IWSC 2018 winning whiskies: the classics and the unusual
From a 45-year-old whisky that retails at £10,000 to a single malt produced in the Swiss Alps, the IWSC receives some of the finest and most unusual whiskies in the world.
Following the release of the competition’s spirits results this morning, over 70 IWSC medal winning whiskies will be on display at the IWSC Spirits Tasting in London today, including American, Irish and Scotch whiskies, as well as products from as far as Denmark, Australia, and Taiwan.
The aroma is of an old steam train pulling away from a vintage wooden platform, with the waft of new wool in the air and oak from old vintage travel trunks. The palate gives the warmth of an open fire in a Mayfair hotel room, as the sunshine warms the wood paneling and a cigar is lit in the corner. The finish is the decent down an oak staircase in a country manor to the warm summer afternoon, with jam sandwiches and black tea being served.
A warm and inviting nose of fireside embers, dark chocolate and rich leather. Cigar boxes and shoe polish, too. In the mouth there is an oily note of bitter orange, dark cocoa nips, a hit of robust cigar and some truffle notes. The finish is long, sweet and leathery.
A truly vintage aroma of old writing desks, cigars, parchment paper and fountain pen inkwells. The palate gives rich and ripe red apples, cherries, hard-set honey and oak spices. The spicy finish means the flavours linger for a long while after.
The aromas liquorice, rose petals, pineapples and hints of rum like sweetness. Tropical on the palate with strong flavours of vanilla oak with rich mouthfeel. Extremely complex finish with equal amounts of sweetness and savoury notes of liquorice, vanilla and umami.
Plenty of the usual Irish super premium aromas from hay to milk chocolate and bananas to fresh floral notes and citrus. However, this whiskey is all about the beautifully layered texture and the classy palate with superb balance and fantastically composed flavours next to each other without one dominating the other. A true class act.
A naturally smooth and rich whisky with a complex character. It is clean and complex with multi-layers of dried fruit, nuttiness and spices with some marzipan and vanilla touches.
A delicate spirit with a medium peaty character and a light golden tone.
Freshly cut pine and oak mix with cinnamon sticks and fresh mushrooms on the nose, leading to more oak on the palate with strong black tea, and wholemeal sourdough toast. The finish has spices and soft fruit stones.
Rich and dark, with notes of creamy stout and clotted cream. A thick mouthfeel accompanied by a delightful interaction between the lively, playful spirit and the deep and complex intensity of the wood. There's a lingering bitterness reminiscent of black stout on the finish.
Its remarkable sweet aroma is accompanied by its distinctive mellow taste.
Superb mouthfeel of rich creaminess. The oak delivers a soft, sweet, delectable butterscotch. Warm spices suffuse the toasted oak, and the slightest of saltiness ensures the friendliest of finishes. A very complex whisky.
Beautiful complex aromas of flinty wood and nuts like , walnut, warm pecan and roasted almonds. Lovely finish with hint of floral notes.
Featured image: The Balvenie.
- “As a start-up brand you focus hard on achieving credibility and creating awareness. Winning Gold Outstanding and the Mezcal Trophy provided us with a level of credibility and exposure that we simply could not have achieved on our own. The awards helped secure key listings in Harvery Nichols and Selfridges and certainly played a significant part in opening up dialogue with potential U.S importers and ultimately securing one. I thought hard about which competition to enter and what the return on that investment would be. I can say with absolute confidence that the IWSC was worth every penny.”David ShepherdFounder & Director, Corte Vetusto
- “IWSC is a very important competition to us in terms of showing consumers our quality. It's one of the competitions that we definitely enter on a yearly basis.”Ian ChangMaster Blender, Kavalan Distillery
- “Out of all of the awards, the IWSC is probably the most prestigious and most honest awards. You choose your judges very well and they're very good, honest, decent people. They do it for the love of the industry.”Sukhinder SinghMD, The Whisky Exchange
- “The IWSC is a very prestigious competition. The prestige is a great thing to be able to communicate to our customers who have great respect for it.”David PorterOperations & Buying, Lea & Sandeman
- “The IWSC represents everything, without a doubt. There's no better competition in the world where you can judge yourself not just against your countrymen but against the rest of the world.”Andy AndersonWinemaker, Takapoto Estate
- “Fantastic company and fantastic award . . . In the wine industry, having an award like this is such an accolade.”Claire GriffithsCommercial Director, Vina Cono Sur
- “It's one of the greatest international awards you can get. It's similar to an Oscar, if you like.”Lenz MoserWinemaker, Yantai Changyu Pioneer Company
- “Because of the number of international judges that are tasting the wines and the number of wines that are being entered, it’s a great privilege for us to receive this award. The history of the competition, the standing that it has amongst the international wine world and certainly amongst one’s peers, to be able to get an award at the IWSC means a lot. There are a lot of competitions around the world – this probably represents the top award you could get as a winemaker.”Gary & Kathy JordanWinemakers, Jordan Wine Estate
- “It’s a great honour to win especially as nowadays people are focusing on the quality not just the numbers, so it does mean a huge amount getting recognition from an institution as well sought after as the IWSC.”Chris BlandyOwner, Blandy's Wines
- “This will be a recognition that will help in building the brand further, and building its prestige around the world.”Victor FuentesDirector General, El Coto de Rioja S.A
- “The IWSC is a well renowned, well looked up to standard and a symbol of premium products so it’s a great achievement to win any award.”Andrea FreeboroughCellar Master, Nederburg Wines