1989 Gordon & MacPhail Bottle Crowned 2023 Whisky Of The Year

And the award goes to ... Gordon & MacPhail. The family-owned distillery, located in Scotland's famed whisky region on the south coast of the Moray Firth, is the winner of the 2023 International Whisky Competition's award for Whisky of the Year. The distillery earned the award for its Connoisseurs Choice 31-Year-Old Scotch whisky. The vintage, which was distilled in 1989 at the family's Mortlach Distillery, is a mahogany-toned spirit that has initial tasting notes of brown sugar and stewed apples that give way to glacé cherries and raisins with a touch of honey,  ginger, and almonds. 

According to a press release received by Tasting Table, the award-winning whisky, which has been stored in refill sherry hogsheads for more than three decades, showcases Gordon & MacPhail's commitment to allowing its whiskies to mature slowly into complex single malts. "This accolade is a testament not only to the exceptional quality of the Mortlach spirit but also to our expert team in selecting the ideal cask and maturing it for just the right amount of time," said Richard Urquhart, the distillery's head of sales for the Americas.

About the competition

The International Whisky Competition has become one of the world's most esteemed; it was established in 2010 with the mission of creating a platform in which whiskies from around the world could be judged using standardized criteria and pitted against one another in friendly competition. 

Each year, a panel of whisky experts convenes for a double-blind tasting of whiskies in a broad range of categories. Judging requires adherence to a rigorous standard of 15 points covering aroma and flavor. While some double-blind tastings present judges with flights of wine or spirits, International Wine Competition rules require judges to sample each entry individually. Judges award gold, silver, and bronze medals in each category. The highest-scoring whisky across all categories earns the Golden Barrel Trophy for Whisky of the Year. This year's competition took place in Bardstown, Kentucky, between May 20 and May 23. And the presentation of the Golden Barrel Trophy will be presented to Gordon & MacPhail later this year in Elgin, Scotland.