There’s a first time for everything—and that includes the World Whiskies Awards. At the 2019 edition, Teeling Whiskey Co. went where no Irish distiller had gone before by taking Best Single Malt for its 24-year-old Vintage Reserve. The Dublin-based outfit released only 5,000 bottles of this critical fave, aged in bourbon casks before a stint in Sauternes barrels.
OK, but how did Ireland keep Scotland off the podium? “Beautiful nose of orange peel, chocolate truffle and nuts. Caramel as well,” the judges said. “Full-bodied with fruity pineapple, honey and salted caramel. Creamy on the palate with hints of new leather. Long lasting finish with vanilla, fruity pear and apple notes.” Right.
Sneaking into first place
Japanese whisky topped several taste categories, among them Best Blended Limited Release (Ichiro’s Malt & Grain) and Best Blended Whisky (21-year-old Suntory Whisky Hibiki). Best Rye? Germany’s no-age-statement Stork Club Straight Rye Whiskey.
Best Bourbon went to the 130th Anniversary 2018 Limited Edition Small Batch by Kentucky-based Four Roses. But we’re most intrigued by the World’s Best New Make, Curious peat-smoked malted from Denmark’s Stauning Whisky, partly because the tasting notes refer to a sneaker-esque rubberiness on the palate. Doesn’t sound like a shoe-in.