Not only was the competition extremely stiff between the ten short-listed whiskies, but the wealth of experience from our judging panel was a real force to be reckoned with.
Many thanks to our generous hosts The Albannach in London's Trafalgar Square for providing such excellent surroundings for the event and to the esteemed judges themselves for giving up their time and expertise.
This year's BiG Award panel consisted of the following keen noses and palates:
John Glaser, founder of Compass Box Whisky
Sam Simmons, The Balvenie Global Ambassador and the irrepressible Dr Whisky
Ed Bates, independent drinks consultant and former spirits expert for Berry Bros & Rudd.
Hannah Lanfear, bar manager of Boisdale, Canary Wharf
Ryan Chetiyawardana, manager of The Whistling Shop bar and cocktail maestro.
Ben Ellefsen, director of Master Of Malt
Darren Rook, former manager of the SMWS and now independent spirits consultant
Cat Spencer, marketing manager of The Albannach bar.
The ten whiskies were all judged blind, with three rounds to get down to our overall winning Best in Glass whisky.
So without further ado, the final 3 whiskies were as follows:
Ardbeg Alligator (highly commended)
Tomatin Decades (highly commended)
The 2011 Best in Glass Award winner goes to:
Black Bull 40 year old blended whisky - Batch 2
The panel were wowed by the balance of this superbly put together whisky, which demonstrated incredible fruit, vanilla and complex, aged oak notes, with a rich and highly moreish character. For a full review click here:
So it's congratulations to the team at Duncan Taylor. Once again, the BiG Award has demonstrated that it is possible to select 10 great whiskies, wildly differing in style, put them in the same room, with a bunch of like-minded imbibers and select an overall winner.
On receiving this year's award, Scott Watson, CEO for Duncan Taylor Whiskies commented:
“It’s tremendous to see Black Bull 40 year old recognised with a prestigious Best In Glass award from Caskstrength. To come out top in a blind tasting from such an esteemed panel of judges is a great honour and a fantastic testament to Black Bull’s boldly independent character."
Stay tuned for next year's awards....