Close Menu
Top 10

Around the world in 10 award-winning whiskies

To mark World Whisky Day 2023 (20 May), we’re taking you on an around-the-world adventure, one award-winning whisky at a time.

We’ve rounded up award-winning whiskies from all over the world

We’ve crossed oceans, navigated continents and travelled to the ends of the earth (almost) to bring you some of the best whiskies from around the globe for you to enjoy this World Whisky Day. From single-malted expressions to creative mash bill experiments, there is something for every whisky drinker in this top 10 list.

Keep reading to find your perfect bottle.

Ireland – Method and Madness Rye & Malt

Method and Madness Rye & Malt is the first aged experimental distillate release created at the micro distillery in Midleton, Ireland.

This rye-meets-malt bottling, which boasts a mash bill of 60% rye and 40% malted barley, took home a Gold medal in the 2022 Irish Whiskey Masters blind tasting competition. Judge Chris Tanner, general manager of Silverleaf bar in London, found “a nice hint of malt on the nose bolstered by underlying spice”, with “notes of rock candy and tropical fruit” on the palate.

It was matured in ex-Bourbon casks and bottled at an ABV of 46%.

The brand recently released a new Irish whiskey finished in Quercus Garryana white oak casks – a first for the category.

England – Cotswolds Hearts & Crafts Rum Cask Single Malt

Cotswolds Distillery

From a distillery located in the midst of one of England’s Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), this Master medal-winning whisky takes its name after the ‘heart’ cut of the spirit run during production, and the well-known 19th century Arts & Crafts movement which flourished in the Cotswolds and placed great emphasis on traditional craftsmanship.

The Rum Cask Single Malt Whisky has been aged in rejuvenated French oak ex-red wine casks seasoned with fine Caribbean rum. This has imparted notes of soft brown sugar and ripe pears on the ‘well-balanced’ expression. With baked apple and vanilla ice cream on the nose, the new release finishes with flavours of tropical fruit and orange peel.

America – WhistlePig Piggyback Rye

We now travel from England over to New England in the US for a taste of the Gold medal-winning “mouth-coating with cherry pops and cream soda” Whistlepig Piggyback Rye, the youngest expression to come out of the innovative Vermont-based distillery.

Piggyback 100% Rye was aged for six years before being bottled at 48.28% ABV, and further tasting notes include aromas of cinnamon, black peppercorn and grapefruit zest, leading to a ‘powerfully spicy’ palate, with cocoa, cardamom and cured leather. The finish is ‘wonderfully lengthy’, with baking spices, oak and vanilla.

Australia – Starward Ginger Beer Cask #7

Every year Melbourne-based distillery Starward brings out its latest ginger beer-aged innovation, and every year consumers go mad for it, which is likely why the judges awarded the seventh edition of this bottling a Master medal.

This particular expression has been been finished in ginger beer casks for a generous 12 months – twice as long as its sixth edition – which has given the double pot distilled whisky an extra generous level of citrussy spice. It also spent some time in apera (Australian fortified wine) and wine casks sourced from across the globe. Expect notes of warming, fresh ginger alongside more mellow, candied ginger, vanilla syrup, and tropical fruit.

 India – Rampur Double Cask Indian Single Malt Whisky

The gold-hued liquid found inside this bottle of Indian single malt whisky matches the colour of the medal it received from the judges at the annual World Whisky blind tasting. The judges found it to be “salty and coastal on the nose, tropical with a lovely trail of spice on the finish”.

This whisky spent two-thirds of its life in American oak Bourbon barrels, and the remaining third in European oak Sherry casks, the latter of which has given it a balance of dry Sherry spice, while the former has provided sweeter, tropical notes.

Scotland – The Peat Monster, Compass Box

Compass Box Peat Monster

Its a fleeting visit to the world’s most famous whisky-producing country, so it’s important to make an impact, and this bottling from Compass Box definitely leaves a lasting impression.

First released to the worldwide market in 2004, The Peat Monster went on to become one of Compass Box’s most popular expressions, according to the brand. It is loved so much that Compass Box recently celebrated its 20th anniversary with a limited edition release.

The judges in The Scotch Whisky Masters 2022 blind tasting found it to be “herbaceous and vegetal”, ultimately awarding it a Gold medal. Its definitely the whisky for those who love big, rich, smoky-peaty malts.

Taiwan – Kavalan Triple Sherry Cask Single Malt

Taiwanese distillery Kavalan is no stranger to medals from our World Whisky Masters competition, so if you’re looking for an award-winning whisky from this region, you’re spoilt for choice. But if there’s one particular dram we think you should opt for this World Whisky Day, it’s this Triple Sherry Cask expression.

This single malt has been matured in a combination of oloroso, Pedro Ximenex and Moscatel Sherry casks, which has given it plenty of layers of dried fruit and nuts which compliment the distillery’s signature tropical character. Summer berries, dried fruit, grapes, orange, chocolate brownies and toffee aromas treat the nose, while caramel, honey, candied mango, cinnamon, raisins and dates are detected throughout the palate.

Wales – Penderyn Myth

This Welsh single malt from Penderyn, located in the country’s picturesque Brecon Beacons, has been aged in ex-Bourbon barrels and bottled at 41% ABV.

Part of the distillery’s popular Dragon Range, Myth is a sweet and light whisky, and the sister expression of Penderyn Legend. It boasts honey, citrus and apple flavours on the palate, ending with a smooth, warming finish. The judges of The World Whisky Masters 2022 gave it a Gold medal, and described it as an “easy sipping” whisky, with a “banana custard nose, peach and summer fruit”.

South Africa – Three Ships Whisky 21 Year Old Millennium (Master)

It’s down to the tip of the African continent for this Master medal-winning 21-year-old whisky. Three Ships 21 Year Old Millennium is bottled at 51.8% ABV, and has been aged in ex-Bourbon American oak casks for 10 years, before spending another five resting in 300-litre hogsheads. The final six years were spent in seasoned oloroso Sherry casks and older ex-Bourbon American oak.

Judge Billy Abbott, ambassador at The Whisky Exchange, said: “The palate is very approachable, especially for the ABV, with an appropriately intense cinder toffee, toffee and brown sugar sweetness running through with mint, liquorice, and anise.”

Denmark – Stauning Rye Whisky

Our around-the-world trip concludes in Denmark, and what a way to end this whisky-based adventure. Gold medal-winning Stauning Rye is produced with malted Danish rye and barley, which has been floor-malted at the distillery. It is distilled on open-fired stills, and matured in new American oak barrels, and was praised by Abbott for its “solidly spicy nose – gingerbread, spiced biscuits and a load of green leaves” and “rye-forward palate with layers of chocolate, mint and grass”.

This is definitely a bottle that will stand out on your shelves, but if you want something extra eye-catching, treat yourself to one of the brand’s limited edition DIY bottle design kits, a new innovation from the distillers that has been launched as a work-around to bottle supply issues.

It looks like you're in Asia, would you like to be redirected to the Drinks Business Asia edition?

Yes, take me to the Asia edition No