The world of whisk(e)y is an alluring one. Every year, we witness new expressions competing for the mantle, and expert judges announce their whiskies of choice. In today's post, we are assembling ten award-winning whiskies from the past decade, selected from categories of single malts, blended scotch whiskies, Irish whiskeys, and more.
2011 – Ballantine's 17-Year-Old
Ballantine's 17-Year-Old swept aside all single malt rivals this year, taking the prestigious Jim Murray's Whisky Bible Award for 2011. Ballantine's 17 proved to be a unique expression that put together many whisky styles in a majestic fashion. The long maturation of Ballantine's 17 provides an extra depth of flavor and character to this blend. The blended scotch whisky is characterized by a subtle smokiness and its fruity and velvety texture.
2012 – Old Pulteney 21-Year-Old
Old Pulteney 21-Year-Old was named the World Whisky of the Year in Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2012. A single malt from the northernmost mainland distillery in Scotland, Old Pulteney 21-Year-Old is exceptionally well-matured. Although not readily available anymore, the expression is considered one of the world's best non-peated whiskies. Old Pulteney 21 offers an explosion of vitality, charisma, and class, with its smooth, distinct citrus and butterscotch after taste.
2013 – Jameson Irish Whiskey
For most people trying Irish whiskey for the first time, Jameson is the default springboard. Jameson tends to rank among the top Irish whiskey blends, and it's only getting better with age. Jameson bagged the Irish Blend of Year in Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2013. The whiskey is renowned for its affinity with ginger ale and remains an award-winning blend to date. Full of floral notes, the whiskey offers a palate of fresh and cooked orchard fruits with hints of vanilla cream.
2014 – Glenmorangie 1993 Ealanta
Released in 2013, Glenmorangie's annual Private Edition, Ealanta, is among their small-batch wood experiments. Glenmorangie 1993 Ealanta has been full-term matured in designer casks, made from heavily toasted new white oak. Glenmorangie 1993 Ealanta won Scotch Whisky of the Year & Single Malt of the Year in Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2014. The expression is all about orange zest, tasting like candied orange, tropical fruit and a touch of vanilla. It has the all-pervading sweetness that comes from fresh oak and has a complex, ethereal finish.
2015 - Highland Park Loki
A part of the Valhalla Collection, Highland Park Loki represents the shape-shifting nature of trickster god Loki. Highland Park Loki is aged 15 years, and the bottle is presented in a unique Viking longship-inspired wooden frame. Like its namesake, the nose and palate shift around in the glass, revealing candied orange peel and a refined version of the balsamic note from other Highland Park expressions. Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2015 rated Highland Park Loki as the Single Malt of the Year.
2016 – Johnnie Walker Black Label
Johnnie Walker Black Label is an iconic expression. Its square bottle makes it one of the most recognizable Scotch whiskies in the world. The Black Label offers a silkier delivery with winter spice and treacle and hints of white pepper and citrus. The expression is rich and full of woody and spicy notes, including hints of barley, cereal and creamy toffee. Johnnie Walker Black Label won the 5-12 Year category for Best Blended Scotch Whiskies in 2016.
2017 – Chivas Regal 18-Year-Old
Chivas 18 year old is an incredibly complex yet refined expression, offering a blend of 85 flavor notes in every sip. This exceptionally smooth Scotch results from the persistent desire for perfection by the House of Chivas Regal. Velvety, with hints of dark chocolate, dried fruit, and buttery toffee, Chivas 18 is a multi-layered expression that sensualizes your nose and palate. Chivas Regal won the 13-18 Year category for Best Blended Scotch Whiskies in 2016.
2018 – Paul John Kanya
The Paul John Distillery has been creating some of the best Indian whisky blends in recent years. The Paul John Kanya is a single malt whisky with earthy, feminine sensuousness. Paul John Kanya is matured for 7 years in American white oak casks and offers delectable citrusy spice and tropical aromas complemented by creamy butterscotch sweetness on the palate. The whisky won the Asian Whisky of the Year in Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2018.
2019 – Amrut Greedy Angels 8-Year-Old
Named so because Angel's share in South India, where Amrut is produced and bottled, is around 12 percent. That's at least six times more than Scottish Highlands, which means Amrut Greedy Angels has a flavor profile far beyond its maturity. The results of this accelerated maturation are pretty evident in the whisky's notes of tropical fruit, red licorice, and gentle spice. Thanks to Amrut Greedy Angels 8-Year-Old, Indian whiskies took home the Asian Whisky of the Year once again in Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2019.
2020 – Dewar's Signature 25-Year-Old
An elder expression from Dewar's, the Indian whisky distiller, the Signature 25 is decanted into oak casks for further maturation after blending. The result is a sophisticated and elegant whisky that thrives on the tongue. Dewar's Signature 25 offers a nose and palate of rich apple, apricot, and flowers with honey smoke, topped off by a slow, heady finish. Dewar’s Signature won in the 19-25 Year category for Best Blended Scotch Whiskies in 2020.
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