Whisky Magazine Issue 71
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This year's competition saw more than 200 whiskies do battle over three tasting rounds for the coveted titles of the best whiskies in the world.
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It has been a hard fought competition this year, with some interesting and surprising results. There have been intensive rounds of tastings by Whisky Magazine's independent editorial panel drawn from the best journalists and retailers across the world, and also by industry representatives made up of master blenders, distillers and brand ambassadors.
To get to the final results three rounds of blind tastings were held.
Round one was conducted by the editorial panel at their homes. The judges were simply sent sample bottles marked with the ABV and category.
We split the whiskies up by regions and styles. The entries, which increased from last year's competition, were then divided up among the judges, who then tasted and marked the spirits out of 10.
The highest scoring whiskies in this round gave us the subcategory winners, for instance the best Speyside whisky 12 Years and under, which then went forward to the second round of tastings, held in London with some of the best noses in the industry judging them.
The winners of this second round gave us our category winners, for instance best Highland whisky, which were then sent back to the editorial panel to do battle for the overall titles.
The competition featured some eye-opening whiskies and the judges had a hard time separating the very good from the good. The scores reflected this struggle with some whiskies only beating their contemporaries by a few points.