For the average drinker, today’s whiskey landscape offers a lot of information to unpack when searching for the perfect bottle for your taste. As one of the most popular spirits on the planet, there are now many styles and blends on shelves from distilleries around the world. On top of that, today’s bottle prices range from his low double digits to high four digits, which is enough to drive most people up the wall.
According to the American Distillers Association, there are more than 3,800 whiskey distilleries around the world, with a presence on every continent except Antarctica. From ancient single malt distilleries in Scotland to elegant blending operations in Japan to traditional bourbon makers in Kentucky, a wealth of drams awaits your enjoyment. But with so many options, how do you know which bottle is best?
That’s where major international spirits competitions come into play. His blind tasting panel of industry experts who have long been taste pioneers cuts through a crowded field and shines a spotlight on truly great bottles. As is the case with bourbon, rum, tequila and gin, we’ve found five truly great whiskeys of his that will be considered the world’s best in 2023. These would be a worthy addition to any drinker’s bar.
15 Star First West Fine Aged Rye Whiskey
When 15 Stars launched in 2022, the founders had two goals for the brand. They wanted to create the best aged whiskey on the planet and pay homage to Kentucky, the birthplace of bourbon. The Bluegrass State was her 15th state, hence the name. Well, they both did a great job. Their First West Fine Aged Rye was named World’s Best Whiskey at the New York World Spirits Competition. A blend of straight rye whiskeys aged 6 to 8 years, it perfectly balances all the spiciness you’d expect from rye, with hints of fruit and tobacco.
Courage and Conviction American Single Malt Whiskey
This beautiful whiskey highlights one of the most exciting developments in whiskey of the new millennium: the emergence of American single malt whisky. Once the exclusive domain of Scots, the complex yet simple flavors of this style caught the attention of American distillers, and it was named Whiskey of the Year at the London Spirits Competition. Courage & Conviction American Single Malt is made from 100% malted barley. Double cask bottling using North American barley. It was aged for at least five years in first-fill bourbon barrels before finishing in European red wine cuvée barrels. The resulting liquid has a bright berry and toffee aroma.
Glenfern Floral Highland Single Malt Whiskey
If you’re looking for a whiskey that has garnered more attention than any other this year, look no further. Glenfarline Highland Single Malt proves great whiskey doesn’t have to cost a fortune by winning Gold Outstanding, Whiskey Trophy and highest score for a whiskey (99 points) at the International Wine & Spirits Competition Did. Produced by the same people responsible for single malt mainstays Jura and Dalmore, this affordable ($30) whiskey was produced almost exclusively for British supermarkets. The judges appreciated it. Here’s what they had to say about it: “A wonderful aroma with a tropical mango base and creamy toffee taste, with a great balance of sweet and smooth, finishing with a long-lasting, rich floral character.”
Heaven Hill Bottle Bond
As one of the first distilleries to open shop after Prohibition ended, Heaven Hill quickly became the go-to bourbon for drinkers across America. Today, the company has the second-largest inventory of aged bourbon whiskey in the world, with an estimated 1,600,000 barrels sitting in countless rickhouses across Kentucky. Their bottled Bonds are a testament to the skill the distillery brings to the industry. Named World Whiskey of the Year at the Bartender Spirit Awards, this simple bottle features a hint of spicy rye aroma balanced with the sweetness of vanilla, honey and caramel. Perfect for cocktails or straight up.
Tomatin Highland Single Malt 36 Years
If you’re a collector looking for a rare bottle to enhance your collection, or just a lover of great whisky, Tomartin Highland Single Malt 36 Year Old is for you. A limited release whisky, with only 1,200 pieces released worldwide each year. Bottles can easily fetch thousands of dollars on the resale market, so be prepared if you decide to buy one. Created in the heart of the Scottish countryside, Tomartin Distillery is renowned for producing highly complex Scotches. Tomartin’s whiskey was named Best in Show at the venerable San Francisco World Spirits Competition, his second win in the past decade, and he was among more than 1,800 other participants. defeated. The incredibly smooth drinking experience and complex flavors make this a truly memorable dram.