The best Scottish whiskeys according to the 2021 International Wine and Spirits Competition

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There were a total of 37 Outstanding Gold Medalists and 140 Gold Medalists in the Scotch Whiskey category at the 2021 International Wine and Spirits Competition (IWSC) jury.

The IWSC is an annual wine and spirits competition. Founded in 1969 by Anton Massel, it has become the largest competition of its kind in the world. Spirits are rated on a 100 point scale and awards are given for outstanding gold (98-100 points), gold (95-97 points), silver (90-94 points) and bronze ( 85-89 points).

The competition employs more than 250 judges, from all over the world, who assess thousands of wines and spirits in 1,500 different categories.

Thirty of the gold medalists were single malt whiskeys, while seven were blended whiskeys.

The medalists ranged in a wide range of prices ranging from affordable retail brand expressions, like Lidl Great Britain Ltd, Ben Bracken Islay Single Malt Scotch Whiskey or Aldi Glen Marnoch 12 YO Speyside Single Malt, to bottlings of entry-level, like the 12-year-old Bowmore or the 14-year-old Aberlour, to more expensive bottlings, like the 25-year-old Bunnahabhain or the Balvenie Forty Rare Marriage.

Bottling strength ranged from standard ABV of 40% to barrel strength expressions as high as 61% +. Some of these phrases, like the Balvenie Rare Marriage series, are only released now and are not yet available in the United States. Traffic jams are reserved for travel retail, although they will eventually evolve towards wider distribution.

Unlike last year’s judgment, which saw an almost complete sweep of outstanding gold medals by Speyside distilleries, this year’s results have been more balanced, featuring distilleries from virtually all producing regions of whiskey from Scotland.

A full list of Gold Outstanding whiskeys is below:

Single Malts

Bowmore, 12 years old, Single Malt Scotch Whiskey, 40% ABV

Aberlour, 12 years old, Single Malt Scotch Whiskey, 40% ABV

Aberlour, 14 years old, Single Malt Scotch Whiskey, 40% ABV

Speyburn Distillery, 15 years old, Single Malt Scotch Whiskey, 46% ABV

Bunnahabhain, 25 years old, Small Batch, Single Malt Scotch Whiskey, 46.3% ABV

Aberlour, A’bunadh Single Malt Scotch Whiskey, 61% ABV

Ardbeg, 19 years old, 2020 edition, Traigh Bhan Single Malt Scotch Whiskey, 46.2% ABV

Isle of Arran Distillers, Arran Quarter Cask “The Bothy” Single Malt Scotch Whiskey, 56.2% ABV

Isle of Arran Distillers, Arran Sherry Cask “The Bodega” Single Malt Scotch Whiskey, 55.8% ABV

John Dewar & Sons, Aultmore, 18 years old, Single Malt Scotch Whiskey, 46% ABV

John Dewar & Sons, Aultmore, 21, Single Malt Scotch Whiskey, 46% ABV

Lidl Great Britain Ltd, Ben Bracken Islay Single Malt Scotch Whiskey, 40% ABV

Chivas Brothers, Caperdonich, 18 years old, Peated Whiskey, Single Malt Scotch Whiskey, 48% ABV

Chivas Brothers, Glen Keith, 25 years old, Single Malt Scotch Whiskey, 43% ABV

Aldi, Glen Marnoch, 12 years old, Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whiskey, 40% ABV

Ballantine’s Glenburgie, 15 years old, Single Malt Scotch Whiskey, 40% ABV

White & Mackay, Glencairn Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whiskey, 40% ABV

Glenmorangie, Signet, Ristretto Single Malt Scotch Whiskey, 46% ABV

Glenmorangie, The Lasanta, 12 years old, Single Malt Scotch Whiskey, 43% ABV

Glenmorangie, The Tribute, 16 years old, Single Malt Scotch Whiskey, 43% ABV

Ballantine’s Glentauchers, 23 years old, Single Malt Scotch Whiskey, 40% ABV

Tomatin, Highland 1978, Single Malt Scotch Whiskey, 47% ABV

Tomatin, Decades 2, Highland, Single Malt Scotch Whiskey, 46% ABV

Chivas Brothers, Longhorn, 18 years old, Single Malt Scotch Whiskey, 48% ABV

Glenglassaugh, Octaves Batch 2 Classic, Single Malt Scotch Whiskey, 44% ABV

Laphroaig Quarter Cask, Islay, Single Malt Scotch Whiskey, 48% ABV

Ian Macleod Distillers, Tamdhu, 10 years old, Gran Reserva, Single Malt Scotch Whiskey, 46% ABV

White & Mackay, Tamnavulin No. 1 French Cabernet Sauvignon Cask, Single Malt Scotch Whiskey, 40% ABV

William Grant & Sons Distillers, The Balvenie Doublewood, 12 years old, Single Malt Scotch Whiskey, 40% ABV

William Grant & Sons Distillers, The Balvenie Forty Rare Marriage, Single Malt Scotch Whiskey, 48.5% ABV

Scotch whiskey mixed

Matisse, 21 years old, Blended Scotch Whiskey, 40% ABV

Royal Salute, 62 Gun Salute, Blended Scotch Whiskey, 43% ABV

Clan Campbell, Dark Whiskey, Blended Scotch Whiskey, 40% ABV

William Grant & Sons Distillers, Grant’s Triple Wood, Blended Scotch Whiskey, 40% ABV

William Grant & Sons Distillers, House of Hazelwood, 18 years old, Blended Scotch Whiskey, 40% ABV

MacDuff International Islay Mist, 8 years old, Blended Scotch Whiskey, 40% ABV

Bardinet, Sir Edward’s Smoky Whiskey, Blended Scotch Whiskey, 40% ABV

A full list of all Scotch Whiskey Medalists is available on the results page of the IWSC website.

Sláinte


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