It will come as no surprise to you discerning drinkers that there’s excellent whisky to be had from all over the world.
If you combine the varying climates to grow barley in, the way temperature and humidity affect the maturation process, and a keenness to look at production methods from a fresh perspective - it's inevitable that there are so many amazing new discoveries to be found.
Over the past five years, New World Whisky has gone from small pockets here and there to a becoming very visible, burgeoning group of makers who are are finding an audience across the globe and bringing the entire whisky category into a new era.
Not only are they making it differently, they are presenting it differently (with less pomp and circumstance) and in doing so, are connecting with drinkers whom the traditional producers have struggled to engage with.
If you are looking for a new trends in the spirits world - this is a one of the most dynamic areas of the industry right now.
So what is New World Whisky and what should you be looking for?
New World whisky isn't an official category, rather a loose grouping given to whiskies made in places not usually associated with whisky production. You tend to find that these producers have a deep respect for the traditions of established regions, but are focused on innovation and reflecting their environment in the spirit they make. As we've mentioned already, they are a lot less formal about what whisky ‘must’ or ‘must’ not be as they are unshackled by decades of legacy and expectation.
It's not just about new-to-whisky countries though, the "New World" moniker also encompasses unconventional whisky made within established countries. For example there could be a Scottish or Irish Rye, American Single Malt etc.
Traditionally, Japan was the first place that would come to mind when thinking of New World Whisky, but after decades of production and a dozen years going from fringe enthusiast offerings into the mainstream, they are now firmly established within the Whisky heartlands.
More often than not, New World is being used to describe Antipodean and new European producers.
Australia is home to dozens of whisky distilleries, but despite the international acclaim and reputation many of the Tasmanian distilleries have achieved, only a handful are available outside the country. With bigger players now emerging, this is changing rapidly. Styles vary hugely, but the regional expertise and world class pedigree in winemaking is playing a key role in shaping many, with wine cask matured single malts becoming a key trend for recent releases.
Scandinavia is also experiencing a surge, each focusing on a different aspect of the region's unique terroir. For example, the sub-zero climate or using local grains in unusual mash bills. Meanwhile, there are now over forty distillers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland who are busy establishing their own styles and forging a new chapter for their respective countries.
Here are five to have on your radar…