Whisky Advocate’s 23rd Annual Awards

The Whisky Advocate Awards exist to recognize excellence in the world of whisky. Now in its 23rd year, the program honors the world’s greatest whiskies, distilleries, and the individuals who make and promote our favorite spirit. As always, these awards are not necessarily assigned to the whiskies that received the highest ratings in our reviews.

The awards are recognition of a combination of excellence, innovation, tradition, and always, great-tasting whisky. Our Buying Guide reviewers reach a consensus on the awards.

The Whisky Advocate 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 over twenty years. We give you our word: that’s how it will continue to be.

Craft Whiskey of the Year: Bainbridge Yama American Single Grain Barley Mizunara Japanese Oak Cask

American Whiskey of the Year: Booker’s Rye

Canadian Whisky of the Year: Crown Royal Cornerstone Blend

Irish Whiskey of the Year: Redbreast Lustau Edition

Japanese Whisky of the Year: Yoichi Single Malt

World Whisky of the Year: Amrut Spectrum

Blended/Blended Malt Scotch Whisky of the Year: William Grant & Sons Rare Cask Reserves Ghosted Reserve 21 year old

Speyside Single Malt Whisky of the Year: Glenrothes Vintage Reserve

Islay Single Malt Whisky of the Year: Lagavulin 25 year old

Highland Single Malt Whisky of the Year: Brora 38 year old (Diageo Special Releases 2016)

Lowlands/Campbeltown Single Malt Whisky of the Year: Ailsa Bay

Distiller of the Year: High West Distillery

Lifetime Achievement: Willie Cochrane of Jura, Eddie MacAffer of Bowmore, and Richard Paterson of Whyte & Mackay

More From Awards