All that glitter: World Whiskies Awards are out

William M. Dowd photos

More than 200 whiskies were considered for this year's edition of the World Whiskies Awards, sponsored by Whisky Magazine, the U.K. publication that sets the pace for the international whisky coverage.

I was priviliged to be one of just four American judges on the 15-judge international panel, chaired by Dave Broom. Three rounds of blind tastings were held to come up with the top category winners. Our process was simple but laborious, given the size of the field.

The first round was conducted by the editorial panel at their homes, with sample bottles telling us only the category and the alcohol by volume (ABV) strength. The whiskies that scored the highest in that round provided the subcategory winners, which then moved to the second round of tastings, held in London where category winners were picked. Then it was back to the editorial panels to decide the overall titles.

You can get the full rundown on the judges, the category and subcategory winners plus selected tasting notes from judges on the Whisky Magazine online site. Meanwhile, here are the top winners:

• World's Best Whisky Liqueur: Wild Turkey American Honey.
World's Best Grain Whisky: Compax Box Hedonism.
•  World's Best New Release: Glenrothers 25 Year Old.
•  World's Best Blended Malt Whisky: Blue Hanger 30 Year Old.
World's Best Blended Whisky: Suntory Hibiki 30 Year Old.
• World's Best American Whiskey: George T. Stagg Kentucky Straight Bourbon.
World's Best Single Malt Whisky: Yoichi 20 Years Old.

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