Every year premier palates join forces to praise and rank the world best whiskies. Now, while this may sound like everyone’s dream job (believe us, we’re right there with you), the World Whiskies Awards are serious business. It’s the yearly ritual that many a distillery across the globe cherishes given their whisky’s acceptance into the playing field; an even bigger reward when their batch places in the event. It’s presented in conjunction with the UK-based Whisky Magazine along with The Drinks Report for our reading pleasure.
This year’s winners feature brands from right here in the US, Japan, Canada, and the UK. The most notable contenders, however, were the Japanese, proving once again that Japanese whisky is not only here to stay but a serious contender in the industry. Winners are announced for 13 separate categories of the spirit (such as single malt, blended and grain) and once crowned, they take home their priced weighty glass trophies and an enhanced reputation among fellow distillers. It’s the battle royale of everyone’s preferred spirit. So without further ado, let’s take a look at the winners.
World's Best Grain
Fuji-Gotemba Single Grain 25 Year
Winning a multitude awards over the past couple years, it’s clear this 46% ABV grain whisky isn’t going away any time soon.
World's Best Bourbon
John J. Bowman Single Barrel
Straight from the US, this 50% ABV non-Kentucky bourbon is sure to please any discerning palate from start to finish.
World's Best Canadian Blended
Gooderham & Worts
Though many a whisky drinker might not be fans of the Canadian blended style, it’s apparent that Gooderham & Worts is working to stifle that reputation with this 44% blend.
World's Best Corn
Ironroot Republic Hubris
In true American fashion, this 58.90% ABV corn whiskey is a bit boozy but incredibly soothing on the palate. Call it America in a bottle.
World's best Flavored
J.P Wiser’s Hopped Whisky
With a modest ABV of 40%, this straightforward flavored whiskey sends the likes of imitation flavored whiskies running for the hills.
Best Irish Single Pot Still
Redbreast 21 year
Distilled the good old fashioned way, this 46% ABV single pot still whisky will prove that everyone has a little Irish in them.
World's Best Rye
A.D. Laws Secale Straight Rye
While maybe not the best choice for an Old Fashioned, Secale Straight Rye will drink like the champion it is either neat or with a bit of distilled water.
World's Best Wheat
Bainbridge Battle Point
While wheat whiskey might not be the most well-known variant in the mix, Bainridge’s 43% ABV offering certainly serves as a proper introduction into the genre.
World's Best Blended Limited Release
J.P. Wiser’s Dissertation
Those Canadians must be onto something if they just went ahead and won this coveted award. And you know what, we just might have to get our hands on some Dissertation to find out for ourselves before it’s all gone.
World's Best Blended Malt
Johnnie Walker Green Label
Probably the most well-known winner this year, Johnnie Walker’s 43% ABV blended malt looks ready to take their brand to the next level.
World's Best Blended
Suntory Hibiki 21 Year
No surprises here. This 43% blended whisky from Japan continues to impress. Pick a bottle up this weekend. Enough said.
World's Best Single Cask Single Malt
Venture Chichibu Whisky Matsuri 2017
Yet another prize offering from Japan, Venture’s high ABV (60%) whisky will both impress with its profile and strength. Tread lightly here.
World's Best Single Malt
Craigellachie 31 Year
Perhaps the most coveted award, this 31-year Speyside single malt from Craigellachie takes home the honorable prize of best single malt.