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Creating a world class barrel of whiskey is like creating a complex piece of art. There is a huge distinction between a great glass of whiskey, and one of the best whiskeys on the planet. Regardless of how great a whiskey tastes to one person, there will always be someone else who does not believe it is good. That’s the beauty of whiskey and why it is so difficult to pick a clear cut winner for the best in the world. It takes years of refining recipes and practices to create something as complex as the following whiskeys, and it is well worth the effort.

Glenmorangie Signet

Glenmorangie has been making high quality whiskeys since 1974, and the Signet is at the top of the list. This whiskey is touted as “the culmination of a lifetime’s experience” on the Glenmorangie website, and you can taste that culmination in each sip. A strong aruba scent hits the nose before you’re taken over by the masterful blend of sweet spices and bitter mocha. The finish is bright and refreshing with hints of mint and lemon.

Pikesville Straight Rye

Pikesville Straight Rye has been in production in the United States for over 100 years. A short hiatus during prohibition only seemed to make this whiskey more popular. It is the only Maryland Rye that is still produced to this day. Although the whiskey is now made in Kentucky, the ingredients have not changed. The whiskey has a strong cocoa scent over a subtle smoky oak. Its dry taste is complimented by honey and cloves. It finishes with a hint of vanilla that keeps you coming back for more.

Midleton Dair Ghaelach

This Irish whiskey is distilled by Pernod Ricard in American refill casks and is matured for anywhere between 15 and 20 years. On the nose you can get a sense of the higher proof with the hints of ethanol, but the blend of orange, chocolate, and coffee are a pleasant counter to the ethanol. It is a creamy whiskey on the tongue with orange shining through along with coffee, oak, and tobacco. The finish is heavy with a strong tobacco base that lightens with coffee and cream as time passes.

Ardbeg Uigeadail

Ardberg Uigeadail was named “World Whiskey of the Year” by Jim Murray’s Whiskey Bible, and it has consistently been at the top of whiskey lists since. It’s a highly complex and sophisticated whiskey that has a silky gold appearance. The aroma of pine, raisins, and chocolate are strong. On the tongue you get a great mix between sweet honey and bitter cigars. It finishes with strong tones of smoky mocha.

The quest for the perfect whiskey is what drives master distillers to produce such high quality batches each year. There is no shortage of great whiskey in the world, and each one is distinctly different, which is what makes producing whiskey such a challenging yet rewarding task.