The Whisky Exchange announces its Whisky of the Year 2022

The Whisky Exchange has announced its Whisky of the Year 2022 following a blind tasting of six shortlisters at Browns Covent Garden, which we were lucky enough to attend.

Deanston 18-year-old, TWE Whisky of the Year 2022

Deanston 18-year-old has triumphed in The Whisky Exchange’s annual tasting, taking the top spot in the only official blind whisky judging undertaken by members of the public. Deanston – a Highland distillery housed in an old cotton mill on the banks of the River Teith – claimed the crown in the 8th annual Whisky of the Year blind tasting hosted by specialist spirits retailer, The Whisky Exchange. Deanston’s 18-year-old expression is a delicious fruity, sweet single malt that has been matured in first-fill ex-bourbon casks. Honey, almond butter, apple, Nutella, spiced roast pear, rose water, combine on the palate with Ice Gem biscuits, malt, menthol, tropical fruit, and vanilla – a damn fine drop and well-priced for an 18-year-old at £63.95!

The shortlist for Whisky of the Year 2022
The shortlist for Whisky of the Year 2022

All whiskies in the tasting were under £75 retail price, and all ongoing, commercially available releases. This year’s shortlist included whiskies from the highlands and the islands of Scotland, and one from Wales. The runner up and definitely a strong contender was Glen Moray 18-year-old (£73.75) – a juicy and grippy dram with baked apple, honey, hay, boiled sweets, pear drops, forest floor, aniseed, and cloves.

Others that made the shortlist were the floral and peachy Pendryn (£44.95); the rich, Christmas-y Old Putney 15-year-old (£69.25); a chewy and supremely complex Oban 2006 Distillers Edition (£74.95); and the sherry-driven Mortlach 16-year-old.

Dawn Davies, head buyer at The Whisky Exchange and our gregarious host for the blind tasting, comments:

I am super excited to see Deanston win this year. It is a really underrated distillery that is producing some great tasting whisky at the moment.” 

Gin and Rum of the Year 2022

Gin of the Year and Rum of the Year 2022, TWE badges

The Whisky Exchange has also recognised other exceptional bottles, a rum and a gin, nominated by industry experts and staff. The title of Gin of the Year 2022 was given to Height of Arrows Gin (£28.95) from Edinburgh’s Holyrood Distillery. This minimalist gin refocuses the attention on the category’s defining botanical, juniper. The sole botanical is distilled with salt and beeswax for a full-bodied spirit with great depth and complexity. 

Doorly’s 14-year-old (£58.95) a firm favourite of ours – was crowned Rum of the Year 2022. A vivid Barbadian rum from the iconic Foursquare Distillery, Doorly’s 14-year-old is full of ginger, cinder toffee, jammy berries, dark chocolate, preserved orange, charred oak, and echoes of Madeira. It’s a divine sipper to be shared and savoured, so we’re thrilled to see it achieve the top spot (read more about it here)!