The World’s Best Scotch, According To The 2024 San Francisco World Spirits Competition

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Due to its complexity and craftsmanship, a well-crafted scotch whisky can offer a drinker a rich and unforgettable experience. Scotch first appeared in the 1400s and, along with Irish Whiskey, birthed the entire whisky market today. Quite simply, it is the benchmark against which all other whiskies are measured.

Steeped in history and tradition, scotch whiskies offer a wide range of styles and flavors. From smoky, peaty single malts to smooth blends, there is a bottle that should appeal to any whisky lover. Best of all, there are scotches from distillers that have been making whisky for centuries and ones that only jumped into the game in the new millennium.

Trying to decide which are the best bottles can cause a headache for many; there are just so many bottles waiting for drinkers. Luckily, the prestigious San Francisco World Spirits Competition (SFWSC) just released its shortlist of bottles from the 2024 event for their Best in Class award, which will be announced in October. For a bottle to even be considered, it had to earn a double gold medal in their rigorous blind taste testing judging. If they land on the shortlist, they are bottles that should be sought out.

Here are the blended scotches that captured the judge’s eyes at the event; the single malts will be revealed in another story.

Best Blended Scotch – No Age Statement

The Sassenach Blended Scotch

Launched by actor Sam Heughan, the star of the Outlander television series, this scotch has continually reeled in awards since its launch in 2020. It offers a refreshing and flavorful, almost creamy, mouthfeel, with notes of leather, spice, and honey on the nose and palate, followed by a long finish.

Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve

From a legendary brand, the Johnnie Walker Gold Label is blended from whiskies chosen for their sweet, honeyed qualities. Each sip delivers a vibrant scotch with a soft mouthfeel, with earthy, oak, and vanilla notes on the nose and finish.

Black & White Blended Scotch

For over a century, Black & White has offered drinkers a straightforward, accessible, and delicious scotch. This is a smooth and balanced scotch with floral and fruity notes on the nose, followed by honey, vanilla, oak, and spices on the palate.


Dewar’s New 12 Years Old

As one of the most awarded distilleries ever, the distillers at Dewar’s are acknowledged geniuses when it comes to crafting incredible scotch. This won’t be the last time you see them in this story. As one of the brand’s youngest aged whiskies, this beautiful scotch offers French oak and vanilla on the nose, followed by floral, earthy, and creme brulee notes on the palate.

Duncan Taylor Black Bull 12-Year-Old

This Duncan Taylor bottle is a high-powered (50% ABV) flavor bomb. Each sip offers a full-bodied scotch with notes of fresh wood and tobacco on the nose and palate, followed by a smooth finish.

Isle of Skye 12-Year-Old Scotch Whisky

Hailing from an island in the middle of the stormy Hebridean Sea known for its single malt scotch, this is a smooth and slightly sweet blended scotch with vanilla, earthy, and peppery notes on the nose and palate.

Grand Old Parr 12 Year Old

Named after Thomas Parr, a man refuted to have lived 152 years, this legendary scotch has been tickling taste buds for 115 years. It’s a refreshingly approachable scotch with notes of fresh wood, vanilla, and spice on the nose and palate, followed by a lingering finish.


Dewar’s 19 Years Old

We could call this category the land of Dewar’s; every finalist is one of their bottles, a testament to their skills. The youngest of their finalists, this is a flavorful scotch with herbal and caramel notes on the nose, followed by cedar wood, spices, and candied/tropical fruits on the palate.

Dewar’s Double Double 21 Years Old

Like all of Dewar’s Double Double Series, this scotch was aged, blended together, aged again, and then finished in sherry casks, this one an Oloroso cask. The resultant liquid is smooth yet slightly waxy, with dark fruits, nuts, and dried sultanas on the nose and palate, followed by a sweet and woody finish.

Dewar’s Double Double 21 Years Old Mizunara

By finishing this whisky in Japanese Mizunara Oak Casks, the distillers at Dewars crafted a lovely laid-back sipper. This is a thoroughly mellow scotch with notes of wood, yellow fruits, and dried apricots on the nose, followed by floral and tropical fruit flavors on the palate.

Dewar’s Double Double 32 Years Old

After almost 180 years of distilling, you can rest assured that the team at Dewar’s knows how to make stunning aged whisky. Thirty-two years in the barrels have resulted in a scotch with an outstanding balance between the nose and body, notes of dark fruits, oak, and spice, followed by a long and flavorful finish.

Dewar’s Double Double 37 Years Old

Spending thirty-seven years in the barrel can do a lot to a whisky. For this one, it created a refreshing scotch with fruity and leather notes on the nose. It has an apple and pear taste on the palate, followed by a smooth, long, peppery finish.


Nobel Rebel Smoke Symphony

A side project from the legendary Loch Lomond Distillery, Nobel Rebel whisky looks to push the boundaries of scotch in ways that pay tribute to its heritage yet create exciting new bottles. This expertly blended malt offers flavors of vanilla and berries with a beautiful smokey peat finish.

Nobel Rebel Orchard Outburst

Another scotch from Nobel Rebel that seeks to transform tastes, Orchard Outburst was finished in ex-bourbon casks and non-chill filtered. The resultant liquid presents hints of citrus with an earthy finish.

Naked Malt Blended Malt Scotch Whiskey

This little-known bottle is made from a blend of fine single malts extra matured for six months in “Naked” first-fill Oloroso sherry casks to craft a scotch that offers up medium-bodied whisky that is full of toffee, malt, and fruit flavors.

Elixir Distillers Elements of Islay Cask Edit

Created in 2008 by London’s Elixir Distillers, the Elements of Islay Series seeks to present the best of Islay’s renowned single malts. Their Cask Edit is made from a composition of refill, bourbon, and sherry cask whisky, offering a rich, smokey liquid with a hint of fruit.

Elixir Distillers Elements of Islay Bourbon Cask

After maturing in first fill and refill bourbon barrels this scotch from Elixir Distilling unfolds with each sip. Classic barbeque smoke from the south coast of Islay combines with more nuanced flavors from the north coast.

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