Taiwanese whisky named world’s best single malt in whisky awards

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A whisky from Taiwan has beaten others from Scotland and around the globe to be named best single malt in the World Whiskies Awards.

Kavalan Solist Vinho Barrique took the title at last night’s ceremony which also saw awards go to whiskies from Scotland, Japan, Ireland, France, Sweden, South Africa, Australia and the US.

Kavalan Solist Vinho Barrique, at 57.5% ABV, is produced by the King Car distillery in Taiwan by maturing the malt whisky in American oak barrels that previously held white and red wines.

Japanese distillery Nikka won the title of world’s best blended malt with its Taketsuru Pure Malt 17 Year Old while Ireland’s Redbreast Pot Still 15 Year Old was named world’s best pot-still whisky.

The award for best scotch blended malt went to Wemyss Malts’ limited-edition Velvet Fig which is made with selected single malts matured wholly in casks formerly used exclusively for oloroso sherry.

The title of best American whiskey went to Thomas H Handy Sazerac Straight Rye from the Buffalo Trace distillery in Kentucky.

The world’s best grain whisky was named as Darkness! North British 18 Year Old Oloroso Cask Finish from Scotland’s North British Distillery.

Whisky Magazine, which organises the annual awards, also inducted three people into its Whisky Hall of Fame: Jim Beveridge, the master blender for Johnnie Walker; Seiichi Koshimizu, whisky blender for Suntory; and Bill Lark, the founder of Lark Distillery in Tasmania, Australia.

Full list of winners

World’s best single malt: Kavalan Solist Vinho Barrique (Taiwan)
World’s best grain whisky: Darkness! North British 18 Year Old Oloroso Cask Finish (Scotland)
World’s best pot still whisky: Redbreast Pot Still 15 Year Old (Ireland)
World’s best flavoured whisky: Master of Malt 40 Year Old Speyside Whisky Liqueur (Scotland)
World’s best American whiskey: Thomas H Handy Sazerac Straight Rye (USA)
Best scotch blended malt: Wemyss Malts Velvet Fig (Scotland)
World’s best blended malt: Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt 17 Year Old (Japan)
Best African blended whisky: Three Ships Bourbon Cask Finish (South Africa)
Best European blended whisky: Black Mountain Whisky Selection BM No1 (France)
Best Irish blended whiskey: Tullamore Dew Phoenix
Best Japanese blended whisky: Suntory Hibiki 12 Year Old
World’s best blend: That Boutique-y Whisky Company Blended Whisky #1 (Scotland)
Best African single malt: Three Ships Single Malt 10 Year Old (South Africa)
Best American single malt: Balcones Texas Single Malt
Best Irish single malt: Teeling Single Malt
Best Australian single malt: Sullivan’s Cove French Oak Cask Matured
Best European single malt: Mackmyra Iskristall (Sweden)
Best Japanese single malt: Suntory Yamazaki 18 Year Old
Best Lowland single malt: Highland Harvest Single Malt Sauternes Wood
Best Highland single malt: Glenmorangie Extremely Rare 18 Year Old
Best Campbelltown single malt: Longrow 11 Year Old
Best Speyside single malt: Benriach 16 Year Old
Best Islands single malt: Ledaig 10 Year Old
Best Islay single malt: Ardbeg Kildalton

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