12 Best World Whiskies To Try in 2024

world best whisky

No longer restricted to the whisky-making motherlands of Scotland and Ireland, it’s now possible to find a first-rate dram produced in just about all corners of the earth. Buoyed by the success of Japanese whisky, there’s a new wave of global producers taking experimentation in their stride.

Free from time-honoured tradition and strict regulations, distilleries from India to Australia are not only trialling new methods of maturation and blending but celebrating local produce (such as Tasmanian peat or Himalayan barley) to create distinctive and unique drops.

Of course, the natural environment plays its part; whisky matured in hot, humid conditions will age much more quickly than the boreal Highlands, meaning a whisky aged for three years in Bangalore can taste every bit as oaky and complex as a 15-year-old single malt.

How we test world whisky

Our panel of experts and whisky veterans tested a range of world whiskies blind, tasting them neat and then diluted with a drop of water to soften the alcohol and allow the core flavours to shine through. They were seeking memorable drams that not only challenged the status quo, but offered complex aromatic profiles, well-integrated alcohol, and the versatility to sip straight up or stir into whisky-based cocktails.

These are the 12 bottles you’ll find on their bar cart.


WhistlePig 10 Year Old Rye Whiskey

whistle whiskey

Made by the master distiller behind Maker’s Mark’s best-selling blends, we had high hopes for this 10-year-old rye – and it delivered. The distillery scoured the globe before settling on casks from Sauternes, Porto, and Madeira; a combination that results in unparalleled complexity, with flavours of orange peel, green pepper, star anise, muscovado sugar at the fore and a hint of barrel char to finish.

70cl, 50 percent


Sazerac Rye


Our panel had nothing but high praise for the well-balanced aromas at play in this spicy sazerac by Buffalo Trace (think ginger, citrus oil, butterscotch and lingering smoke). The velvety mouthfeel makes this our new go-to for a Manhattan, but it’s a surprisingly good sparring partner for native oysters, too. Trust us on that.

70cl, 45 percent


Agitator Single Malt Whisky

agitator whiskey 1

Hailing from Arboga, Sweden, this single malt impressed our experts with its unique fruit-forward flavour profile (think: bright citrus, crisp red apple, and a hint of dried fruit, thanks to the sherry cask maturation). On the palate, there’s a kiss of smoke and sea salt, making this one to savour straight-up, over ice, or with a dash of distilled water to bring out the nuttier backnotes.

75cl, 43 percent


Hautes Glaces Indigene Organic Whisky

domaine whiskey

The clever folk at Domaine des Hautes Glaces (which holds claim to being the oldest organic whisky distillery in the world) have created a classic single malt that pays homage to the surrounding French landscape. Barley grown in the Alps is first distilled over wood fire, before a lengthy maturation in ex-Cognac, ex-Armagnac, and ex-wine casks. On the nose, there’s sweet vanilla, almond, buttery brioche and toasted oats, followed by warming cinnamon, clove, and a hint of citrus on the palate. No self-professed whisky enthusiast should be without a bottle on their bar cart.

50cl, 44 percent


Never Say Die Rye Whiskey

rye whiskey

Distilled in Kentucky and matured at the White Peak Distillery in England, this rye whiskey from transatlantic brand Never Say Die is as complex on the palate as it is on the nose. The result is sweet and warming aromas of rich caramel, apple cake, coconut and warming spices. Just as rich and complex on the palate as on the nose, flavours of butterscotch, roasted vanilla pods, toasted wheat and biscuits are all paired with wonderfully rich and spicy back notes. Offering excellently balanced sweetness, this would make a delicious old fashioned.

70cl, 52.5 percent


Starward Left-Field Australian Single Malt Whisky

starward whisky

Overlooked for too long, Australian whisky is beginning to make waves in the global market, with Port Melbourne’s Starward Distillery leading the way. Matured in red wine barrels, aromas of apricot jam, sultanas and toasted praline fill the nose, before richer flavours of stem ginger, dark chocolate and stewed apple join the party on the palate. If you’re after a sweeter sipping whisky, you won’t be disappointed.

70cl, 40 percent

Stauning Host Whisky

stauning whisky

Stauning is no stranger to experimentation, and Høst (meaning harvest) is a marriage of single malt sweetness and rye spice in one memorable dram. It’s matured in heavily-charred new American oak casks and first-fill port barriques, which results in a fruity, floral profile, with red berries, apple blossom, and honey taking centre stage, while the sultry smooth mouthfeel makes this a nightcap par excellence.

70cl, 40.50 percent


Pike Creek 10 Year Old

pikecreek whisky

If you gravitate towards sweeter bourbons, then get to know this Canadian whisky. Finished in rum barrels, the result is smooth and syrupy, with notes of dried orange, cooking spices, brown sugar and intense vanilla bean. Exceptionally versatile and food-friendly, we’d opt for all-out indulgence and pair it with a post-roast sticky toffee pud.

70cl, 42 percent


The House of Suntory The Chita Single Grain Japanese Whisky

chita suntory

Grain whiskies are known for being lighter in flavour than malts, but this Japanese drop brings complexity in spades. Matured in a combination of sherry, bourbon and wine casks, you’ll find a mix of tropical fruits, caramel and vanilla with a hint of toasted rye-style grain. We’re confident you won’t find better.

70cl, 43 percent


Bulleit 95 Rye Bourbon Frontier Whiskey

bulleit whiskey

Since its release in 2011, Bulleit 95 has earned its place on the shelves of leading bars across the globe – and it will work hard on your home bar, too. Exceptionally smooth with sweet notes of maple, oak and a light, woody finish laced with dried fruit and smoke, it’s versatile enough for all the classic cocktails, but brings something extra special to a mint julep.

70cl, 45 percent


Rampur Double Cask Single Malt Whisky

rampur whisky

Another stellar single malt from Rampur, this expression is matured in ex-bourbon casks and finished in European sherry casks, which creates a harmonious blend of sweetness (raisin, honey, tropical fruit, malt) and spice (pepper, oak, cinnamon, nutmeg). Savour on the rocks with an orange twist – this whisky will see you through every season.

70cl, 45 percent


Paul John Brilliance Indian Single Malt Whisky

paul john whisky

Made using barley from the foothills of the Himalayas and distilled in Goa, this unpeated Indian single malt makes for a very special sipper. There’s a clean core of barley, malt and apple skin on the nose, which is swiftly joined by aromas of roasted walnuts, bitter orange peel, vanilla and lively festive spices. It has a memorable finish, with the rye returning for the last hurrah.

70cl, 46 percent

This article was first seen on Esquire.Sg

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