Scottish Field Magazine reveals the winners of this year's reader's whisky challenge

Scottish Field Magazine has announced the winners of this year's Readers’ Whisky Challenge.

Published 8th Oct 2019
Updated 21 st Sep 2023

A select panel of Scottish Field readers tasted over 50 whiskies in August as part of the judging process with the results announced in the magazine's November issue which is out now.

Whisky columnist and founder of World Whisky Day, Blair Bowman, and Annabel Meikle, director of the Keepers of the Quaich, were at the event on 5th August to give tasting advice to the panel of 10 readers.

Taking the top prize was Gleann Mor Spirits' Rare Find which scored a total of  34.36 and saw tasting notes from the judges including "Manuka honey, orange rind, and a hint of chilli".

The Glenfarclas 2008 Distillery Exclusive took silver with a score of 33.97, and the Aberfeldy 20 Year Old ‘Exceptional Cask’, which scored 32.98, took bronze.

The Readers’ Whisky Challenge event took place at the Scotch Malt Whisky Society in Leith, Edinburgh, on Monday 5 August, with the top three whiskies, chosen by the reader's panel also going through to the Scottish Field Whisky Challenge Grand Final.

They will then be sampled by another panel of judges, this time SF's expert industry judges, at the Grand Final on 20th September.

The results of the Grand Final will be announced at their Scottish Field Whisky Challenge Awards Lunch on 25th October.

Blair Bowman, who took part in the Readers Challenge years ago and credited it with helping to launch his whisky career, said: "This is the most authentic whisky competition there is because it’s completely blind.

"I’ve been very impressed by the calibre of everyone selected. They’ve taken on the challenge brilliantly and done exceptionally well with compiling their scores and tasting notes."

Open to all of the whisky distilleries in Scotland, the Challenge is blind tasted by the Scottish Field readers panel and included bottles that retail for between £15 and £550.

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Driven by a passion for all things drinks-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over 10 years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink. Recently, his first book was published. Dubbed Gin Galore, it explores Scotland's best gins and the stories behind those that make them.
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