The winners of the 2018 World Whiskies Awards were announced on March 22 at the Whiskey Magazine Awards dinner, and they showcase the fact that whiskey has truly gone global. The winners come from distilleries around the world, including from some places you might not think of as being whiskey-producing countries.
The World Whiskies Awards competition is rigorous. During the awards ceremony, held at the Waldorf Hilton Hotel in London, Rob Allanson, editor of Whisky Magazine and chairman of the World Whiskies Awards, noted that over 1000 brands entered the competition this year.
40 expert judges do blind tastings of each entry to judge taste and quality. Awards are made at a lower level for the best of each category in a country, but the top awards are given at a global level.
Over at the Whiskey Exchange, they note that the biggest upset of the night was for World's Best Pot Still. The category used to be dominated by Ireland (in fact, until now the category was called Best Irish Pot Still), but this was the year the Pot Still award went global.
All in all, the United States dominated the night, picking up awards for the best bourbon, rye, wheat, corn, and pot still. It wasn't all Kentucky, though. The Pacific Northwest showed up in style with distilleries from Washington and Oregon taking home prizes, with spirits from Texas, Colorado, and Kentucky rounding out the five U.S. awards.
If you're looking to try a new whiskey or if you've been wondering about distilleries from Japan, Tasmania or South Africa, trying something from this list is a good place to start.
2018 World Whiskies Awards Winners
World's Best Single Malt: Hakushu 25 Years Old (Japan)
World's Best Single Cask Single Malt: Sullivan's Cove American Oak Single Cask HH0351 (Australia)
World's Best Blended: Johnnie Walker Gold (Scotland, United Kingdom)
World's Best Blended Limited Edition: Ichiro's Malt and Grain Limited Edition (Japan)
World's Best Blended Malt: Nikka Taketsuru 17 Year Old (Japan)
World's Best Grain: Bain's Cape Mountain Whisky (South Africa)
World's Best Bourbon: 1792 Full Proof (United States)
World's Best Rye: Distillery 291 Colorado Rye (United States)
World's Best Wheat: Bainbridge Battle Point (United States)
World's Best Corn: Balcones True Blue 100 Proof (United States)
World's Best Canadian Blended: JP Wiser's Dissertation (Canada)