9th September 2019: The winners in the inaugural competition to assess the business of Scotch whisky have been revealed at a sell-out event held in Edinburgh last week.
The Scottish Whisky Awards welcomed over 400 guests to celebrate and to hear who had been crowned the best in the wide-ranging competition which assesses taste and business performance.
Scottish Whisky Distillery of the Year 2019 was presented to The GlenAllachie Distillery in recognition of an outstanding year of business and after winning five medals in the blind tasting competition. The distillery has successfully served a full range of single malt into the market, opened a visitor centre and created a strong distribution network. Their awards haul included two gold medals for their 18 and 12 year old single malts. Craigellachie, Glen Scotia, Highland Park and Loch Lomond Distilleries were also nominated in the category.
Angus-based Arbikie Distilling collected the award for the Newcomer of the Year and were applauded by the judging panel for their field to bottle ethos and innovative approach. They also collected a silver medal for Arbikie Highland Rye in the single grain category.
Other winners on the night included Johnnie Walker White Walker for their Game Of Thrones campaign whilst the Glasgow Distillery Company triumphed with multiple awards for their recently launched 1770 Single Malt.
Professor Alan Wolstenholme, Chair of the Judging panel commented;
“Very many congratulations to the winners in the inaugural Scottish Whisky Awards. Winning a Scottish Whisky Award is a huge opportunity to further the promotion of Scotch whisky at home and abroad. I hope that all the medallists and winners take the opportunity to promote their success and achievements in what was a very tough competition.”
The awards are supported by commercial sponsors including Shawbrook Bank and Bruce Stevenson.
Kevin Boyd, Managing Director at Shawbrook Bank commented;
“Congratulations to all the finalists and winners in the inaugural Scottish Whisky Awards. Shawbrook Bank are proud supporters of our whisky industry and we are delighted to support these awards and their work to promote the business of Scotch and all our wonderful whiskies at home and abroad.”
Graeme Dempster, Account Executive at Bruce Stevenson Insurance Brokers commented;
“We’d like to congratulate all the finalists and winners at the Scottish Whisky Awards. The quality of talent up for nomination clearly demonstrates the strength of the Scotch Whisky industry today. At
Bruce Stevenson, we’re very proud to have a wide-ranging and deep involvement in such an exciting and growing sector.”
The awards also recognised one of the whisky industry’s most accomplished scientific and technical advisers with a special award presented posthumously to Dr Jim Swan. The award for outstanding contribution to Scotch whisky was accepted by Dr Swan’s daughters and was presented in recognition of his forty-year career as a research scientist and trusted adviser to whisky distilleries around the world. The award will be presented annually as The Jim Swan Award for Services to Scotch Whisky to an individual making a significant contribution to the Scotch Whisky industry.
Full results in the competition were unveiled for the first-time last night after being held as a closely guarded secret since the business and taste competitions were carried out in May. In the taste sessions, adjudicated by the international sensory management consultancy, Cara Technology, over 100 whiskies were blind tasted and scored by a 32-strong judging panel from the UK, mainland Europe and Asia.
The awards which will now become an annual fixture and will be hosted in Glasgow next year, were also a fundraiser for two charities; The BEN, the Benevolent Society of the Licensed Trade of Scotland and the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation, set up by rugby legend Doddie Weir to help improve the lives of those affected by Motor Neurone Disease.
Michael Russell MSP visited Glen Scotia Distillery as part of a new campaign to position Campbeltown as the “whiskiest place in the world.”
The Argyll & Bute member was presented with a unique bottling as the distillery prepared for the annual Campbeltown Malts Festival, which gets underway tomorrow [Tuesday 21 May].
During the visit the MSP, who is also Cabinet Secretary for Constitutional Affairs, had an opportunity to see some of the oldest parts of the distillery, which date back to the 1830s and to meet some of its staff.
He also bottled his own whisky, choosing an 18 Year Old Single Malt from Cask 560, a first fill ex-bourbon cask stored in Glen Scotia’s historic dunnage warehouse.
The one-off bottle is dedicated to the MSP and his visit to Glen Scotia, with Campbeltown described on the label as “the whiskiest place in the world” in honour of the region’s illustrious past. In the Victorian era Campbeltown was home to more than 30 distilleries and known as ‘whisky capital of the world’.
Iain McAlister, distillery manager, said: “It was a pleasure to welcome Michael Russell MSP to our distillery. We’re very proud of our exceptional single malts and their contribution to both Campbeltown and Scotland’s world-leading whisky industry. Research suggests that Campeltown was the predominant Scotch whisky for almost 100 years.
“Whisky is in our DNA in Campbeltown. After being at the forefront of production distilling has become a way of life here and we’re looking forward to sharing our passion for whisky with visitors to this year’s malts festival.”
Michael Russell MSP, said: “It was great to meet the team at Glen Scotia Distillery and learn more about their award-winning single malts.
“It’s very encouraging to see how Glen Scotia is helping to attract visitors to the Campbeltown and boost recognition of its role in Scotch. I wish it well with its new campaign.”
The 57.4% ABV Scotch gifted to the MSP is among several whiskies due to be sampled straight from the cask by visitors taking part in Glen Scotia’s dunnage tastings during the Campbeltown Malts Festival.
The festival, which runs from 21-23 May showcases the region’s distinctive single malts.
As part of the event, Glen Scotia is set to host two sold-out whisky dinners, a distillery open day, tours and a variety of tastings. New to its programme this year is the Glen Scotia Coastal Connection Tasting session with Master Blender Michael Henry, who will explore Campbeltown’s history, explaining how it has shaped and influenced the town’s whisky heritage to this day.
To find our more visit www.glenscotia.com
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