Scotch Whisky Masters 2021: Top winners include The Sassenach, £15 Lidl blend and 25 year old Bunnahabhain

The annual awards were held virtually this year.

Published 3rd Jun 2021
Updated 4 th Jun 2021

This year's Scotch Whisky Masters award winners have been announced, with a range of whiskies winning gold, silver and bronze accolades - from supermarket blends to older single malts.

The Scotch Whisky Masters assesses drams spanning all regions, varieties, ages and prices on the quality of the liquid alone.

Judges for this year included Billy Abbott, ambassador for The Whisky Exchange, and Matt Chambers and Karen Taylor, co‐founders of the Whisky for Everyone blog.

Among the winners was Outlander star Sam Heughan's Sassenach whisky, which recently won double gold at the San Fransisco World Spirits Championship for the second year running.

One of four gold medallists in the blended non-age statement category, the judges praised the whisky for its 'nutty nose' and the palate of 'caramel, toffee and citrus sharpness.' Buy here

Other gold winners in this category were Johnnie Walker Blue Label, Green Isle and Highland Queen Blended Scotch Whisky Sherry Cask Finish.

Notable other award winners included supermarket buys from Aldi and Lidl, who often do well in these awards.

Lidl received a gold in the blended malt up to £20 category for its Abrachan Blended Peated Malt whereas Aldi picked up a gold for its Highland Green Blended Malt. Buy here

Lidl also scored gold for its Glen Orchy Blended Malt and Ben Bracken, and Aldi for their Glen Marnoch. Buy here

In the Premium Blended Malt, priced from £21-£30, Malt Riot from the Glasgow Distillery Company won silver and was praised for its 'delicate and fresh' nose. Buy here

Isle of Tiree Distillery to release first single malt whisky

The Isle of Raasay Single Malt won silver in the Highlands & Islands No Age Statement category. Buy here

The island distillery’s signature release was competing against another 169 single malt Scotch whiskies from 45 different companies in the Highlands & Islands No Age Statement blind tasting category, which had more than double the number of entries as last year.   

Older single malts also did well, with Glen Scotia 25 Year Old winning a masters accolade in the Single Malt: Campbeltown – Aged between 19‐30 Years category. Buy here

It was also recently named best whisky at the San Francisco World Spirits Championship.

Bunnahabhain 25 Years Old won the coveted title of The Scotch Whisky Taste Master 2021. Buy here

Black Friday deals: 12 whiskies under £100 to buy this November - including Lagavulin and Aberlour

To find out more about the awards and see a full list of winners, click here.

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Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne, whisky and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind is the Food and Drink Editor and whisky writer for The Scotsman, as well as hosting Scran, The Scotsman's food and drink podcast.
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