. Corn forward in flavour with a nice mouthfeel. Sweet oak, slight heat and a little drying on the palate, with a short finish.”
World’s Best Pot Still – The Temple Bar – 14 Years Old Single Cask — “Spices of cinnamon and clove on the nose, with softer hints of chocolate coming through. Spice is continuous in flavour with sweet honey and light nuts. A hint of pepper enters at the end. Long and warm finish with toasted nut and hints of wood.”
World’s Best Blended Malt – Nikka – Taketsuru Pure Malt 25 Years Old
World’s Best Grain Whisky – The Fuji-Gotemba Distillery – Single Grain 25 Years Old Small Batch
World’s Best Flavoured Whisky – Heritage Distilling Co. – Brown Sugar Bourbon — “Giant nose of sweet French toast and baked red apples following into the palate with the fruit notes playing up nicely. Quite a sweet finish.”
World’s Best Wheat Whisky – Bainbridge – Battle Point Two Islands Hokkaido Mizunara Cask
World’s Best Whisky Design – Tomatin – 30-Year-Old
World’s Best New Make – Stauning Whisky – Curious – Peat Smoked Malted Rye New Make — “Gloriously gravelly smoke, with leathery peat and rich earthiness. Very dry, with plimsoll hints developing in the glass. Lighter than expected on the palate, with the plimsoll rubberiness complimented by bitter liquorice pastilles and green leaves. Vegetal, hot and spicy, with capsicum, joined by chilli and black pepper. Excellent young spirit that won’t need to see the inside of a cask for long.”
World’s Best Japanese Blended – Suntory Whisky Hibiki – 21 Years Old — “A masterpiece that is well-balanced, a little light in body, but complex. The expectation of aged whisky, sherry, acacia, cacao, leather and fruits.”
World’s Best Blended Limited Release – Ichiro’s Malt & Grain – Japanese Blended Whisky Limited Edition 2019 — “Flavourful and harmonious. Well-balanced with organic solvent, persimmon tannin, wood and vanilla. Ends with milk chocolate and barley sugar.”
World’s Best Single Malt – Teeling Whiskey 24-Year-Old Vintage Reserve 08/2016 — “Beautiful nose of orange peel, chocolate truffle and nuts. Caramel as well. Full bodied with fruity pineapple, honey and salted caramel. Creamy on the palate with hints of new leather. Long lasting finish with vanilla, fruity pear and apple notes.” (link)
It’s worth noting that this was the first time in the history of the World Whiskies Awards that the top honors for a single malt when to an Irish Whiskey. There are more winners and more information on each winner, and you can click here to visit the World Whiskies Awards website for all of that information.