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09th February 2024
The Icons of Whisky and World Whiskies Awards returned to Louisville for their regional America legs, along with the Whisky Magazine Hall of Fame inductions of Joseph Magliocco and Freddie Johnson.

The American whiskey industry gathered for an evening of celebration as winners were announced in the USA regional legs of the Icons of Whisky and World Whiskies Awards 2024.

On Thursday 8 February, many of the most recognisable names in the industry gathered at The Brown Hotel in Louisville, from master distillers and visitor experience managers to brand ambassadors and communicators, to celebrate this year’s regional competitors.

In the Icons of Whisky, Heaven Hill Distillery was named Distiller of the Year, Greg Metze from Old Elk Distillery took the title of Master Distiller/Master Blender of the Year, and Visitor Attraction of the Year was awarded to Buffalo Trace Distillery.

The event also saw the announcement of the Round 1 Category Winners for the United States in the World Whiskies Awards 2024 (including Best Bourbon and Best Tennessee Whiskey), and the unveiling of two new American inductees to the Whisky Magazine Hall of Fame: Joseph J. Magliocco from Michter’s owner Chatham Imports, and Freddie Johnson from Buffalo Trace Distillery.

A number of awards were sponsored by major names in the world of whiskey and suppliers to the industry, including: Brindiamo Group, Glencairn Crystal, IPL Packaging, Kentucky Bourbon Festival, and McLaren Packaging. The Whisky Magazine Hall of Fame is sponsored by Amorim Top Series.

The Kentucky ceremony followed the Icons of Whisky regional Ireland leg, which took place in Dublin in November, the Whisky Magazine Awards Scotland, held in Edinburgh in December, and the announcement of the World Whiskies Awards country winners (excluding Scotland and the USA) and the Icons of Whisky Rest of World winners on 1 February. This year’s awards are particularly special, as Whisky Magazine celebrated its 25th anniversary on 20 November 2023.

Run by the team at Whisky Magazine, the Icons of Whisky aim to celebrate the best and brightest people and places in the sector – not just the distilleries and the teams that work in them, but also the individuals and businesses that work to support and promote them and their products.

The World Whiskies Awards commend the best whiskies from around the world in a wide variety of categories including Single Malt, Bourbon, Blended, and Rye.

Regional winners are encouraged to attend the Whisky Magazine Awards in London on 20 March 2024, where the global winners will be crowned. Tickets are available here.

Bethany Brown, editor of Whisky Magazine and chair of judges for the Icons of Whisky, said: “Recent data from the American Craft Spirits Association revealed that the United States’ craft distilling industry is firmly on the up. This is fantastic news not only for craft whiskey distillers, who are doing phenomenal work and creating incredible liquids that deserve wider appreciation, but also for us as whiskey drinkers as a greater variety of products become more accessible. While celebrating these gains for small producers, we must not forget the contribution of the US’ larger whiskey distilling companies to the category’s continued success, which are driving industry-leading innovations in areas such as sustainable production and visitor experience.

“Through the Icons of Whisky and World Whiskies Awards, we aim to celebrate the very best of the American whiskey world. Here, size doesn’t matter – it’s what you do with it that counts, and there are some truly remarkable things being done.”

Full lists of the USA winners in the Icons of Whisky 2024 and World Whiskies Awards 2024 can be found here. Discover more about the competitions at
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