The fifth annual World Whisky Day takes place this Saturday, when whisky fans across the world are encouraged to unite and raise a glass in honour of Scotland’s national drink. But although Scotland might be the home of whisky, it’s certainly not the only country that produces it, with distilleries from as far afield as Japan, India and Australia matching or even beating Scotch whisky in international competition. Our English and Welsh cousins aren’t doing too badly either!
With this in mind, here are five whiskies from across the globe that you might want to try this World Whisky Day.
Australia – Sullivan’s Cove French Oak Cask
With a population of just over half a million, the southern island of Tasmania boasts over half of Australia’s distilleries, including Sullivan’s Cove. The distillery’s French Oak Cask bottling is a former winner of the World’s Best Single Malt Whisky crown, with casks bottled individually to capture the subtle variances which exist in each batch. The distillery has been forced to limit sales of its malt to ensure continued availability over the next five years, so be sure to grab a dram of this while you can!
India – Amrut Kadhambam
In India, the guidelines for what constitutes whisky are extremely lax. Armut whisky though – whose name can be translated from Sanskrit as ‘nectar of life’ – has had great success in creating whiskies good enough to challenge the rest of the world. The Kadhambam bottling is an interesting concoction, bringing together peated and unpeated whisky, which is then matured in ex-Olorosso sheery casks, before making its way into old rum casks and finally finished in ex-brandy casks. Although this may sound like a mish-mash, this whisky is definitely more than the sum of its parts.
USA – Hudson Baby Bourbon Whiskey
In the early 20th century, farm distillers could be found throughout the state of New York but Prohibition soon put paid to this. However, a slight quirk in the local tax laws has seen the state’s distilling profile rise once more. Hudson Baby Bourbon Whiskey is made with 100% corn, which has been sourced from within five miles of the distillery. And during its maturation, the casks are ‘sonically matured’ using bass speakers, which agitates both the cask and the liquid; increasing the interaction between the spirit and the wood. If your only experience of American Whiskey this far has been JD & Coke, be sure to give Baby Bourbon a try.
Sweden – Mackmyra Svensk Rok
Mackmyra whisky is one of the only Swedish whiskies available in Scotland, but it is still Nordic through and through. Bringing together some of the world’s purest water, sweet barley and strong Swedish oak, Mackmyra has been pushing the boundaries of whisky production for almost two decades now. One of their highlights is Svensk Rok, which translates as Swedish Smoke. As you might expect, this is the distillery’s smoky expression, although it also has a strong juniper presence throughout.
England – The English Whisky Co. Chapter 6
And you don’t need to go that far from Scotland to find good quality whisky. St. George’s Distillery was established in 2006, with the first release three years later (as dictated by law) in 2009. There are many releases to explore from this young distillery, with each bottling released as a ‘Chapter’, to give a narrative to the whisky’s evolution. And if I had to plump for one bottle, it would be number six.
And if you pop back before World Whisky Day, I’ll have one final world whisky for you to try.