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Whisky Magazine Awards 2021 winners revealed

The best and brightest in the world of whisky have been commended in the Whisky Magazine Awards 2021.

For the first time the awards – presented by Whisky Magazine – were announced virtually, in a broadcast streamed on the Whisky Magazine Facebook page and YouTube channel.

Comprising three parts, the Whisky Magazine Awards are designed to commend the best people, places and products in the world of whisky.

From bartenders to brand ambassadors, retailers to visitor attraction managers, the Icons of Whisky awards honour those who have worked tirelessly for the growth of the industry. Among this year’s winners were Bob Dalgarno, who was crowned Master Distiller/Blender of the Year, and Nc’Nean Distillery, which was named Sustainable Distillery of the Year.

Meanwhile, the World Whiskies Awards (part of the World Drinks Awards) commend the best whiskies in the world, with entries from across the globe tasted by an expert judging panel to decide the World’s Best. This year’s winners included The GlenAllachie 10 Years Old Batch 4, which took the prize for World’s Best Single Malt. 

Induction into the Whisky Magazine Hall of Fame is the highest honour bestowed by Whisky Magazine, reserved for those who have dedicated their lives to helping the sector thrive. This final round of awards saw the Hall of Fame’s 73rd inductee: Brendan Buckley, international marketing director at Irish Distillers

Brendan was also the 5th inductee this year, after Whisky Magazine welcomed four new inductees to the Hall of Fame in February: Andrew Symington, managing director of Signatory Vintage Scotch Whisky Co. and Edradour Distillery; Billy Walker, master distiller at The GlenAllachie Distillers Company; Andy Watts, head of whisky intrinsic excellence at Distell Group; and Fred Noe, master distiller at Jim Beam.

On the Icons of Whisky results, Christopher Coates, editor of Whisky Magazine, said: "The global whisky industry has taken the challenges of the past year in stride and the strength of the entries we've received to our Icons awards for 2021 reflects this perfectly. It was no easy task for our panel to choose global winners from our regional shortlists, but I believe we've been successful in highlighting some truly iconic whisky heroes.

"As always, we have been inspired by each and every one of our Icons nominees. Regardless of where in the world they are located or the part of the industry they work in, it is apparent that all are united by an unrivalled passion for whisky and a shared commitment to excellence in their respective fields."

Anita Ujszaszi, awards director, commented on the World Whiskies Awards: "We must extend a heartfelt thanks to our judges, who all met online in dedicated tasting sessions via Zoom to share their expertise and evaluate each sample individually. It’s been an incredible experience in the face of adversity.

"None of this would have been possible without all the great people involved, across all parts of the operation, who were all willing to help and work together to make this a great year. We have seen over 1000 whiskies entered in 2021, and we’re looking forward to next year already."

25 March 2021 - Bethany Whymark