Founded in 2012,
World Whisky Day is a celebration of whisky (or whiskey in the U.S. and Ireland) on a global scale. It’s celebrated on the third Saturday of May and this year that means it falls on May 16. To truly get the most out of this worldwide holiday, it’s best to branch out past your usual bourbon, Scotch, or even Japanese whisky. This year, we’re highlighting some of our favorite whiskies from distilleries located in all corners of the globe.
From Taiwan to South Africa, the world is full of great whisky and if we don’t sample it, who will? Below you’ll find descriptions of some of our favorite whiskies from countries not normally associated with the spirit. Check them all out and pour yourself a dram of something new.
Photo: Michel Tcherevkoff (Getty Images)
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Amrut Fusion Single Malt Whisky (India)
Did you know that one of the biggest whisky drinking countries in the world is India? The problem was that for years, most of the whisky imbibed was imported. In recent years, Amrut has stepped up to not only make whisky in the country but make really good whisky. Amrut Fusion is made with Indian barely and peat-smoked Scottish barley (hence the "fusion" name). It’s subtly smoky, briny, and full of caramel sweetness with a hint of cinnamon and chocolate at the finish.
Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky (South Africa)
South Africa is another country that doesn’t immediately conjure up images of a history of whisky production. That doesn’t mean there aren’t amazing whiskies coming out the country. Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky has been produced since 2009 and is the first ever single grain whisky produced in the country. It’s aged in first fill bourbon casks. The result is a whisky with hints of cinnamon, corn sweetness, crisp apple, and warming vanilla.
Photo: James Sedgwick Distillery
Brenne 10 Year Old Single Malt Whisky (France)
When you think of French spirits, your mind likely heads directly to cognac. After that, the only other spirit that probably comes to mind is vodka. But France is also home to one of the most acclaimed (and award-winning) whiskies in the world. Brenne 10 is aged in ex-cognac casks. The result is small batch whisky with hints of toasted caramel, vanilla, and dried fruits.
Kavalan Distillery Select Single Malt Whisky (Taiwan)
A few years ago, the world learned that Taiwan was a whisky power. Sure, everyone knew about the high-quality whiskies coming out of Japan, but when Kavalan’s Solits Vinho Barrique was named the “World’s Best Single Malt Whisky” back in 2015, the world noticed. Its Distillery Select Single Malt is the perfect way to get acquainted with the distillery. It’s smooth, rich, and subtly sweet with hints of butterscotch, honey, and vanilla.
Mackmyra Brukswhisky (Sweden)
Sweden is pretty much known for one spirit: vodka. And in the home country of the Skarsgård family, Absolut is king. Quietly, Sweden has become a whisky hot spot in the last few years. One of its best is Mackmyra Brukswhisky. It’s matured in new charred bourbon barrels, but its also mixed with whisky matured in sherry and Swedish oak casks. The result is a very smooth, well-balanced whisky with the flavors of vanilla, dried fruits, and berries, with a subtle hint of spice at the end.
Starward Nova Single Malt Whisky (Australia)
In the last few years, Starward has made quite a name for itself in the whisky world. You might be surprised to hear that this popular brand isn’t distilled in the U.S., Scotland, or anywhere in Europe. It’s produced in Melbourne, Australia. What makes this whisky unique is the fact that it’s aged in Australian red wine casks. The result is a subtly spicy whisky with hints of honey, toffee, and dark chocolate.