The Whisky Advocate Awards exist to recognize excellence in the world of whisky. Now in its 19th year, the program is still simply about the world’s greatest whiskies and distilleries, and the individuals who make and promote them.
As always, these awards are not simply assigned to the whiskies that get the highest ratings in our reviews. The winners might be the highest-rated, or they might instead be the most significant, the most important, or represent a new direction for a category or niche. The awards process is not, in short, a mere numbers-based formula. It is recognition of a combination of excellence, innovation, tradition, and…simply great-tasting whisky. Our Buying Guide reviewers reach a consensus on the awards. We’re happy to welcome our new Canadian whisky reviewer, Davin de Kergommeaux, to that group.
These awards are the oldest and longest-running annual whisky awards program. We taste and sample over the course of the year, at year’s end we consider and confer, and then we make our decisions based solely on the merits of the whiskies…as we have done for nineteen years. We give you our word: that’s how it will continue to be. Enjoy!
Artisan Whiskey of the Year: Corsair Triple Smoke
American Whiskey of the Year: Four Roses 2012 Limited Edition Small Batch
Canadian Whisky of the Year: Lot No. 40 2012 Release
Irish Whiskey of the Year: Yellow Spot
Japanese Whisky of the Year: Yamazaki Mizunara bottled 2012
World Whisky of the Year: Millstone Sherry Cask 12 year old
Blended Whisky/Blended Malt of the Year: Blue Hanger 6th Release
Speyside Single Malt of the Year: Balvenie Tun 1401 Batch 5
Islay Single Malt of the Year: Lagavulin 21 year old Special Release 2012
Highland Single Malt of the Year: Glenmorangie Pride 1981
Lowlands/Campbeltown Single Malt of the Year: Auchentoshan 1979 Oloroso Sherry Matured
Distiller of the Year: William Grant & Sons
Lifetime Achievement Award: Barry Crockett of Midleton