Australians have scooped major trophies at the World Whiskies Awards and Icons of Whisky Global Awards, with The Whisky List’s Emma Cookson winning 2023’s Global Communicator of the Year, Whisky & Alement’s Lachlan Watt taking out Global Bar Manager of the Year and Whipper Snapper Distillery’s Upshot Red Corn crowned World’s Best Corn Whiskey.
The whisky industry’s finest gathered at The Merchant Taylors’ Hall in London on March 30 for the Whisky Magazine Awards 2023.
This year’s announcement represents the culmination of a rigorous blind-judging process that saw more than 200 expert judges from around the globe assess more than 1500 different whiskies from over 40 countries.
The World Whiskies Awards named its World’s Best winners across 23 categories of whisky, including single malt, bourbon, blended, rye, pot still and design.
World Whiskies Awards Global Winners 2023
World’s Best Single Malt – M&H, Elements Sherry Cask
World’s Best Single Cask Single Malt – Glen Scotia, First Fill Bourbon Cask No. 372
World’s Best Small Batch Single Malt – J.J. Corry, The Flintlock No. 3
World’s Best Blended – Breckenridge, High Proof Bourbon Whiskey
World’s Best Canadian Blended – Gibson’s Finest, Venerable
World’s Best Blended Limited Release – Ichiro’s Malt & Grain, Blended Japanese Whisky 2023
World’s Best Blended Malt – Taketsuru, Pure Malt
World’s Best Bourbon – The Representative, Bourbon
World’s Best Finished Bourbon – Ironroot Republic, Apotheosis
World’s Best Small Batch Bourbon – Elijah Craig, Barrel Proof C922
World’s Best Single Barrel Bourbon – Tumblin’ Dice, Single Barrel
World’s Best American Whiskey – Storm King Distilling Co., Side Gig Whiskey
World’s Best Tennessee – Jack Daniel’s, Bonded
World’s Best Corn – Upshot, Red Corn Whiskey
World’s Best Wheat – Lone Elm, 4 Years Old Single Barrel
World’s Best Rye – Millstone, 100 Rye
World’s Best Pot Still – Macaloney’s Island Distillery, Kildara Signature Selection
World’s Best Grain – Hwayo, X. Premium
World’s Best Single Cask Single Grain – Rare Auld, Invergordon 32 Years Old
World’s Best Single Cask Single Rye – Stauning, Rye Maple Syrup Single Cask No. 517
World’s Best New Make & Young Spirit – Niigata Kameda, New Pot Peated
World’s Best Flavoured – Tullamore D.E.W., Honey
World’s Best Design & Best Bottle Design – Cù Bòcan, 15 Years Old
Australia’s Global Icons
From bartenders to brand ambassadors, chefs to visitor attraction managers, the Icons of Whisky awards honour the people who work tirelessly to produce and promote whisky, along with the very best shops, bars, visitor attractions and agencies.
The Global winners were chosen by an expert panel from a shortlist of Regional Winners of Icons competitions that identified the shining stars of America, Ireland, India, Scotland and the Rest of the World.
Whisky Magazine editor-at-large Christopher Coates said: “The 17th annual Icons of Whisky awards saw the stiffest competition yet. The experiences offered by the top whisky bars, retailers and attractions today are truly world-class – and have become bywords for hospitality and tourism excellence beyond just the drinks sphere.
“Meanwhile, whisky professionals – whether they are makers, ambassadors, bartenders, marketers or retailers – are truly going above and beyond to make the category inclusive and fun, while also delivering the education required to maintain whisky’s status as the world’s most respected and valued spirit category.”
Icons of Whisky Global Winners 2023
Distiller of the year – Heaven Hill Brands
Master Distiller/Master Blender of the year – Gregg Glass, Whyte & Mackay
Craft Producer of the year – Chattanooga Whiskey
Sustainable Distillery of the year – Stauning Whisky
Distillery Manager of the year – Tyler Pederson, Westland Distillery
Visitor Attraction of the year – Johnnie Walker Princes Street
Cooperage of the Year – Casknolia
Cooper of the year – Andy Moore, Loch Lomond Cooperage
Single Estate of the year – Lochlea Distillery
Visitor Attraction Manager of the year – Lisa Jameson, Teeling Whiskey
Independent Bottler of the year – Lost Lantern Spirits
Campaign Innovator of the year – Glenmorangie
Brand Innovator of the year – Waterford Distillery
World Whisky Brand Ambassador of the year – Koray Kaan Özdemir, Paul John Whisky
Scotch Whisky Brand Ambassador of the year – Mark Thomson, William Grant & Sons
Irish Whiskey Brand Ambassador of the year – Chris Hayes, Teeling Whiskey
American Whiskey Brand Ambassador of the year – Cam Dawson, Brown-Forman
Communicator of the year – Emma Cookson
PR Agency of the year – SPEY
Design Agency of the year – Nude Brand Creation
Chef of the year – Arun Sundararaj, The Taj Mahal
Bartender of the year – James Lin, Kavalan Whisky Bar
Bar Manager of the year – Lachlan Watt, Whisky & Alement
Whisky Hotel Bar of the year – Clive’s Classic Lounge
General Manager (Hotel) of the year – Eddie Langton, Kilkenny Whiskey Guild
Whisky Bar of the year – Bourbons Bistro
Whisky Bar Group of the year – Kilkenny Whiskey Guild
Buyer of the year – Ally Alpine, Celtic Whiskey Shop
The Whisky List said Emma Cookson’s prestigious Global Communicator of the Year award recognised her “exceptional talent and contribution to the whisky industry, especially with her work promoting Aussie whisky”.
Whisky & Alement said it “couldn’t be more proud” of Lachlan Watt for winning Global Bar Manager of the Year.
“Congratulations to all who made the cut in the ‘Rest of the World’ category, we’re blessed to be part of an industry that surrounds us with such inspirational people who shape the industry,” the bar said.