Nine whisky experts recently named Crown Royal Noble Collection Winter Wheat as Canada’s best whisky and the Canadian whisky of the year at the twelfth annual Canadian Whisky Awards.
More than 150 Canadian whiskies were tasted for the awards, and the Crown Royal variant took top awards for Best Blended Whisky and Sippin’ Whisky of the year.
“This is a truly stunning whisky,” said Davin de Kergommeaux, head judge and founder of the awards, in a prepared statement. “Incredibly complex, flavourful and well-balanced.”
Pendleton Director’s Reserve 20-year-old was named Connoisseur Whisky of the Year in the multi-market category.
J.P. Wiser’s Red Letter 15-Year-Old was named the Connoisseur Whisky of the Year – Canada Exclusive, and Best Line Extension, while Royal Canadian Small Batch is 2022’s Sippin’ Whisky of the Year – Export Exclusive.
Black Velvet Original earned Best Whisky Value in the export market, and Canadian Club 100% Rye was named Best Whisky Value in multiple markets. Innovation of the year went to the truly original and delicious Forty Creek Master’s Cut. Vancouver’s Odd Society Spirits won Best New Whisky with its Maple Whiskey.
The Single Malt of the Year was Smoke Point 3 from Shelter Point Distillery, and Diageo Global Supply – Gimli, is the 2022 Distillery of the year. Okanagan Spirits in Vernon, British Columbia earned notice as Artisanal Distillery of the Year. Crown Royal blender, Joanna Zanin Scandella was acknowledged for Lifetime Achievement.
“The judges’ results are confirmed every day on liquor store shelves across North America and around the world,” said de Kergommeaux.
The winning whisky was distilled at Diageo Global Supply distillery in Gimli, Manitoba, and blended in Diageo’s blending lab in Montreal.
The Canadian Whisky Awards have been held every year, starting in 2010, and recognize the top Canadian whiskies and encourage distillers to maintain the highest quality standards. To qualify, the whisky must be distilled and matured in Canada.
An independent panel of whisky experts selects the winners after tasting each whisky blind.
Hannah Kanik is a freelance writer from California. Two years ago, she found herself drinking Scottish whisky atop Arthur's Seat in Edinburgh and found her love for whisky and its storytelling side-effects.