Business - July 24, 2023

Two Scottish Whiskies Tie for Best Scotch of 2023 in Prestigious Competition

Scottish whiskey is a beverage that enchants enthusiasts all over the world, and the 2023 Ultimate Spirit Challenge brought exciting results for lovers of this noble drink. In this 14th edition, the competition featured a record number of entries, with participants coming from over 50 countries.

The highlight of the event was two Scottish labels that reached the maximum score of 98 points, surprising judges and industry experts. The Highland Park 21, produced in the mystical Orkney Islands, at the northernmost tip of the country, won over palates with its unique combination of light smokiness and dark fruit sweetness, derived from aging in sherry casks. Its relatively affordable price of around $1,790 allows more enthusiasts to enjoy this distilled wonder.

On the other hand, the Mortlach 16 years, known as the “Beast of Dufftown” due to its robust malts, proved its excellence and tied with the Highland Park 21 for the top score. Produced in the Speyside region, this single malt is the result of a unique distillation process, with three wash and three spirit stills working independently, resulting in a complex and flavorful whisky. With a more accessible price of around $550 per unit, the Mortlach 16 years shows that quality and sophistication can be within the reach of many enthusiasts.

In addition to these two highlights, other Scottish whiskies also shined in the competition. Dewar’s 18 Years, a blended with 97 points, Johnnie Walker Green Label, a blended malt with 96 points, and The Scotch Malt Whisky Society Cask No. 78.58 Baking Easter Treats 9 Years, in the independent merchant category, also with 97 points, demonstrated the diversity and quality of products present in the market.

This competition is an excellent opportunity for beverage enthusiasts to venture into the world of Scottish whiskies, to learn about different producing regions, distillation and aging methods, and to explore labels with their unique characteristics.

Experts and bartenders recommend that, when tasting whiskey, it should be a pleasurable and educational experience. Reading the label is an important step to understand what is in the glass, identify the alcohol content, the region of origin, whether it is a single malt, blended, or another category. Every detail influences the flavors and aromas that will be appreciated. In the comfort of home, the opportunity to study the bottle and savor each note can further enrich the ritual of drinking whiskey.

So, let whiskey enthusiasts venture into this fascinating world, discover new labels, and toast with moderation to the richness of flavors and stories that this noble beverage offers. Cheers!

Text credits: adapted by Flavio Bergmann

Photo credits: photomontage  by Vinícius Pascoal

Lake Nona Golf & Country Club