A visit to Japan's Fuji Gotemba Distillery, Global Travel Retail special, a tour of US visitor centres, plus Icons of Whisky Rest of World results
The Icons mark a highlight in the whisky calendar and this year is noexception with the quality of companies entering the awards.
The Icons are designed to celebrate the people and places behind the greatest whiskies in the world. The product is judged in the World Whiskies Awards held later this year.
This year's judging process has already seen the Icons of Whisky Scotland awarded and the rest of the world will be judged soon.
The winners of the regional Icons will now go forward to the final world Icons which will be announced at a ceremony held on Thursday 22nd March 2012, at the Hilton Waldorf in London.
In what has been an interesting year we hope that you will celebrate the diversity the industry has to offer and join us in congratulating the winners.
For quietly releasing some spectacular whiskies recently, including the Four Roses Marriage Collection and the Single Barrel bottlings. These allowed master distiller Jim Rutledge the chance to highlight how different yeast strains can make a big difference in flavour.
For extending the art of distilling by creating a smoked whisky in which the spirit gets infused with smoke in a secret process instead of smoking the grains before mashing.
Hudson Valley HC
Now 92 but still going strong, he has spent years promoting Bourbon while not seeking the spotlight for himself. Still picks the casks personally for the whiskey released under his name.
Bernie Lubbers of Beam HC
For its remarkable Single Oak Project, which will eventually give more knowledge about how whiskey and wood interact together over time.
Four Roses - Single Barrel bottlings
The big draw in Tennessee. It was licensed in 1866, making it the oldest registered distillery in the United States and a National Historic Site. Thousands flock each month to learn about the whiskey making process.
Heaven Hill Heritage Center
An excellent example of online retailing in the US. Great service and a good spread of whiskies and Bourbons available.
He has been indefatigable in promoting the Glenmorangie range, its sister distillery Ardbeg and raising the profile of Scotch in the USA.
Heather Greene, William Grant and Sons
Simon Brooking, Laphroaig and Ardmore
Andrew Weir and Nicholas Pollacchi, The Balvenie
Ewan Morgan, Diageo
Has been described as a "shimmering 18 Carat diamond in the rough." Unpretentious and passionate with a wide ranging selection of whisky to keep everyone happy.
Thoroughbred Shop, Lexington KY
Park Avenue, NYC
Astor Wines & Spirits, NYC
K&L in San Francisco.
Twin Liquor, Austin, Texas
Everything you could ever need under one roof: from single barrel Bourbons selected for the chainto everyday drinking blends and single malts.
Big Red Liquors, Indiana