A week ago London held World Whiskies Awards 2013 organized by The Whisky Magazine. Best 2013 whiskies were awarded and the results were quite exotic. Our beloved category World's Best Single Malt Whisky had a stellar winner (pardon the pun, it just had to be said). It was Ardbeg Galileo. The whisky was named after an experiment that tried to measure the impact of zero gravity on maturing new make Ardbeg whisky spirit. That means, some whisky was sent to SPACE. Ardbeg Galileo whisky is 12 years old and was matured in ex-bourbon and ex-marsala casks. The winner itself was not matured in space but it's still worth looking for because it is the best in the world and only costs around 200 euros.
Other categories had some interesting results as well.
Best blended whisky is Hibiki 21yo, again. Japan wins this category every year since 2007, except twice. Japanese are known for their consistency and quality. Whisky is obviously no exception.
Best blended malt this year was a japanese whisky as well. The name is a little quirky - Mars Maltage 3 plus 25. The whisky itself is 28 years old. Japan shows very good results in this category. Since 2007 only once they did not win the top prize. Every year except 2008 Nikka Taketsuru was the winner. Amazing how Scotland is being challenged in a totally "scottish" industry.
A South African (!) whisky won the top prize in the grain whisky category - Bain's Cape Mountain.
George T. Stagg, an insanely strong bourbon, won the award for being World's Best North American Whisky. It has earned some other awards before from some other well known experts.
The last but not least - World's Best Whisky Liqueur. We do not taste liqueurs as much as single malts but this one cannot be forgotten because our beloved Master of Malt and their Speyside Whisky Liqueur 40 Years Old won it this year.
Many other whiskies were awarded in the sub-categories, and the whole list of winners can be found in the Whisky Magazine webpage. Let us start the hunt for the World's Best Whiskies!
Glenfarclas whisky is known for it highly rated sherried expressions. The distillery is not really into experimenting. However, even they started doing a couple of different bottlings, together with other distilleries' trend of finishing, peating (even in Speyside and Lowland distilleries) and such.There were a couple of plain cask matured Family Cask Series whiskies, but this time they decided to do something a little different. After latest experiment of 43 year old Cognac cask Glenfarclas, now they announced a fully matured Port wood 1981 vintage single malt whisky.
The price of this Glenfarclas is very reasonable, taking into consideration some other well known distilleries where 1991 vintage single malt whisky can go up to 2000 pounds. This one is ONLY 280 pounds. That is really not bad, is it? It is said to be very sweet, fruity, with hints of exotic spices and woods. Sounds delicious, but it can be hard to come by as it is exclusively for UK and French markets.