WHISKY Magazine has announced the winners of its biannual World Whiskey Awards. To get the full scoop, go here.
I was one of the judges for the North American leg. We tasted 43 whiskeys from the USA and Canada. Everything was blind but we did know categories. Ostensibly, we used a 10 point scale, but in reality we used a scale from 6.0 to 9.75, allowing quarter points.
The categories were: bourbon no age, bourbon 7 years and under, bourbon 8 years and older, US non-bourbon no age, US non-bourbon 7 years and under, US non-bourbon 8 years and older, Canadian 12 years and under, Canadian 13 years and older.
The overall competition started with 158 whiskeys. They named winners in each category, then chose from the category winners six "best of show" selections, including "Best American Whiskey."
The results for North America:
BEST AMERICAN WHISKEY: Baker's 7 Year Old
BEST BOURBON: Baker's 7 Year Old
BEST BOURBON NO AGE: Four Roses Single Barrel
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit
BEST BOURBON 7 YEARS AND UNDER: Baker's 7 Year Old
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Bulleit Bourbon
BEST BOURBON 8 YEARS AND OVER: Russell's Reserve
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Jim Beam Black
BEST NON-BOURBON AMERICAN WHISKEY: Bernheim Wheat
BEST NON-BOURBON AMERICAN WHISKEY NO AGE: Bernheim Wheat
BEST NON-BOURBON AMERICAN WHISKEY 7 YEARS AND UNDER: Sazarec Rye 6 Years Old
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Templeton Rye
BEST NON-BOURBON AMERICAN WHISKEY 8 YEARS AND OVER: Sazerac Rye 18 Years Old
HIGHLY COMMENDED: George Dickel No. 12
BEST CANADIAN WHISKY: XR Crown Royal
BEST CANADIAN WHISKY 12 YEARS AND UNDER: Forty Creek Small Batch Reserve
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Moutain Rock Whisky
BEST CANADIAN WHISKY 13 YEARS AND OVER: XR Crown Royal
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Gibson's 18 Year Old