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Spirit of Speyside announces whisky award winners for 2021

Speyside’s top whiskies have been revealed at the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Awards.

Published: October 12, 2021
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Celebrating the best whiskies from Speyside, as chosen by whisky enthusiasts from around the world, the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Awards unveiled their 2020/2021 winners at a ceremony that saw the Glenfarclas 25YO coming out on top as the overall favourite Speyside malt.

Attended by industry representatives and specialist retailers, the ceremony took place at the Station Hotel in Rothes, hosted by event sponsor, Forsyths.

Alongside announcing the winners, the judges also took part in a blind tasting to select the finalists for the Spirit of Speyside Awards 2022.

The presentation was streamed via Facebook to allow whisky lovers from around the world to join the celebrations.

Using a combination of in-person and virtual sessions, over 1,600 votes were cast across 15 panels and three new venues across the globe were added to the tasting mix.

With sessions from New Brunswick, Canada to Mumbai, India and from Dublin, Ireland to Cologne, Germany, the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Awards are the only industry awards in the world to give consumers the final say when it comes to recognising the best Speyside whiskies.

To identify the finalists for the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Awards 2022, the independent judging panel carried out a rigorous blind tasting of entries from 50 qualifying Speyside distilleries, before scoring each whisky on its character and flavour.

The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Awards 2022 finalists include:

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12YO & Under

  • Benriach 12YO
  • Benromach 10YO

13YO to 20YO

  • Glenlivet 15YO
  • Aberlour 16YO

21YO & Over

  • Aultmore 21YO
  • Balvenie 21YO
  • Non-Age Statement
  • Aberlour A’bunadh
  • Tamnavulin Spanish Grenache Cask Edition

These whiskies will now go forward to be tasted and judged by whisky drinkers and enthusiasts around the world over the coming months.

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The final winners will be announced at the Spirit of Speyside’s Gala Dinner on 27th April 2022, which also marks the beginning of the 2022 Whisky Festival.

George McNeil, chairman designate at The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival, said: “It’s the first time I’ve been involved in the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Awards and it’s been great to see our judging panels in awe of the standard of whisky produced here in Speyside by our local craftsmen and women.

“Every year we see more and more people from around the world get involved in the final tasting to have their say in which Speyside Malt takes home the gold.

"That’s what makes The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Awards truly an award like no other - it’s the real whisky experts, whisky consumers from around the world, voting for the final winners of Speyside’s best whiskies.”

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For further information on The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Awards or to find out how to host a voting session in 2022, visit the Spirit of Speyside website.

Spirit of Speyside Whisky Awards 2020/2021

12YO & Under

  • Gold Award -  Aberlour 10YO 
  • Silver Award  - Cardhu 12YO

13YO – 20YO

  • Gold Award - Glenallachie 15YO
  • Silver Award - Benromach 15YO

21YO & Over

  • Gold Award  - Glenfiddich Grand Cru 23YO
  • Silver Award - Glenfarclas 25YO

Non-Age Statement

  • Gold Award - Tamnavulin Sherry Cask Edition
  • Silver Award - Cardhu Amber Rock
  • Overall Winner - Glenfarclas 25YO

Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind writes for The Scotsman on all things food and drink related as well as hosting Scran, The Scotsman's food and drink podcast.

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