The World Whiskies Awards 2023 announced the winners for some of its most coveted categories for the year 2023 on March 30 in London at Merchant Taylor’s Hall. One of the most renowned awards in the whisky world, the awards focus on the World’s Best and country winners in the World Whiskies Awards and the Icons of Whisky From bartenders to brand ambassadors, chefs to visitor attraction managers, the Icons of Whisky Awards honour the people who work tirelessly to produce and promote whisky, along with the very best shops, bars, visitor attractions and agencies.
This year however, things took an interesting turn…. the grand prize for the World’s Best Single Malt went not to producers from the major malt-making regions of Scotland, Ireland or Japan. Instead, it was collected by M&H Elements Sherry Cask out of Tel Aviv in Israel, and The Representative Bourbon was awarded the title of World’s Best Bourbon. Among this year’s top winners, Heaven Hill Brandstook home the title of Distiller of the Year, and Whyte & Mackay’s Gregg Glass was named Master Blender of the Year. To celebrate World Whisky Day, LuxeBook has put together a list of some of the top World Whiskies Awards Global Winners 2023.
World Whiskies Awards Global Winners 2023
World’s Best Single Malt: M&H Elements Sherry Cask
The distillery, formerly known as Milk & Honey, won the accolade for its Sherry Cask expression—non-chill filtered and bottled at 46% ABV and distilled by head distiller Tomer Goren. Initially released in mid-2020, M&H Sherry Cask was part of the brand’s Elements series which focuses on unique components of maturation. It is the first whisky ever to be aged in Kosher sherry casks from the Jerez region of Spain. In the hot and arid Middle Eastern climate, the application of this cooperage has imbued the underlying whisky with a thumping melody of red fruit, dark chocolate and tobacco.
World’s Best Single Cask Single Malt: Glen Scotia, First Fill Bourbon Cask No. 372
Glen Scotia Single Cask distilled in 2009 and aged for 13 years exclusively in a first-fill bourbon barrel is the World’s Best Single Cask Single Malt. Bottled in 2022 with only 218 bottles available, this remarkable unpeated Single Cask liquid (56.4% ABV) offers aromas of warming oak spice and fresh vanilla, which intermingle with basked red apple and caramelised banana. On the palate, there are hints of dark chocolate and spicy ginger before a smooth salted caramel and cherry compote finish. World’s Best Blended: Breckenridge, High Proof Bourbon Whiskey
The Blended Bourbon Whiskey, but with a twist was bottled at a gripping 105 proof. Winning an award at WWA 2023 the whisky offers a wild ride through rich, dark caramel and toasted almonds, burnt Baker’s chocolate and dried orange peel, with a lingering finish of vanilla and spice. A masterful combination of mouthful flavours. The Bourbon Whiskey has a deep, burnt orange hue. World’s Best Blended Limited Release: Ichiro’s Malt & Grain, Blended Japanese Whisky 2023
Every year, Chichibu Distillery rolls out an annual limited-edition batch of its white-label Malt & Grain bottling. This year, the 2023 limited edition cinched the title of Best Blended Limited Release. Ichiro’s Malt & Grain Blended Japanese Whisky Limited Edition 2023 is a blend of single malts from Chichibu Distillery together with casks sourced from Japan by Ichiro Akuto. World’s Best Blended Malt: Taketsuru, Pure Malt
The Taketsuru Pure Malt is a blend of malt whiskies from various distilleries including the Yoichi and Miyagikyo distilleries. The Taketsuru Pure Malt label was created in honour of Masataka Taketsuru and balances light-bodied sweetness with the added complexity of smokiness. World’s Best Bourbon: The Representative, Bourbon
The World’s Best Bourbon title was taken home by The Representative: a 4-year-old, 115-proof expression, sourced from MGP in Indiana and bottled by Proof and Wood. There are brilliant cherry and treacle notes in the finish that are unusual for the distillery. World’s Best Tennessee: Jack Daniel’s, Bonded
A must-try for fans of Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7. Bonded takes the classic recipe of 80% corn, 12% malted barley, and 8% rye and dials up the intensity thanks to the higher ABV. Barrels were hand selected for their unique and particular characteristics, and caramel, oak and baking spice notes are joined by stewed fruits sprinkled with brown sugar. World’s Best Corn: Upshot, Red Corn Whiskey
This rare heirloom variety is also known as ‘Jimmy Red’. Compared to the regular Upshot which uses yellow corn, red corn doesn’t carry the heavier vanilla or spice notes. A lighter, more gentle character carrying new honey, apple, and toffee flavours developed with a creamier mouth feel. This is the first red corn whiskey in Australia and, as always, it is perfect for enjoying across seasons. Bottles will be hand signed by Master Distiller Jimmy McKeown and there are only 900 bottles in total. World’s Best Wheat: Lone Elm, 4 Years Old Single Barrel
With 60% ABV, Lone Elm’s, 4 Years Old Single Barrel is specially selected barrels by the master distiller and bottled at barrel proof making it a unique and distinct full-bodied whiskey. Tasting notes include dark cherry, stone fruit beginnings with touches of currant and cocoa, finished with after tones of oak, vanilla, saddle leather and hints of tobacco.
World’s Best Rye: Millstone, 100 Rye
Millstone’s unusually long 11-day fermentation production process of controlling the development of this rye from grain to glass has made the bottle earn the title of World’s Best Rye from the World Whiskies Award. The nose has rich notes of citrus fruit and spices with delicate tones of honey combined with vanilla and oak. The taste is richly fruity, with honey sweetness and delicate spicy notes and a long peppery vanilla and oak finish.
World’s Best Pot Still: Macaloney’s Island Distillery, Kildara Signature Selection
Kildara is a combination of Kentucky Bourbon, Spanish Oloroso, virgin American, and Spanish Pedro Ximénez (PX) casks. The result is a full-bodied, triple-distilled single potstill, island whisky. The palate is velvety-soft, resplendent with full-bodied Sherry and tropical fruit. Oatmeal develops into oak spices, coffee, dark chocolate orange, nectarines, stewed plums, blackcurrant, red currant and sultana’s, coming together as sweet dark fruitcake and honey. The finish presents dried fruit with a hint of salt and dulse, lingering oak and more Sherry, ending with hazelnut and almond raspberry pie with a drizzle of dark chocolate. World’s Best Grain: Hwayo, X. Premium
The Hwayo X. Premium is a single-grain whisky made from a short grain Japonica rice. The whisky was aged for 5 years in American oak barrels and finished for 6 months in an ongi, a Korean earthenware port traditionally used for fermentation. The term Hwa means fire and yo means nobility in Korean, reflecting a focus on honouring Korea’s long tradition of distillation through the production of rice whiskies.
World’s Best New Make & Young Spirit: Niigata Kameda, New Pot Peated
Niigata Kameda New Pot Peated has won World’s Best New Make & Young Spirit. The quality of their new make has turned quite a lot of heads here in Japan so there’s no surprise it also has international appeal. World’s Best Flavoured: Tullamore D.E.W. Honey
Lively on the nose with new oak, raspberries and cinnamon, with a palate rich with cereals, caramel and pecan nuts. There’s a subtle vegetal quality along with sweet spices, which lead into a medium-length finish World’s Best Design & Best Bottle Design: Cù Bòcan, 15 Years Old
The artistic bottle encases a rich, full-bodied whisky. The nose brings notes of caramel and chocolate. The complex palate brings a soft muskiness with hints of leather and spice together with sherry notes with an added earthiness and a hint of peat. This is a rich and decadent whisky yet balanced throughout.
World’s Best Limited Edition Design: The Craft Irish Whiskey Co.
The company behind the world’s most expensive whiskey, The Craft Irish Whiskey Co. has released a limited run of bottles from its award-winning ultra-rare whiskey portfolio, including The Devil’s Keep which has won the award for the World’s Best Limited-Edition Design. The Devil’s Keep, at Selfridges, with a limited run of just 12 bottles available in store and online priced at £12,400 each and is an ultra-rare, triple distilled, 29.9-year-old single malt whiskey.