Glenmorangie and Ardbeg have triumphed at prestigious industry awards, with single malts from both Distilleries lauded as category winners. At the respected World Whiskies Awards, Glenmorangie, which originated in the Scottish Highlands in 1843, was awarded Best Highland Single Malt for Glenmorangie Lasanta. Meanwhile, Ardbeg, the world’s smokiest, peatiest Islay malt whisky, won Best Islay Single Malt with Ardbeg Corryvreckan.
Now in its 11th year, the World Whiskies Awards is a respected and influential competition, in which whiskies are blind tasted over three rounds by judges who include industry experts, whisky writers and master distillers. For 2017, more than 500 whiskies from 30 countries took part.
The judges were full of praise for Glenmorangie Lasanta, which is first matured for ten years in ex-bourbon casks, then finished for a further two years in Spanish Oloroso and Pedro Ximénez sherry casks. They described it as: “Deliciously bold sherry. Nutty, with dried fruit, a touch of dryness, apricots, dates and walnuts. A dry palate, but superbly balanced. Menthol, fruit cake, dark chocolate, cinnamon and clove notes. Excellent.”
Meanwhile, Ardbeg Corryvreckan, which takes its name from the treacherous whirlpool off the coast of Ardbeg’s remote island home of Islay, was hailed for its “fresh sea breeze aromas and a distinct prickle from the alcohol”. The judges commended its distinctive character, saying: “Sweet, dense, smoky and salty on the palate. Like biting into charcoal. Sea salt-laced, sticky toffee pudding. Orange oils and a spicy bite – star anise and white pepper, plus some seaweed.”
Dr Bill Lumsden, Director of Distilling, Whisky Creation & Whisky Stocks, for Glenmorangie and Ardbeg, said: “I’m delighted that our wonderful whiskies have been singled out as category winners at such a respected competition. Glenmorangie Lasanta’s richer, rounder character ensures that it is indeed worthy of being named Best Highland Single Malt. And the beautiful balance of Ardbeg Corryvreckan clearly appealed to the judges above any other Islay single malt. This success is a fitting tribute to the craftsmanship and passion for which both Glenmorangie and Ardbeg are rightly renowned.”