A complete of 5 whiskeys, 4 Irish whiskeys and one Japanese whisky, have been awarded the coveted Gold Outstanding medal on the 2022 International Wine and Spirits Competition (IWSC). Eighty-five, predominantly UK based mostly, judges evaluated over 4,000 spirits entrants throughout a dozen main classes.
The IWSC is an annual wine and spirits competitors. Founded in 1969 by Anton Massel, it has grown to develop into one of many largest such competitions on the planet. Spirits are evaluated on a 100-point scale and awards are given out for Gold Outstanding (98-100 factors), Gold (95-97 factors), Silver (90-94 factors) and Bronze (85-89 factors).
Iconic Irish whiskey manufacturers Redbreast and Teeling dominated the Irish whiskey class. Redbreast received Gold Outstanding medals for it 21 YO and 27 YO Single Pot Still Irish Whiskeys. Both whiskeys are triple distilled. Teeling received for its 30 YO and 32 YO Irish Single Malt Whiskey – two of the oldest Irish single malt whiskeys commercially out there.
The Redbreast 21 YO expression is produced in restricted portions and is usually laborious to search out. The whiskey is a mix of pot nonetheless whiskeys between 21 and 25 years previous, which have been matured in a mix of ex-bourbon and Oloroso Sherry casks. The barrels that comprise the mix are handpicked by Redbreast’s Master Blender Billy Leighton. The result’s a basic expression of Irish pot nonetheless whiskey.
The Judging panel described the whiskey as:
This is fantastically elegant and masterfully approachable. The underlying fruit aromatics of peach, apricot, pineapple and lychee are balanced by a sensible woodiness. Completed by flavours of tarte tatin and floras, a pinch of baking spice leaves you wanting extra.
The Redbreast 27 YO is the oldest expression within the Redbreast core vary. The whiskey is matured in casks that beforehand held Ruby Port. The result’s a surprising whiskey with an unimaginable array of fruit flavors, starting from crimson berries to stone and tropical fruits.
The Judging panel described the whiskey as:
Expressive aromatics of crimson fruits, mango, guava, and Christmas cake baking spices. Boasts a wealthy, stunning texture inside its luxurious palate. A refined fieriness punctuates the decadently lengthy end. Luxurious, and exceptionally made.
Also profitable a Gold Outstanding medal was Teeling, 30 YO, Platinum Single Malt. One of the oldest single malt whiskeys in Ireland, it is a double distilled whiskey produced in 1991, which is matured for 20 years in ex-bourbon barrels, then transferred to Sauterne casks for a further 10+ years of maturation earlier than being bottled.
To put the date in perspective, the whiskey was distilled 4 years after John Teeling based the Cooley Distillery (1987) and effectively earlier than the revival of the Irish whiskey trade. Jack Teeling, who alongside together with his brother Stephen based the Teeling Distillery in Dublin in 2012, would have been round 15 years previous on the time. Only 4,000 bottles of the 30 YO single malt have been made out there.
The Judging Panel described the whiskey as:
Sherried nostril with an abundance of sweetness. The flavour profile is so huge and superbly built-in with notes of spice, orange, burnt wooden, and previous leather-based. The vary of flavours evolves on the palate with magnificence of honey.
Teeling additionally received a Gold Outstanding medal for its 32 YO Single Rum Cask Maturation Single Malt Irish Whiskey. The whiskey was distilled in 1989 and matured in ex-rum casks earlier than being completed for 3 years in barrels that beforehand contained Pedro Ximénez (PX) Sherry.
PX is a kind of Sherry made out of partially rasinated grapes. Thick and viscous, virtually syrupy-like, it imparts distinctive notes of golden raisin, date and fig to whiskeys.
This expression comprises among the oldest single malt Irish whiskeys ever bottled. Only 750 bottles have been launched. An earlier launch of the 32 YO expression was matured in simply rum barrels with none cask ending in PX casks. There can be a 37 YO Teeling Irish Single Malt Whiskey. Limited to simply 175 bottles, it’s not possible to search out.
The distillery has not disclosed the supply of the whiskey in its ultra-aged single malts besides to verify that it’s double distilled and that the malt was barely peated. At the time, the one distillery that was producing double distilled single malt whiskey was Cooley; so its presumably the supply.
The Judging Panel described the 32 YO whisky as:
A pleasant mix with an intense and sophisticated aroma and palate. High apple on the nostril with a cognac nuance. Tropical fruits on the palate, suppose pineapple and apricot. Rich, warming and oily with a sublime earthy mouthfeel. Wonderful.
Both whiskeys can be found within the US however may be very troublesome to search out. The finest worth, at lower than half of the standard US worth, is direct from the Celtic Whiskey Shop, Ireland’s preeminent whiskey retailer.
The one exception to the close to Irish sweep of the world whisk(e)y class was the Nagahama Distillery Bordeaux Red Wine Cask 1564 Single Malt Whisky. Remarkably that is solely a 3 YO whisky, a surprising accomplishment.
The Nagahama Distillery, a part of the Nagahama Roman Beer Company Ltd, is one in all Japan’s smallest and latest distilleries. Founded in 2016, it’s positioned in Nagahama City on the shores of Lake Biwa, Japan’s freshwater pearl capital. The wash nonetheless has a capability of just one,000 liters and the spirit nonetheless an excellent tinier capability of solely 500 liters.
The whisky is bottled at a cask energy of 52.5% ABV in 500 ml bottles. It is just not but out there within the US however may be ordered through Japanese net retailer Dekanta.
The Judging Panel described the whisky as:
Very mellow in type with roasted pineapple, vanilla, cinnamon and spice flavours that give weight and beautiful complexity. There are stone fruits in the direction of the end and a layer of heat honey gently lingers.
The IWSC 2022 Gold Outstanding medalists on the planet whisk(e)y class represents among the most excellent whiskies out there on the planet immediately. The close to Irish sweep of the class can be compelling proof that Irish whiskey is not only thriving however that it has returned to its historic position among the many world’s finest whiskies.