Imagine rounding off your day with a glass of bourbon—distinct, robust and totally tantalizing. Bourbon has been around for ages and it seems like its appeal isn’t waning anytime soon. As a matter of fact, it’s growing more popular than ever. Each year, whiskey connoisseurs and enthusiasts eagerly anticipate the International Whisky Competition, a prestigious event that benchmarks the best bourbons and whiskeys from around the world. And just in, the results of the 2023 International Whisky Competition are out!
A Bit About Bourbon
Before we dive headlong into the winner’s list, let’s take a step back and appreciate what makes a true bourbon. Rooted in America’s history, bourbon is a whiskey style that delivers a unique flavour profile—deliciously sweet, yet plump with notes of charred oak from the specific aging process it undergoes in new charred oak barrels. Furthermore, by law, it must be made up predominantly of corn—about 51% or more to be precise.
Bourbon’s glorious taste journey begins with a sweet caramel palate, gradually moving to complex layers of vanilla, oak, and sometimes, an enjoyable hint of smoke. The finish is generally light to moderate, leaving a spicy or warm note. All this magic, packaged into an amber-hued liquid, is what bourbon is all about.
The 2023 International Whisky Competition
The International Whisky Competition is renowned as the most professionally conducted contest in the whiskey world. Whiskies are meticulously judged by a panel of accredited experts from various countries. The whiskies are rated on a sensory analysis, their design and packaging, and not to mention, an intensive blind tasting session that truly brings out the champions among the participants.
Unveiling the World’s Best Bourbon of 2023
Now, let’s get down to the reason you’re reading this—the announcement of the World’s Best Bourbon of 2023. After days of back-to-back blind tasting sessions, the expert panel finally cast their votes. And this year, the prestigious title of the World’s Best Bourbon went to…
…Well, let’s not rush it. A build-up is essential for moments like this.
Firstly, let’s do a quick shout-out to the runner-up. The bourbon that impressed the judges and carved a name for itself as the second-best bourbon is none other than Crow Foot Reserve Bourbon Whiskey. Renowned for its rich vanilla and toffee notes with a smooth oaky finish, it formed the penultimate taste that truly delighted the judges.
And the title goes to…
Now, let’s finally crown the king. Drumrolls, please…the 2023 World’s Best Bourbon is the incredible Onyx Black Label Bourbon! With deep, complex layers of sweetness balanced beautifully by hints of charred oak, Onyx Black Label Bourbon stole the show, winning the hearts of the judges and the coveted title. The expert panel particularly lauded its strong yet balanced palate, enriching finish and, of course, an extremely striking design that perfectly conveyed its quality and class.
The Big Picture
In the realm of whiskey, these competitions hold immense value as they ignite the passion among distillers from around the globe to concoct the best in class bourbon, which ultimately benefits the consumers getting world-class bourbon on their tables. While this article has focused on the crème de la crème, the International Whisky Competition witnessed countless other wonderful bourbons that deserve celebration. So, here’s raising a glass to all the award-winning and nominated bourbons of 2023.
The Journey Continues
In the end, every year the bourbons keep getting better, the competitions fiercer, and the selection process tougher. So, whether it’s trying the Onyx Black Label Bourbon or getting a taste of the Crow Foot Reserve, there’s always a good reason to explore and appreciate true bourbon craftsmanship. Here’s to a year of good bourbon and beyond!