Last year, the World Whiskies Awards selected a Tasmanian offering as the finest single malt in the world. It was a slap in the face to Scottish distillers known for cleaning up in such categories. If that was a slap, this, perhaps, is a haymaker. Here are some of the winners from the 2015 World Whiskies Awards, including the—once again—non-Scottish brand winner for Best Single Malt.
World’s Best Single Malt
Kavalan Solist Vinho Barrique
We’ve never had this Taiwanese whisky, but after reading the description from the judges, we’re on a quest to hunt it down. Noted for its bourbon, custard, and coffee profile, the single malt is a sweet treat with a dry finish. Aged in American oak casks that were used to mature both red and white wine, this single malt gets an added depth of fruity flavor thanks to its unique barrel selection.
World’s Best American Whiskey
Thomas H. Handy Sazerac
One of Buffalo Trace’s “Antique Collection” bottles, Thomas H. Handy Sazerac is named after the man who first used rye in a Sazerac cocktail. In a bold and spicy fashion, this rye is bottled straight from the barrel and packs all that cinnamon, clove, and warmth you’d expect. If you like your booze bold, it’s the best you could ask for.
World’s Best Single Pot Still
The slightly more mature Redbreast expression, the 15 is rich and creamy with notes of citrus and honey. The taste is reminiscent of cooked fruits and butterscotch. Basically, it’s a finer version of the Redbreast you probably already love.
World’s Best Blended Whisky
That Boutique-y Whisky Company Blended Whisky #1
With only 148 bottles released, we probably won’t ever have the chance to get acquainted with the first blended whisky from That Boutique-y Whisky Company. That’s a damn shame, because the label’s first foray into blended Scotch sounds mighty impressive. Complete with another of the line’s trademark killer labels, the hooch is complex with fruit flavors that develop as you enjoy it.
World’s Best Canadian Whisky
Forty Creek Confederation Oak
This whisky from Forty Creek has been winning awards for the last five years and shows no signs of slowing down in 2015. The nose is full of vanilla and maple (how Canadian) and the finish is equally sweet and long. Forty Creek’s Confederation Oak Reserve is an iconic Canadian whisky with another medal around its neck.