5 International Whiskies to Try on Tour

Written By:
Anika Cole
April 9, 2024

At Whiskies of the World, we create unparalleled whiskey-tasting experiences that let you taste the world, one dram at a time.

While whiskey’s distillation process is steeped in tradition, the craft is constantly changing with the innovation of modern technology and new ideas. This innovation is transpiring all over the world, with wonderful results. Whiskey is, after all, a globally beloved spirit.

Today, we’ve collected 5 whiskies from around the world to showcase the diversity of whiskey expressions available at each WOW event. This is only a small slice of what will be available on tour, and each city’s pour list is unique. Get your tickets to join us and taste what we’re pouring up in your neck of the woods!

1. Hayashi Whisky

Origin: Japan

While you may be used to whiskey distilled in Europe or America, Hayashi distillery crafts their liquid gold in Japan. Also known as koji whiskey, this style of whiskey usually holds floral and spice notes with an undercurrent of signature umami flavoring.

From the maker:

“Crafted with a 500-year-old technique using indica rice and black koji fermentation, then artfully aged in bourbon barrels, Hayashi Whisky draws from Okinawa’s rich awamori tradition, then masterfully imagines something new: a radiant and refined Japanese whisky that embodies the quiet intrigue of Pacific island life.”

2. Balvenie Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Origin: Scotland

With 125 years of history, Balvenie distillery is an expert in whiskey tradition and craft. They pride themselves on maintaining their high standard of taste by growing their own barley; malting said barley by hand on a malting floor; distilling with copper stills in their signature ‘Balvenie Ball’ shape; maintaining a skilled cooperage team to fire, construct, and repair the wood aging casks; and following the direction of trained Malt Master Kelsey McKechnie, who noses samples to ensure consistent character. 

From the maker:

“Nestled in the picturesque surroundings of Dufftown, Speyside, The Balvenie distillery has been handcrafting whisky for more than 125 years, notably the most handcrafted of single malts. Nowhere else can you find a distillery that grows its own barley, malts in its own traditional floor maltings, and still employs a team of coopers to tend to the casks alongside a coppersmith to maintain the stills.”

3. Kunhai Whisky

Origin: Taiwan

While Taiwanese whiskey is newer on the scene, it is already making waves. Drawing inspiration from the distillation techniques of other regions, such as Irish and Japanese whiskey, Taiwan is forging its own path forward in the world of whiskey. In particular, its geographical identity impacts the final product.

Not only does Taiwan’s warm, humid climate accelerate the aging process to produce remarkably mature-tasting barrels, but the distillers at Kunhai are profoundly inspired by the legends and ambience of their homeland. Kunhai’s three signature whiskies are named Sky, Sun, and Earth—and represent the experience of those natural elements in Taiwan. While all three whiskies share a ‘fruity, woody, lightly peated’ aroma and palate, each bottle’s tasting notes are unique. 

From the maker:

“As legend has it, Taiwan is upheld by the head of a sea creature called the Kunhai. Mystic energy lingers in this lively nation, where famed night markets reveal a vibrant clash of color, culture and culinary creativity. Nantou Distillery captures this stirring spirit in an elevated Taiwanese whisky, blending classic and celebrated flavors under an avant-garde neon glow.”

4. Keeper's Heart Whiskey

Origin: Ireland & America

After the Oscars season we had, it’s clear that America is continuing its ongoing love affair with the Irish. What better way to celebrate our ties with the Emerald Isle than tasting a whiskey inspired by both countries? This hybrid whiskey honors the long whiskey-making traditions of both countries while offering something wholeheartedly new. Those interested in the behind-the-scenes process will be happy to know that Keeper’s Heart utilizes the lauded triple copper pot distillation method in its U.S. distilleries.

From the maker:

“Keeper’s Heart is a new style of whiskey that beautifully blends the best of Irish and American whiskey-making traditions. Master Distiller Brian Nation, renowned for his expertise with iconic brands like Jameson, Midleton, and Redbreast, created this new style of whiskey. Since its launch in 2021, Keeper’s Heart Irish American Whiskey has clinched an impressive 130 awards and accolades across renowned whiskey competitions, including the prestigious title of World's Best Irish Whiskey at the 2023 San Francisco World Spirits Competition for their 10 Year Old Single Malt.”

5. Glencadam Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Origin: Scottish Highlands

Steeped in history and tradition, Glencadam has had time to perfect its craft. While the distillery is not afraid to experiment with small-batch reserves (sometimes twice aged in different barrels to achieve a unique flavor profile), they also stay loyal to their time-honored traditions. Their classic age statement whiskies are “neither chill filtered nor coloured to retain the whisky’s natural characteristics.” Additionally, the unique construction of their stills encourages a reflux during the distillation process which allows for a characteristically tropical and fruity flavor in the single malt. 

From the maker:

“Glencadam Distillery opened in 1825. Since then, little has changed and our award-winning Single Malt Scotch Whisky is still produced using the same traditional and handcrafted production methods as it has done for almost 200 years. Glencadam is located in the ancient city of Brechin, in the Eastern Highlands of Scotland.”

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