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The Best American Whiskey, According To The 2020 International Spirits Challenge

Best American Whiskey International Spirits Competition 2020 Pikesville Rye

Only one bottle can be awarded Best American Whiskey at the International Spirits Challenge, and after months of deliberation, the annual spirits competition has finally announced the winner for 2020. In what was a particularly competitive year, Pikesville Rye has been named the Best American Whiskey, and was awarded the “trophy” in the massive category.

American Whiskey is only getting stronger, as can be seen from the awards handed out at this year’s competition. In total, stars & stripes Whiskeys took home four double golds, 48 golds, 27 silvers and no bronze medals. But in the end, it was the Pikesville that stood on top.

First produced in Maryland in the 1890s, Pikesville Rye, along with the rest of the once-booming Maryland Rye industry, was shuttered by Prohibition. The brand reemerged after Prohibition and became the last standing Maryland Rye, as the rest of the industry’s production had ceased. Now produced in Kentucky from extra-aged barrels stored in prime warehouse locations, Heaven Hill Distillery keeps this historic Maryland mark alive. And obviously they do so for good reason.

Sub CategoryBrand Name / Distillery NameCompany NameMedal
American Straight Rye WhiskeyPikesvilleHeaven Hill DistilleryTrophy
Straight Bourbon 10 years old and under1792 Bottled in Bond Kentucky Straight Bourbon WhiskeySazerac Company, Inc.Double Gold
Straight Bourbon 10 years old and underHenry McKenna Single BarrelHeaven Hill DistilleryDouble Gold
Straight Bourbon 11 years old and over1792 Aged 12 Years Kentucky Straight Bourbon WhiskeySazerac Company, Inc.Double Gold
American Straight Rye WhiskeyYellow Rose Rye WhiskeyZamora CompanyGold
Canadian WhiskyCaribou Crossing Single Barrel Canadian WhiskySazerac Company, Inc.Gold
Canadian WhiskyRoyal Canadian Small Batch Canadian WhiskySazerac Company, Inc.Gold
American Straight Rye WhiskeyOld Overholt Straight Rye WhiskeyBeam SuntoryGold
American Straight Rye WhiskeyHudson Do The Rye ThingWilliam Grant & Sons DistillersGold
American Straight Rye WhiskeyHudson Short Stack Maple Cask RyeWilliam Grant & Sons DistillersGold
American Straight Rye WhiskeyElijah Craig RyeHeaven Hill DistilleryGold
American Straight Rye WhiskeyOld Overholt Bottled-in-BondBeam SuntoryGold
American Straight Rye WhiskeyParker’s Heritage Collection 13th EditionHeaven Hill DistilleryGold
Single Barrel BourbonEvan Williams Single BarrelHeaven Hill DistilleryGold
Single Barrel BourbonElmer T. Lee Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon WhiskeySazerac Company, Inc.Gold
Single Barrel BourbonJim Beam Single BarrelJim BeamGold
Single Barrel Bourbon1792 Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon WhiskeySazerac Company, Inc.Gold
Single Barrel BourbonJohn J. Bowman Single Barrel Virginia Straight Bourbon WhiskeySazerac Company, Inc.Gold
Single Barrel BourbonColonel E.H. Taylor Jr. Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon WhiskeySazerac Company, Inc.Gold
Single Barrel BourbonRebel Yell Single Barrel 10 Year Old Kentucky Straight BourbonLux Row Distillers (Luxco)Gold
Straight Bourbon 10 years old and underOLD VIRGINIALA MARTINIQUAISEGold
Straight Bourbon 10 years old and underJim Beam BlackJim BeamGold
Straight Bourbon 10 years old and underEvan Williams BlackHeaven Hill DistilleryGold
Straight Bourbon 10 years old and underJim Beam Double OakJim BeamGold
Straight Bourbon 10 years old and underBuffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon WhiskeySazerac Company, Inc.Gold
Straight Bourbon 10 years old and underRebel Yell French Oak Barrel Kentucky Straight BourbonLux Row Distillers (Luxco)Gold
Straight Bourbon 10 years old and underTX Texas Straight BourbonFirestone & Robertson Distilling Co.Gold
Straight Bourbon 10 years old and underEagle Rare 10 Year Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon WhiskeySazerac Company, Inc.Gold
Straight Bourbon 10 years old and underW.L. Weller Special Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon WhiskeySazerac Company, Inc.Gold
Straight Bourbon 10 years old and underBowman Brothers Small Batch Virginia Straight Bourbon WhiskeySazerac Company, Inc.Gold
Straight Bourbon 10 years old and underOld Forester 1910Brown-Forman CorporationGold
Straight Bourbon 10 years old and underElijah Craig Small BatchHeaven Hill DistilleryGold
Straight Bourbon 10 years old and underHeaven Hill Bottled-In-BondHeaven Hill DistilleryGold
Straight Bourbon 10 years old and underOld Fitzgerald Bottled-In-Bond Spring 2020Heaven Hill DistilleryGold
Straight Bourbon 10 years old and underJim Beam Devil’s CutJim BeamGold
Straight Bourbon 10 years old and underColonel E.H. Taylor Jr. Small Batch Kentucky Straight Bourbon WhiskeySazerac Company, Inc.Gold
Straight Bourbon 10 years old and underYellowstone Limited Edition 2019Limestone Branch Distillery (Luxco)Gold
Straight Bourbon 10 years old and underOld Ezra 7 Year Old Kentucky Straight BourbonLux Row Distillers (Luxco)Gold
Straight Bourbon 10 years old and underW.L. Weller Antique 107 Proof Kentucky Straight Bourbon WhiskeySazerac Company, Inc.Gold
Straight Bourbon 10 years old and underOld Forester 1920Brown-Forman CorporationGold
Straight Bourbon 10 years old and underLarceny Barrel ProofHeaven Hill DistilleryGold
Straight Bourbon 10 years old and under1792 Full Proof Kentucky Straight Bourbon WhiskeySazerac Company, Inc.Gold
Straight Bourbon 10 years old and underTX Texas Straight Bourbon Barrel ProofFirestone & Robertson Distilling Co.Gold
Straight Bourbon 10 years old and underStagg Jr. Kentucky Straight Bourbon WhiskeySazerac Company, Inc.Gold
American Single Malt Whiskey 11 years old and overThe Notch Nantucket Island Single Malt Whisky 12 years OldTriple Eight DistilleryGold
American Single Malt Whiskey 11 years old and overThe Notch Nantucket Island Single Malt Whisky 15 years OldTriple Eight DistilleryGold
Straight Bourbon 10 years old and underElijah Craig Barrel Proof A120Heaven Hill DistilleryGold
Straight Bourbon 10 years old and underAbraham Bowman Limited Edition Virginia WhiskeySazerac Company, Inc.Gold
Straight Bourbon 11 years old and overW.L. Weller 12 Year Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon WhiskeySazerac Company, Inc.Gold
Straight Bourbon 11 years old and overKnob Creek 12 Year Bourbon WhiskeyKnob Creek Bourbon, Beam Suntory, Inc.Gold
American Blended WhiskeyBear FightNext Century SpiritsGold
American Blended WhiskeyLegentBeam SuntoryGold
American Wheat WhiskeyBernheimHeaven Hill DistilleryGold
Tennessee WhiskeyUncle Nearest 1856 Premium Aged WhiskeyUncle Nearest Premium WhiskeyGold

This was an incredible year for the competition overall, and Scotch Whiskies were the most impressive, picking up a total of 26 Double Gold winners. And in the end it was also a bottle of Scotch bringing home the award for Best Spirit in the World in 2020.