Single malt whisky - tasting notes

04 Mar 2011

World Whiskies Awards 2011

Tasting notes by Ruben Luyten - Posted in * News

World Whisky Awards 2011It’s award time again. Whisky Magazine has announced the World Whiskies Awards 2011. Awards are popping up everywhere but WWA can be seen as one of the more reliable.

Here are the most important results of this fifth edition:


Yamazaki 1984

Best Single Malt Whisky:
Yamazaki 1984
Best Blended Whisky:
Hibiki 21 years
Best Blended Malt Whisky: 
James Martin’s 30 years 
Best American Whiskey:
Parker’s Heritage 10yo wheated bourbon
Best Canadian Whisky:
Wiser’s Legacy
Best Grain Whisky:
Greenore 15 years

Congratulations to Suntory for winning the big prize with their partly Mizunara-matured Yamazaki 1984. Don’t rush out to buy it though – unless you have a spare € 600. Hibiki 21yo and Greenore 15yo are winning in the same categories as last year.

Amongst the subcategory winners (Best Speyside, Best Islay…) are Glenfarclas 40yo, Glenmorangie Signet, Bowmore Tempest, Redbreast 15yo

I was wondering… Yamazaki 1984 was released in July 2009. It won Silver at the 2009 Malt Maniacs Awards. How far can you go back in time for 2011 awards? I’m sure they’ll find an explanation (it was launched in Zimbabwe last January?) but still it wears away the concept of choosing the best product of the past 12 months. The same goes for Glenmorangie Signet, launched in 2008. Sigh, awards…

World Whiskies Awards 2011 Ruben Luyten 2011-03-04
  • Charlie

    Sigh too …………

  • Michael

    I am looking forward to your tasting notes of Yamazaki 1984 Ruben :-)

  • Charlie

    I am not greedy. Parker’s Heritage Collection please. :)

  • Ruben

    Actually I tried Parker’s Heritage Collection in a store and it didn’t completely convince me. It showed quite some oaky tannins (which is normal after 27 years in new oak, of course).

  • The unknown

    “WWA can be seen as one of the more reliable….. ”

    Are you sure ? Does that really exist. An award competition that is reliable…..

    Oh yes this competition is, it surely is, that Yamazaki 1984 is really the best Single Malt in the world ….oh yes…..

    or did the Awards organisation had problems in convincing importers/bottlers to sent in their whiskies ……

    oh….and I even forget that Suntory spents the highest budget in the advertising in Whiskymagazine…but I’m sure that does not count…..

  • Colin not Firth

    I think there was an independent panel of judges, not Whiskymag employees, and that the first two elimination rounds were tasted blind. If this is true, the amount of money spent on advertising doesn’t seem to be a factor.

    I have more sympathy with Ruben’s point about the timeliness of entries. I’ve noticed bottles in many recent awards that were released in 2006. I have no beef with awards in general, but I guess I have some questions about this as well.

  • corbuso

    Having tasted the Yamazaki 1984, I can only say it is excellent stuff, but very pricey !

  • johnm

    Was there an Irish whiskey of the year?

  • Ruben

    I suppose ‘The unknown’ refers to the fact that an award is always a limited selection of releases of last year. In the case of Whisky Magazine, it is normal that their main sponsors are sending in bottles, while other sources that decided not to participate may have had better products (which probably explains why the Yamazaki was behind a lot of other bottles at the MMA ’09). A competition picks the best whisky that was sent in, nothing more, nothing less.

  • Ruben

    @johnm Best Irish single malt was Bushmills 16yo. Best pot still Redbreast 15.

  • Charlie

    Patrick gave Yamazaki 1984 a very funny score!



November 2015
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Coming up

  • Amrut 2009 (cask #2701)
  • Lagavulin 12 Years (2015)
  • Lindores 2015 festival bottling
  • Old Blended Malt (Eiling Lim)
  • Glenlivet 1981 (#9468 for TWE)
  • Talisker Distillers Edition (2015)
  • Laphroaig 32 Year Old
  • Glen Grant 65yo 1950 cask #2747 for Wealth Solutions
  • Mortlach 1959/1960 (G&M Royal Wedding)

1928 notes by Ruben

WhiskyNotes - Ruben LuytenThis blog is my personal collection of impressions, written while searching for the ultimate single malt whisky.