Time to restock your home drink collection? The IWSC (International Wine and Spirit Competition) has just named the top spirits of 2022, awarding 23 trophies for top whiskies, Tequila, vodka, Cognac and more. The list of winners includes some truly brilliant bottles from all over the world, from a Northern Irish producer scooping the Contemporary Gin Trophy to a Japanese single malt aged in ex-Bordeaux red wine casks awarded the Asian Whisky Trophy.
Indeed, in the IWSC’s top spirits of 2022, you’ll find a strong selection of whiskies, ranging from modern American bourbon to traditional, aged Scotch. There’s also a strong range of gins, with European entries shining brightly at the awards – you’ll find bottles from Estonia and the UK in the list below.
Look further east, and you’ll find top Shochu and Baijiu from Japan and China respectively. From the Americas, there’s award-winning extra-añejo Tequila and espadín mezcal, as well as rye whisky from Indiana and bourbon hailing from Kentucky.
The spirits in this list were all awarded with a gold medal from the IWSC 2022 by a roster of experienced judges who tasted each entry blind before scoring each spirit out of 100; to achieve a gold medal, spirits had to score 95 points and up. All gold medal winners were then put forward for a further blind tasting to decide which bottle should be named the best in show within each spirits category. So, without further ado, dive into our list of the top spirits of 2022 according to the IWSC.
The 23 top spirits of 2022 according to the IWSC
- Top Armagnac: SCV Beraut, Château de Pellehaut Ugni Blanc 40 YO Armagnac
- Top Asian whiskey: Nagahama distillery, Bordeaux Red Wine Cask 1564 Single Malt Whisky
- Top Baiju: Shanxi Guoyuan Fengxiang Baijiu Industry Co., 30 Years Baijiu
- Top blended scotch whisky: Distell International Ltd, Black Bottle Alchemy Series Double Cask Blended Scotch Whisky
- Top bourbon: Heaven Hill Distillery, Larceny Barrel Proof (A122) Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
- Top Cognac: Maison Boutillier, Essence Du Paradis Grand M. Cognac
- Top contemporary gin: The Copeland Distillery, Irish Gin
- Top flavoured gin: Junimperium Distillery, Sloe Gin
- Top grape brandy: Bodegas Osborne, 1866 Brandy De Jerez Solera Gran Reserva
- Top grappa: Distilleria Sibona, Botti da Madeira Riserva Grappa
- Top Irish Whiskey: Irish Distillers, Redbreast 27 YO Irish Whiskey
- Top liqueur: Malamatina Winery, Stichion Premium Mastiha Spirit
- Top London dry gin: Quintessential Brands, Opihr Aromatic Bitters Gin
- Top mezcal: Corte Vetusto, Mesquite Smoked Artesanal Espadin Joven Mezcal
- Top rum: Holyrood Distillery, Elizabeth Yard Diamond Distillery 10 YO Ungrogged American Oak Octave Rum
- Top rye whiskey: Deutsch Family Wine and Spirits, Redemption 10 YO Barrel Proof Rye Whiskey
- Top single malt scotch 15 YO and under: Chivas Brothers, Ballantine’s The Glenburgie 12 YO Single Malt Scotch Whisky
- Top single malt scotch 16-25 YO: The GlenDronach Distillery, 16 YO Boynsmill Single Malt Scotch Whisky
- Top single malt scotch 26 YO and over: Tomatin Distillery, 1976 Single Malt Scotch Whisky
- Top scotch no age stated: Deanston, Virgin Oak Single Malt Scotch Whisky
- Top Sochu: Sanwa Shurui, Iichiko Saiten Shochu
- Top Tequila: Proximo Spirits, 1800 Milenio Tequila Extra Añejo
- Top vodka: Distillerie Combier, Marie-Antoinette Vodka
HOW DO WE JUDGE THESE SPIRITS?
We run a tightly structured, rigorous spirits tasting process. That means that each spirit sample is pre-poured into numbered glasses and assessed blindly by the judges. Most importantly, our IWSC spirit judges are experts in their field, who work across all sectors of the drinks industry. For evidence, see our full list of judges.
HOW DO WE SCORE THESE SPIRITS?
Only the best spirits sampled receive a Gold or Silver award. For example, to win Gold, spirits have to score between 95 and 100 points. Meanwhile, Silver wines range from 90 to 94 points. Click here to read more on our scoring system.
MORE FROM CLUB OENOLOGIQUE
Club O is an exclusive community and the go-to platform for wine and spirit lovers. Our flagship Club Oenologique magazine offers even more insights for enthusiasts and collectors. Based in London, our editorial team tells informative, inspirational stories from the world of wine and spirits, gastronomy and travel, as well as covering recommendations and the latest trends in drink. You can take a look at our Explained series, for instance, where we’re tackling grape varieties, regions and styles of wine and spirits. Alternatively, visit our Ask the Sommelier section, where experts answer your wine-related questions.