The World’s Best Single Malt Whisky—According To The 2024 World Whiskies Awards

Food & Drink

The World Whiskies Awards just announced winners across their most coveted categories of competition. There’s been plenty of coverage about it—a lot of which you can read here. But for most connoisseurs of the spirit, there’s one annual title that matters more than any other: World’s Best Single Malt. And this year, the WWA judges have really stirred the potstill by selecting an expression from England. So today we’re taking a closer look at the bottle in question. Here’s everything to know about Sherry Cask Matured from The English Distillery.

For starters, despite any merits it might accrue, this will remain among the most uninspiringly-named whisky products to ever grace shelves. To reiterate, this is a sherry cask matured whisky from an English distillery that’s literally sold as “The English Distillery Sherry Cask Matured.”

What the name lacks in imagination, however, the liquid more than recovers in character. Over the palate, it paints a robust medley of marzipan and dark chocolate-coated dates. Those notes are augmented in a lengthy finish, sweet with honey and rich with ginger spice. The auburn colored malt is non-chill-filtered and comes to bottle at 92 proof.

It’s not difficult to understand how this sort of elegance stood out to the 200 expert panelists at the WWA. The head-scratcher is that this marks the second time in three years that they’ve arrived at an English whisky for this top accolade. For their part, the judges promise to sip selections blindly. And yet they keep ending up with expressions from emerging producers in non-traditional regions of the whisky world. Last year it was M&H in Israel. The year before it, The Lakes Distillery—also from England.

Cynics say these sorts of novel outcomes are engineered because they tend to grab international headlines. Alternatively, maybe there really is something special happening in English whisky these days. Yes, Scotland boasts more than 500 years of whisky-making heritage and holds over 150 active distilleries to prove it.

But England has been gaining ground in the 21st Century. The English Distillery was actually a pioneer of the nascent scene. When it was established in 2006, along the eastern reaches of Norfolk, it became the first new whisky producer in the country for over 100 years. Today there are 45.

So, even though its award-winning Sherry Cask brandishes no age statement on its label, it stands to reason that it could hold a portion of whisky up to 17 years in age. Either way, it definitely sits on shelves at a favorable price point when compared to its northerly neighbors. A 700ml bottle of the juice currently retails at £59.00.

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