Whisky Advocate’s 20th Annual Awards

The Whisky Advocate Awards exist to recognize excellence in the world of whisky. Now in its 20th 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. 

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 twenty years. We give you our word: that’s how it will continue to be. Enjoy!

Craft Whiskey of the Year: Few Spirits Rye

American Whiskey of the Year: Four Roses 2013 Limited Edition Small Batch

Canadian Whisky of the Year: Wiser’s Legacy

Irish Whiskey of the Year: Redbreast 21 year old

Japanese Whisky of the Year: Yoichi 1988 single cask

World Whisky of the Year: Kavalan Solist ex-Bourbon Cask

Blended Whisky/Blended Malt of the Year: The Big Peat Christmas Edition 2013

Speyside Single Malt of the Year: Macallan Ruby

Islay Single Malt of the Year: Kilchoman 2007

Highland Single Malt of the Year: Talisker Storm

Lowlands/Campbeltown Single Malt of the Year: Kilkerran Work in Progress 5 Sherry Wood

Distiller of the Year: Diageo

Lifetime Achievement Award: Michael Urquhart of Gordon & MacPhail

More From Awards