Taiwanese Whisky Now Worlds Best

Asia is on the ascent in the world of whisky, following on from Jim Murray’s declaration that the 2013 Yamazaki sherry cask was the best whisky in the world in his 2015 Whisky bible, whisk magazine has just announced another surprising winner. The Kavalan Solist Vinho Barriquewas took the title of world’s best single malt beating competition from Scotland, Japan, Ireland, France, Sweden, South Africa, Australia and the US.

The World Whiskies Awards

The World Whisky Awards are the product awards of the highly regarded of Whisky Magazine, running since 2007 the awards cover a range of some 300+ whisky expressions in a variety of categories including but not limited to the:
  1. World’s Best Single Malt Whisky
  2. World’s Best Blended Whisky
  3. World’s Best Blended Malt Whisky
  4. World’s Best North American Whiskey,
  5. World’s Best Grain Whisky
  6. World’s Best Whisky Liqueur
The highly coveted top award the World’s Best Single Malt Whisky had changed hands between Scotland and Japan since the awards inception in 2007 until last year when Australia’s Sullivans Cove French Oak Cask took the title. Previous Winners were: 2007: Talisker 18 Year Old 2008: Yoichi 20 Years Old 2009: Highland Park 21 Years Old 2010: Ardbeg Corryvreckan 2011: Yamazaki 1984 2012: Yamazaki 25 Years Old 2013: Ardbeg Galileo 2014: Sullivans Cove French Oak Cask The 2014 champion from the island state of Tasmania marked the first transition away from the traditional Scottish and Japanese heartlands and many had viewed this as a fluke but the craft of whisky creation has truly gone global with the new Champion coming from Taiwan.

World’s Best Single Malt Whisky

The Kavalan Solist Vinho Barrique expression produced by Taiwanese King Car distillery has taken the prestigious title of world’s best single malt whisky. The distilleries limited run, cask strength offerings are labelled Solist, these are young, high strength whiskies with bold and complex flavours make the case for adding water, in this instance the expression clocks in at 59.2% ABV. Using re-toasted red and white wine casks the whisky expression is described as being bold, with a berry plum and notes of caramel. My sample is in the post so I’ll put up a review as soon as possible though coming in at a whopping this is a whisky that makes the case for adding water.

Other Whisky Awards

A Number of other surprises, can be found in the complete list of winners: World’s best grain whisky: Darkness! North British 18 Year Old Oloroso Cask Finish (Scotland) World’s best pot still whisky: Redbreast Pot Still 15 Year Old (Ireland) World’s best flavoured whisky: Master of Malt 40 Year Old Speyside Whisky Liqueur (Scotland) World’s best American whiskey: Thomas H Handy Sazerac Straight Rye (USA) Best scotch blended malt: Wemyss Malts Velvet Fig (Scotland) World’s best blended malt: Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt 17 Year Old (Japan) Best African blended whisky: Three Ships Bourbon Cask Finish (South Africa) Best European blended whisky: Black Mountain Whisky Selection BM No1 (France) Best Irish blended whiskey: Tullamore Dew Phoenix Best Japanese blended whisky: Suntory Hibiki 12 Year Old World’s best blend: That Boutique-y Whisky Company Blended Whisky #1 (Scotland) Best African single malt: Three Ships Single Malt 10 Year Old (South Africa) Best American single malt: Balcones Texas Single Malt Best Irish single malt: Teeling Single Malt Best Australian single malt: Sullivan’s Cove French Oak Cask Matured Best European single malt: Mackmyra Iskristall (Sweden) Best Japanese single malt: Suntory Yamazaki 18 Year Old Best Lowland single malt: Highland Harvest Single Malt Sauternes Wood Best Highland single malt: Glenmorangie Extremely Rare 18 Year Old Best Campbelltown single malt: Longrow 11 Year Old Best Speyside single malt: Benriach 16 Year Old Best Islands single malt: Ledaig 10 Year Old Best Islay single malt: Ardbeg Kildalton