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The World’s Best Whiskeys: 2022 Las Vegas Global Spirits Awards

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Now in its sixth year, the Las Vegas Global Spirits Awards (LVGSA) is Nevada’s largest and most prestigious spirits competition. The city is a hotbed of innovation in mixology. Its sophisticated food and bar scene, coupled with being one of the world’s largest beverage markets, has a far-reaching influence on the global spirits industry. For many emerging craft brands, securing distribution in the vital Las Vegas market is usually one of the first and critical steps to achieving a national footprint.

The LVGSA has just announced the winners of the whiskey category in the 2022 competition. A total of eight whiskeys were rated best in their class. MacNair’s Lum Reek, 10 YO, Cask Strength was awarded Best in Show and Best Scotch Whisky.

MacNair’s is a whiskey brand owned by The GlenAllachie Distillers Co. It is a blended malt consisting of single malts from secret distilleries in Speyside and elsewhere in the Scottish Highlands blended with single malt from GlenAllachie. The blend consists entirely of single malts and contains no grain whiskey. Both peated and unpeated malts are used in the blend.

The name Lum Reek is an old Scottish term for chimney smoke. It is part of a traditional expression; long may lum reek or long may your chimney smoke – a way of wishing someone a long, healthy and prosperous life.

The jury described the whiskey as exhibiting:

Fruity, medicinal and slightly spicy notes on the nose. Sweet, slightly drying and spicy on the palate. A little hot and peppery. The long finish offers layered complexity and a hint of smoke and earthiness.

Dewars won two platinum medals in the Scotch whiskey category for his 19 years, cask strength, and The signature blended Scotch whisky.

The award for Best Bourbon went to I Bourbon, Tennessee Straight Bourbon Whiskey. The official tasting note described the bourbon as:

Caramel, some butterscotch, with a hint of salt on the nose. Sweet, with notes of stone fruit and caramel on the palate. Lightly drying. Bitter note. Long fruity sweet finish.

Runner ups included Truman Reserve, Straight Bourbon Whiskey and Airport, Single Barrel, Cask Strength. Other runners-up included: Bull Creek Distillery, Cask 42; Garrison Brothers, Honey Dew Hye Texas and Guadalupe; Cathead Distillery, Old Soul Bourbon Small Batch, and Uncle Nearest, 1884 Small Batch Whiskey.

The highest ranked rye whiskey was Giant Texas, Straight Rye Whiskey 100 Proof. Giant Texas was also a runner-up with his Proud Goat Straight Rye Whiskey, just like Bently Heritage Estate Distillery, Rye Whiskey.

The top ranked American Blended Whiskey was West Bottoms Whiskey Company, Kansas City Whiskey, Blended Rye and Bourbon Whiskey. The jury described the whiskey as:

Hint of smoke, fruity and sweet on the nose and in the mouth. Smooth with a long finish and lingering notes of stone fruit.

The best Irish whiskey was Gelston’s Irish Whiskey 12 YO. Gelston is a NAS, Irish single malt. The official tasting note described it as showing:

In the nose floral, tropical and stone fruit notes. Smooth, fruity, with stone fruit and some tropical flavors with some licorice. Long, sweet, fruity finish.

The Best World Whiskey award went to Krauss Distillery, Sulm Valley Whiskey. An unexpected winner, Krauss is an Austrian craft distillery. The jury described the whiskey as:

Waxy, leather and fruit notes on the nose and palate. A long and sweet finish with stone and tropical fruits, drying and peppery.

Runners-up in the world whiskey category included: Indri Single Malt Indian Whiskey, Trini The Three Wood; Keeper’s Heart Whiskey, Irish + Bourbon Blend; and Yamato, Limited Edition 5-8 YO.

The presidential award went to: Starward Whiskey, Two-Fold, Wheated Australian Blended Whiskey. The official tasting note described it as:

Fruity and slightly spicy on the nose. Sweet, smooth, with stone fruit and tropical flavors on the palate. Long sweet fruity finish.

The 2022 LVGSA produced an eclectic mix of winners ranging from well-known historic brands to little-known craft distilleries. More than a dozen countries were represented on the whiskey jury, convincing proof that the whiskey quality revolution is now a global phenomenon.

cheers

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