Awards & Events

World Whiskies Awards 2008

This year's competition saw more than 200 whiskies do battle over three tasting rounds for the coveted titles of the best whiskies in the world.
By Rob Allanson
Visit www.whiskymag.com/awards/wwa/ for full resultsIt has been a hard fought competition this year, with some interesting and surprising results. There have been intensive rounds of tastings by Whisky Magazine’s independent editorial panel drawn from the best journalists and retailers across the world, and also by industry representatives made up of master blenders, distillers and brand ambassadors.To get to the final results three rounds of blind tastings were held.Round one was conducted by the editorial panel at their homes. The judges were simply sent sample bottles marked with the ABV and category.We split the whiskies up by regions and styles. The entries, which increased from last year’s competition, were then divided up among the judges, who then tasted and marked the spirits out of 10.The highest scoring whiskies in this round gave us the subcategory winners, for instance the best Speyside whisky 12 Years and under, which then went forward to the second round of tastings, held in London with some of the best noses in the industry judging them.The winners of this second round gave us our category winners, for instance best Highland whisky, which were then sent back to the editorial panel to do battle for the overall titles.The competition featured some eye-opening whiskies and the judges had a hard time separating the very good from the good. The scores reflected this struggle with some whiskies only beating their contemporaries by a few points.In some categories, particularly if only one whisky entered it was still put through the tasting wringer to make sure it passed the judges exacting standards and was deserving of the award.Our congratulations go to the winners and we hope that you will have fun exploring some of the whiskies that performed exceptionally this year.JUDGING PANELCHAIRMAN OF JUDGES
Dave Broom
EUROPE
Rob Allanson,Whisky Magazine
Thierry Benitah,La Maison du Whisky
Robin Laing
Charles MacLean
Martine Nouet
Dominic Roskrow
Keir Sword, Royal Mile Whiskies
USA
Charles Cowdrey
William Dowd
Mike Miller, Delilah’s
Tonya LeNell, LeNells
JAPAN
Masashi Goto,Main Malt bar
Nobuyuki Nakamura,Campbelltoun Loch bar
Koukichi Kuribayashi,Mejiro Tanakaya
Hideo Yamaoka, Shogakukan Inc.