World Whisky

Best World Whisky


The Fifty Best World Whisky Tasting 2023

The Tasting:
The Fifty Best held a “blind” tasting of 14 World whiskies with a panel of twelve judges. The order of service was established beforehand by lottery. Strict tasting rules were applied. The World whiskies were poured into fresh glasses from new sealed bottles, and served at room temperature. Each of the whiskies were judged and scored separately. Only ice water, unflavored unsalted crackers and chips were available to cleanse the palate.

The judges wrote down their impressions of each product on score sheets. The scoring was done on a 5-point system, with 5 as the highest. Double-Gold, Gold and Silver medals were awarded according to a set range of final point scores received from the judges. There were no Bronze medals awarded for this tasting. Medals are provided based entirely on merit and only to products judged worthy of such award.

The tasting notes below are summaries of the judges’ opinions, with all replicated commentary eliminated. The distilleries, countries of origin, alcohol proofs and other tidbits are identified for each brand. Clicking on the brands' names will link to their websites.


Brenne Ten French Single Malt Whisky
Aged 10 Years

(Charente, France)  96° prf
Distilled from heirloom barley. Aged in virgin French Limousin oak & ex-Cognac barrels.

Nose: Light caramel, vanilla, passion fruit, berries, apple, red apple, malt, almond, dark roast, coffee, floral, pine wood, oak.
Palate: Butterscotch, treacle, nougat, vanilla, honey, candied ginger, strawberry, apple, pear, orange, lime, citrus, floral, perfume, mint, black tea, bay leaf, cardamom, nutmeg, oak, wood, smoke, sherry, funky, creamy mouthfeel, soft, smooth.
Finish: Toffee, butterscotch, pastry dough, apricot, violet, floral, perfume, spearmint, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, wood, slightly tannic, great finish.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal

Brenne Ten French Single Malt Whisky Aged 10 Years

Fary Lochan Danish Single Malt Whisky
(Denmark)  101° prf
Aged in Oloroso Sherry hogshead & Islay Bourbon hogshead casks.

Nose: Toffee, caramel, Maillard reaction, burnt sugar, dried fruit, red apple, almond, nut, amaretto, malt, hops, warm spices, leather, peat, smoky, BBQ, char, oak.
Palate: Toffee, dark chocolate, caramel, dark sugar, honey, ripe apple, charred fruit, almond, bitter herbs, spice, jalapeño, pepper, green pepper, black pepper, old vines, earth, peaty, bark, woody, oak, burnt oak, charred oak, smoky, camp fire, char, leather, creamy, rich.
Finish: Lingering honey, molasses, burnt sugar, burnt raisins, ginger, leafy, spicy, wood, peat, smoke, charred wood, oak, leather, clean, flavorful.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal

Fary Lochan Danish Single Malt Whisky

Rampur Indian Single Malt Whisky
Select Vintage Cask 2023 Edition

(Radico Khaitan, India)  86° prf

Nose: Caramel, cocoa, malt, honey, dark raisins, plum, blackberry, apple, melon, pineapple, orange, light citrus, floral, perfume, mint, cinnamon, cooked nutmeg, wormwood, smoke, oak.
Palate: Chocolate, cocoa, malt, vanilla, sugar candy, honey, plum, rhubarb, apricot, mango, guava, orange, orange zest, orange flowers, roses, floral, herbal, hint of mint, thyme, cardamom, coriander, cinnamon, spice, almond, toasted oak, savory.
Finish: Caramel, toffee, sweet rhubarb, pear, tropical fruits, herbal leaf, herbal, subtle ginger, spicy, wood, oak, smoke, smooth, rich.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal

Rampur Indian Single Malt Whisky Select Vintage Cask 2023 Edition

Rauchkofel Single Malt Whisky
Sherry Cask Finished

(Austria)  86° prf

Nose: Caramel, dark sugar, vanilla, butter, toasted marshmallow, honey, dried fruit, raisins, orange peel, citrus, white flowers, gardenia, grain, malt, cinnamon, earth, woody, oak, round.
Palate: Caramel, vanilla, honey, pineapple, dried orange peel, orange zest, jasmine, gardenia, bell pepper, wheat, malt, nutty, clove, spice, pepper, hay, IPA, hoppy, tobacco, soft smoke, oak, autumn, smooth, creamy.
Finish: Vanilla, lingering honey, raisins, citrus, heavy nutmeg, peppery, coffee, toast, oak, integrated, round, full, nice, soft, smooth.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal

Rauchkofel Single Malt Whisky Sherry Cask Finished


Spirit of Hven MerCurious Corn Whisky
(Sweden)  91.2° prf
Matured in American virgin oak casks for between 3 & 8 years.

Nose: Caramel, toffee, butterscotch, sweet molasses, brown sugar, touch of vanilla, honey, jasmine, leather, smoky, savory.
Palate: Caramel, chocolate, vanilla, honey, dried pineapple, dried fruit, lemon zest, corn, warm bread, coffee, spice, soft oak, lovely balance, smooth.
Finish: Caramel, butterscotch, toffee, a touch of honey, dried fruit, berry, bread, spice, lingering pepper, smoky, consistent, rich, robust.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

Spirit of Hven MerCurious Corn Whisky

Royal Ranthambore Royal Crafted Whisky
Heritage Collection

(Radico Khaitan, India)  80° prf

Nose: Caramel, toffee, honey, corn, malt, nutty, pepper, mustard, iodine, moss, peat, smoke, maple wood, oak, rich.
Palate: Caramel, cocoa, vanilla, powdered sugar, honey, orange, lemon zest, smoky fruit, floral, grass, cereal, malt, saffron, clove, peppery, cork, oak forward, cedar, wood, smoky, sherry, creamy.
Finish: Treacle, orange, honey, floral, anise, malty, malt balls, pepper, lightly tannic, smoke, oak, smooth, soft, mild, very mellow, easy drinking.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

Royal Ranthambore Royal Crafted Whisky Heritage Collection

Kanosuke Single Malt Japanese Whisky
(Kanosuke Distillery, Japan)  96° prf
Aged in several varieties of oak barrels, and blended together after 3 years of maturation.

Nose: Toffee, treacle, caramel, raw honey, dried fruit, tropical fruit, berries, bergamot, citrus, smoked apples, perfume, nuts, dry leaves, iodine, light oak, cedar, sweet Irish whiskey.
Palate: Treacle, honey, cherry, dried fruit, orange, orange zest, citrus, ginger, spicy, nutty, sherry, light peat, smoky, oak, buttery, creamy, zesty, explosive.
Finish: Toffee, cocoa, spicy candied fruit, banana, orange, bergamot, coffee, hint of peat, smoky, lingering sweetness, nice, fresh, savory, easy drinking, delicious.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

Kanosuke Single Malt Japanese Whisky

Spirit of Hven Hvenus Rye Whisky
(Sweden)  91.2° prf
Blended from 42 American oak casks, then matured for between 3 & 6 years.

Nose: Caramel, toffee, dark chocolate, taffy, light vanilla, lemon zest, minty, cardamom, pepper, light wood, ight oak, port wine, soft.
Palate: Caramel, caramel corn, vanilla, honey, banana bread, corn, malty, grains, sunflower, warm spices, smoked wood, mix of oak & pine, well balanced, smooth, creamy.
Finish: Orange, orange zest, citrus fruit, candied ginger, sweet brown sugar, mocha, nutmeg, smoke, smooth, rich, zesty.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

Spirit of Hven Hvenus Rye Whisky

Black Whiskey
(Don Michael, Peru)  117.8° prf
Distilled from Andean Black Corn. Aged in American oak barrels.

Nose: Caramel, toffee, demerara, brown sugar, molasses, cola note, mocha, vanilla, candied fruit, raisins, dried fruit, red wheat, sweet nutmeg, clove, black olive, pickle, brine, char, oak, sherry.
Palate: Caramel, toffee, dark sugar, brown sugar, prune, raisins, dark cherry, pineapple, mint, walnuts, myrrh, deep clove, pepper, spicy, earth, smoke, oak, sherry.
Finish: Caramel, toffee, molasses, pineapple, mocha, almond, nutty, pepper, smoky, high alcohol, high proof, balanced, rich.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

Black Whiskey Don Michael

Spirit of Hven Tycho’s Star
Swedish Single Malt Whisky

(Sweden)  83.6° prf
Distilled from Pale Ale malt, chocolate malt & heavy peated whisky malt. Matured in air dried oak casks.

Nose: Caramel, brown sugar, floral, nutty, salt water, maritime, briny, iodine, peat, smoky, oak.
Palate: Buttery caramel, sugarcane, honey, lemon zest, grass, barley, toasted almond, nutty, iodine, salty, brine, maritime, peat, smoke, scotch mouthfeel.
Finish: Toffee, berries, oak, lingering smoke, like a peaty scotch, soft, delicate, layered flavors, great.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

Spirit of Hven Tycho’s Star Swedish Single Malt Whisky

Hunter Island Tasmanian Pot Still Whisky
(Tasmania)  104° prf
Distilled from malted barley, unmalted barley & oats. Tasmanian mountain water. Aged in American oak & ex-bourbon casks.

Nose: Toffee, dark chocolate, brown sugar, raisin bread toast, grain, Cheerios, blue corn, malt, walnut, floral, herbal, ginger, pepper, cinnamon, cardamom, Indian spices, incense.
Palate: Caramel, honey, raisin, corn, sourdough, almond, nutty, hint of mint, cinnamon, cardamom, allspice, nutmeg, spice, peppery, peaty, wood, well balanced, nicely balanced, creamy.
Finish: Toffee, caramel corn, banana, dark fruit, wheat, grain, herbal, cinnamon, baking spices, Indian spice, spicy, smooth.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

Hunter Island Tasmanian Pot Still Whisky


Penderyn Single Malt Welsh Whisky
Gold Range Sherrywood

(Wales, U.K.)  92° prf
Aged in ex-bourbon barrels & ex-Oloroso sherry casks.

Nose: Caramel, soft molasses, brown sugar, vanilla, honey, pear, citrus zest, ginger, floral, flowery, bright mint, tea leaf, cinnamon, nutty, cedar, oak.
Palate: Cocoa, malt, vanilla, honey, dried fruit, pineapple, pear, anise, ginger, ginger bread, grains, dried herbs, almond, walnut, earthy spice, pepper, white pepper, black pepper, toasty, oak, deep flavors.
Finish: Honey, raisins, tropical fruits, citrus, light corn, nutty, nutmeg, spice, pepper, oaky, soft, zesty, savory.

Silver Medal
Silver medal

Penderyn Single Malt Welsh Whisky Gold Range Sherrywood

East London Liquor Co. Single Malt Whisky
(England, U.K.)  94° prf.
Aged in ex-bourbon, new American oak & regenerated French oak barrels.

Nose: Caramel, toffee, malt, clotted cream, vanilla, honey, banana, light citrus, mint, potato, grains, white pepper, ocean, earth, light peat, musty, wood, oak, smoke, red sherry, rich.
Palate: Caramel, dark chocolate, malt, vanilla, honey, candied fruit, fresh honeysuckle, roses, anise, olives, herbs, bitter herbs, thyme, spice, black pepper, peppery, saline, fresh oysters, woody, cedar, oak, great mouthfeel, creamy.
Finish: Caramel, dark chocolate, cocoa, mocha, honey, candied fruit, malt, nutty, anise, slightly vegetal, mint, herbal, basil, spicy, nice, complex.

Silver Medal
Silver medal

East London Liquor Co. Single Malt Whisky

Brenne French Single Malt Whisky
Estate Cask

(Charente, France)  80° prf
Matured in French oak Cognac casks.

Nose: Banana, dried banana, banana candy, pineapple, guava, rum raisin, cherry candy, cotton candy, Smarties candy, bubblegum, white flowers, hint of mint, sweet vedalia onion, oak.
Palate: Banana, banana Midori, cherry pie, blackberry, blueberry, tropical fruits, rum raisin ice cream, bubblegum, vanilla, sweet cane, black licorice, mint, sweet onion, light spice, tobacco, brine, char, oak.
Finish: Banana, strawberry, lemon, citrus, Pez candy, mint, slightly spicy, super light, soft.

Silver Medal
Silver medal

Brenne French Single Malt Whisky Estate Cask



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