There was a big internal debate as to whether to include independent bottlers from outside Scotland because on the one hand they are obviously very much part of the world of whisky outside Scotland but on the other, their releases include Scotch whisky, which don't fit in with the point of The Wizards.
In the end I included them because The Wizards were set up as a link between what I do with ?World Whisky Review and what i do with the Craft Distillers Alliance, and non Scotch distillers are eligible for membership to the association.
The standard was very high, reflected in the medals awarded. But Sirius was the star, with its four whiskies picking two gold medals and two silver medals.
Sirius is the brainchild of international whisky collector and event organiser Mahesh Patel, who launched his first whiskies earlier this year. All the whiskies are premium whiskies and each one is single cask, cask strength and distilled in the 1960s. The four whiskies include two single malts and two grains.
Patel, who lives in Atlanta, is the organiser of the world's most luxurious and prestigious whisky show, called the Nth Show and held at the Wynn Resort in Las Vegas, and has bought some of the world's most expensive whiskies. He intends further single cask bottlings in the future. All of the releases cost more than £1000 and you can buy the set of all four for £7,500.
NON SCOTTISH INDEPENDENT WIZARD OF THE YEAR
INDEPENDENT WHISKY OF THE YEAR
- Sirius Fettercairn 1966
GOLD MEDAL WINNERS
- Master of Malt Glenturret 34 year old
- Sirius Carsebridge
- Sirius Fettercairn
SILVER MEDAL WINNERS
- Sirius Dalmore
- Sirius North British
BRONZE MEDAL WINNERS
- Master of Malt Aultmore 5 year old