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SPECIAL REPORT: World Whiskies America

The finest products, companies and individuals were recognised at our Whisky Magazine Awards ceremony held at the Brandy Library, New York on Tuesday, February 28, 2017.

Whisky Magazine's managing editor Rupert Wheeler hosted the presentations alongside senior master of whiskey and World Whiskies Awards (WWA) US chair of judges Steve Beal.

Guests made the journey from all across America to take part in the celebrations. During the event, three of the magazine’s top awards were presented including:

    World Whiskies Awards, American Winners 2017

    Icons of Whisky America 2017

    Hall of Fame, American Inductees

Rupert Wheeler says: "As managing editor of Whisky Magazine, I am delighted that I have been able to present these awards at the Brandy Library in New York. Since taking over as editor three years ago, I have visited the US on several occasions and tasted a large number of superb whiskeys.

"We awarded the American categories of the WWA and I would like to congratulations all the winners. Our Icons awards recognise the enormous number of talented people working in the whisky industry and we ended the evening by inducting two titans of American whiskey into the Whisky Magazine Hall of Fame. On my very first visit to Kentucky, I was fortunate enough to visit Michter's and meet our latest inductee Willie Pratt who gave me a guided tour of the distillery. Congratulations to Willie and Julian Van Winkle on joining the Hall of Fame."

World Whiskies Awards - American Winners

World's Best Bourbon

John J Bowman, Single Barrel Bourbon

America's Best


Breckenridge, Port Cask Finish


Ironroot Republic, Hubris Corn


Sons of Liberty Seasonals, Gala Apple Flavored


Bainbridge, Yama

Kentucky Bourbon

Four Roses, 2016 Limited Edition Small Batch

Non Kentucky Bourbon

John J Bowman, Single Barrel Bourbon


A D Laws, Secale Straight Rye Bottled in Bond

Single Malt

Virginia Distillery Company, Virginia Highland Malt


Bainbridge, Battle Point

Category Gold

American Rye

Hudson, Maple Cask Rye

McKenzie, Straight Rye

American Single Malt

Sons of Liberty, Battle Cry

Sons of Liberty, Uprising

Westland Distillery, Garryana

Breckenridge, Dark Arts

Kentucky Bourbon

1792, Full Proof

Stagg Jr, Kentucky Straight Bourbon

Eagle Rare, 17 Years Old

Non Kentucky Bourbon

Ironroot Republic, Harbinger Bourbon

Joseph Magnus Bourbon, Triple-Cask Finished

Sonoma County, West of Kentucky Bourbon No2

A D Laws, Four Grain

Balcones, Texas Blue Corn Bourbon

Category Silver

American Rye

Sazerac, Straight Kentucky Rye

A D Laws, 2nd Fill Oak Secale Rye Mash

American Single Malt

Westland Distillery, American Oak

Balcones, Rum Cask Finish

Kentucky Bourbon

Elijah Craig, Small Batch

Four Roses, Elliott's Select

Heaven Hill, Select Stock

Non Kentucky Bourbon

291, Colorodo Bourbon Aspen Stave Finished

Hudson, Baby Bourbon

Rock Town, Arkansas Bourbon

Category Bronze

American Rye

Thomas H Handy Sazerac, Uncut Unfiltered

Kentucky Bourbon

Elmer T Lee, Single Barrel Bourbon

Yellowstone, Bourbon

Non Kentucky Bourbon

291, Colorado Bourbon Aspen Stave Finished

Icons of Whisky America 2017:

Distiller, sponsored by Glencairn Crystal

Winner: Beam Suntory

Highly Commended: Heaven Hill Brands

Brand Innovator, sponsored by Multi Packaging Solutions

Winner: Maker's Mark Distillery

HC: Westland Distillery

Visitor Attraction, Sponsored by Christie's

Winner: Buffalo Trace Distillery

HC: Four Roses Distillery

Craft Producer, sponsored by Wade

Winner: Sons of Liberty Spirits Company

HC: Coppersea Distillery

Master Distillery / Master Blender

Winner: Jeff Arnett - Jack Daniel's

HC: Denny Potter - Heaven Hill Distillery

Distillery Manager, sponsored by Broxburn Properties

Winner: Victoria MacRae-Samuels - Maker's Mark Distillery

HC: Ryan Ashley - Four Roses Distillery

Visitor Attraction Manager

Winner: Kimberley Bennett - Beam Suntory

HC: Matt Higgins - Buffalo Trace Distillery

American Whiskey Brand Ambassador

Winner: Adam Harris - Beam Suntory

HC: Bernie Lubbers - Heaven Hill Brands

Irish Whiskey Brand Ambassador

Winner: Tim Herlihy - Tullamore DEW

HC: Michael Egan - Beam Suntory

Scotch Whisky Brand Ambassador, sponsored by Procurus

Winner: Martin Daraz - The Edrington Group

HC: David Laird - William Grant & Sons

World Whisky Brand Ambassador

Winner: Allison Patel - Brenne Whisky

HC: Raj Sabharwal - Purple Valley Imports

Multiple Outlets Retailer, sponsored by Amrut Distilleries

Winner: Binny's Beverage Depot

HC: Spec's Wine, Spirits & Finer Foods

Single Outlet Retailer

Winner: Astor Wines & Spirits

HC: Julio's Liquor

Online Retailer

Winner: Ace Spirits

HC: Binny's Beverage Depot

Travel Retailer

Sponsored by Steklarna Hrastnik

Winner: Duty Free Americas

HC: DFS Group

For full Icons of Whisky results including shortlists, go to

Whisky Magazine Hall of Fame

Hall of Fame, Inductee No39

Julian Van Winkle III, president, Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery

Hall of Fame, Inductee No40

Willie Pratt, master distiller emeritus, Michter's Distillery


3 March 2017 - Sam Coyne The Drinks Report, news editor