Top 10 best value for money world whiskies
Looking across Canada, India, Australia and South Africa, neither choice nor quality are in short supply in the world whisky category. But which are the best value for money?
The Spirits Business held its annual World Whisky Masters last month, where an experienced panel of judges recognised the best bottlings in the business.
Looking across multiple categories, from European to Canadian, Indian to Australasian, a wide range of whiskies were awarded the top accolades of Master and Gold medals for their quality.
The individual scores of each entrant have not been revealed, however these are 10 of the highest rated medalists in the competition, in no particular order.
While some expressions are not standard priced, our judges have given each world whisky listed here the seal of approval for offering excellent quality within their respective price categories.
Click through to the following pages to view the top 10 best value for money world whiskies of 2017.
Caribou Crossing Single Barrel Canada
In the small Canadian – Super Premium leg, Sazerac’s Caribou Crossing Single Barrel bagged a Gold medal. One judge said: “This is great, the first notes were particularly delicious – banana bread and soft brioche”. The expression is thought to be the world’s first single barrel Canadian whisky, selected from an inventory of more than 200,000 barrels.
Mackmyra Ten Years
Swedish producer Mackmyra secured a Gold medal in the Europe – Single Malt Super Premium category with its 10-year-old expression, said to be Sweden’s first age-statement single malt whisky. Ten Years has been matured in ex-Bourbon casks and new American oak casks that previously held oloroso Sherry. The whisky is created from the Mackmyra unpeated recipe and has been matured 50 metres underground at Mackmyra’s Bodås mine warehouse.
Gouden Carolus Single Malt
Claiming a Master in the Europe – Single Malt Premium round was Belgium’s Gouden Carolus Single Malt. Judges praised its “fresh” and “well-balanced” character, while one judge deemed it “big, rich and creamy, with notes of vanilla and apricot coming through.” Produced by Stokerij De Molenburg, Gouden Carolus Single Malt is distilled from the mash of Gouden Carolus Tripel beer, and aged in first-fill Bourbon casks followed by a further ageing in ‘anker’ casks.
Sullivans Cove Special Cask TD0202
Hailing from Tasmania’s Sullivan’s Cove Distillery, this special cask edition secured a Gold in the Australasia – Single Malt Super Premium round. Judges praised its notes of “fresh bread and yeast” and “tropical fruit”. The French oak ex-Chardonnay barrel-matured single cask release has spent almost 10 years in the 300 litre vessel, with “only a few hundred” bottles produced.
Three Ships 15 Year Old Pinotage Finish
Distell-owned Three Ships Whisky has launched the “world’s first” whisky finished in a cask used to mature Pinotage – a South African wine. The expression was deemed “soft and buttery with flavours of buttercream and dark fruits”, securing a Gold in South Africa – Blended Super Premium. To create the whisky, the grain and malt components were matured separately in American casks, then finished for different periods in eight casks previously used for Pinotage.
Paul John Indian Single Malt, Peated Select Cask
Claiming the second (and final) Master was Paul John Indian Single Malt, Peated Cask in the India – Single Malt Super Premium flight. One judge said it reminded him of “a good Islay whisky”, while another likened it to a “nice Ardbeg or an aged Laphroig” and described it as “meaty”. The peated bottling from Goa’s John Distilleries is produced using peat imported from Scotland and bottled in 2013 at cask strength.
Made by Italian producer Puni Distillery, Puni Alba claimed a Gold medal in the Europe – Single Malt Super Premium round. Established five years ago in South Tyrol, in the Italian Alps, Puni started distilling in 2012, crafting what it says are the country’s first single malts. The distillery uses locally-sourced grain which is distilled in traditional Scottish copper pot stills.
Penderyn Sherry Wood
The Welsh Whisky Company’s Penderyn Sherry Wood bagged a Gold in the Europe – Single Malt Premium flight. Bottled at 45% abv, it has been aged in ex-Bourbon barrels and ex-oloroso Sherry casks. The Welsh whisky producer announced plans to open a second production site at a former copperworks near Swansea in June last year.
Spirit of Hven Seven Stars No.5 Alioth
Alioth is the fifth release in Spirit of Hven’s Seven Stars series, named after the stars of the Great Bear. This peated Swedish single malt was finished in 500 litre casks which previously held a dry oloroso Sherry. Described as “lovely and oaky”, the expression was awarded a Gold medal.
Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky
South Africa’s “first and only” single-grain whisky was awarded a Gold at this year’s World Whisky Masters. One judge said: “This expression has a freshness that pulls it together”. The Distell-owned brand is produced by master distiller Andy Watts at the James Sedgwick Distillery in Wellington, and is made from 100% South African yellow maize and Cape Mountain water.