Whisky of the Year 2023

January 18, 2024
 / 3 mins

It’s that time again. Australia’s biggest whisky community has had its say. Will your favourite malt be crowned Whisky of the Year 2023? 

Every year, we ask our Members to cast their minds and taste buds back through the last 12 months and tell us which one of our killer line-up was their favourite.

And what a year it’s been.

We’ve had Sherry bombs galore, Japanese whiskies, Aussie whiskies, world-firsts from the world’s greatest whisky makers and seen the return of some Club favourites. 

All you need to do is tell us your favourite whisky on the form below and you’ll be in the draw to win a whole case of your favourite whisky. 

Need a refresher? Check out this year’s lineup below. 

Happy voting!

5. Westward Vintage Muscat Cask

After taking out 2021’s Whisky of the Year, Westward came back in December to knock Members' socks off again, this time with a killer malt matured in multi-award-winning Rutherglen Muscat. And what a whisky! Imagine Westward’s trademark big, bold spirit, rounded and wrangled by the incredible richness and complexity of those sticky Stanton & Killeen Muscat flavours. Two powerhouses bursting straight outta the glass. A whole lot of yum and a whole lot of fun. 

”This whisky built on what I already loved about Westward. Using barrels from Rutherglen, home of Morris (one of my favourite distilleries), the flavours and richness of this whiskey was not only the best of the year, but in my top 5 of all time. It is whiskeys like this that make me a happy Club Member, thank you!” — David A, Member since 2020.

Westward Vintage Muscat CaskWestward Vintage Muscat Cask

4. Talisker Wilder Seas

In September, we were swept away by this ground-breaking single malt from Scotland’s Isle of Skye. It was the first time in Talisker’s history they’ve finished a single malt in XO Cognac casks. And Members absolutely lapped up those luscious waves of salt, spice and soft peat. 

”Simply irresistible — delicately salty, peaty, Cognac, delicious with a tin of Ben & Jerry's Triple Crunch Caramel ice cream!” — Martic C, Member since 2017.

Talisker Wilder SeasTalisker Wilder Seas

3. Fuji Single Malt Japanese Whisky

In October, Fuji returned to the Club with a phenomenally silky and multi-layered creation of preserved peaches and spiced crème brûlée, melding into juicy layers of red berries and crisp apple. It launched in Australia exclusively to Club Members. And before it made it into Members' glasses, it had already scored a gold at the International Spirits Challenge 2023. 

”One of the smoothest best tasting easy drinking single malts I have tried.” — Simon W, Member since 2023.

Fuji Single Malt Japanese WhiskyFuji Single Malt Japanese Whisky

2. Glenmorangie Amontillado Sherry Cask

In February, we collaborated with one of the world’s biggest whisky powerhouses. It was Glenmorangie’s first-ever collaboration on a single malt and the legendary Whisky Hall of Fame inductee Doctor Bill Lumsden made it especially for The Whisky Club. It won Members' hearts and is in an elite category of single malt Scotch whiskies to be awarded 95 pts at the world’s most prestigious international drinks competition, the International Wine and Spirits Competition. Finished in highly sought after Amontillado sourced from the Miguel Martin Sherry bodega in the south of Spain, these casks are Dr Bill’s personal favourite. 

”Never have I come across a whisky that is so attractive to both the whisky enthusiast and a complete novice. The ease at which this whisky can be enjoyed, all while providing subtle complexities makes this the best whisky of 2023 at The Whisky Club! — Edward C, Member since 2021.

Glenmorangie Amontillado Sherry CaskGlenmorangie Amontillado Sherry Cask

1. The GlenDronach Cask Strength Batch 11

The Whisky Club’s Whisky of the Year was our very first whisky of the year. Thanks to our special relationship with The GlenDronach, we’ve been thrilled to be the exclusive home of this annual series, making sure Aussie whisky lovers don’t miss out on this legendary cult whisky! In October this year, Dr Rachael Barrie confirmed the rumours: Batch 12 is the end of the series in its current form. 

She was equally as pumped when we shared the good news The GlenDronach Cask Strength Batch 11 had taken out 2023’s Whisky of the Year: 

“It is such an accolade for The GlenDronach Cask Strength Batch 11 to be named The Whisky Club's Whisky of the Year 2023, and a personal joy after tasting it in Sydney with Club Members. With rich bramble and maraschino cherry interwoven with honeyed treacle and chocolate raisin, it raises expectations of what is possible in Sherry cask-matured single malt and I'm delighted it has been so well received by the Club. Thank you to everyone at The Whisky Club for your continued support of The GlenDronach. It is always a pleasure creating whiskies for the world’s biggest community of whisky lovers."

This is what our Members had to say about it.

“The GlenDronach absolutely stole my heart. It is simply the best tasting whisky I have had in my life.” — Tim D, Member since 2022.

“So syrupy and rich and intense in flavour - it lingered for an eternity.” — Joseph G, Member since 2021.

“Overall mouth feel and intense flavours were absolutely unmatched. Balance was top notch!” — Rohith K, Member since 2021.

“Without any question, it’s one of the greatest sherry bombs made.” — Glenn H, Member since 2021.

“Simply my favourite go-to whisky. It lasted almost the whole year, great balance of flavour matched with that punch of being a cask strength. Absolute beauty.” —  Alastair M, Member since 2021.

“As a sherry bomb lover this for me was as good as it gets.” —  Brad T, Member since 2022.

The GlenDronach Cask Strength Batch 11The GlenDronach Cask Strength Batch 11

Add In of the Year 2023

We also had an absolutely incredible line up of Add Ins in 2023, from cult favourites, new favourites and some luxury liquid from the world’s best. But which one topped the list? Take a bow, Mr Offerman! 

Lagavulin Offerman 11 Year Old Charred Oak Cask

It was the most in-demand whisky in the world right and it was Lagavulin’s smokiest whisky yet. It was so hotly pursued in the Club we launched a ballot and the lucky Members who got their hands on a bottle were blown away. It was classic Laga cranked up to 1000, using only the most heavily charred casks for that trademark big, bold, full-bore flavour. And it had already picked up Double Gold at the 2022 San Francisco World Spirits Competition before our Members, who were the first Aussies to get their hands on a bottle, got to try it. 

”It is one of the best expressions of Lagavullin that I have ever tried.” — Siddarth M, Member since 2022.

Lagavulin Offerman 11 Year Old Charred Oak CaskLagavulin Offerman 11 Year Old Charred Oak Cask

There you have it. The Club has spoken!

What do you think? Did your favourite make the list? Let us know on Facebook. And who’s our lucky winner? Massive congratulations to Glenn Homann, who takes home a whole case of the incredible GlenDronach! Thanks again to everyone for casting your votes.  

Members, when we found out the news we raced to get GlenDronach on the phone, and the team have managed to secure the absolute last available Batch 11 bottles from this officially discontinued series for you, available to pre-order in your Club account right now.

Not a Member yet? Join the Club free today for this rare opportunity to secure a bottle of the GlenDronach Cask Strength Batch 11 before it’s gone forever.

If you think 2023 was an amazing year in whisky, just wait until you see what's still to come this year. Stay tuned for another year of amazing malts, whisky lovers.

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