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.
17th June 2019 – Bowmore® Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky has been awarded a total of seven medals at the 2019 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, including a coveted Double Gold for its 18-year-old expression.
The medal haul, from one of the most significant global competitions, highlights Bowmore’s position as one of the top distilleries in the world, producing iconic single malts that continue to set the bar for the entire spirits industry.
The top awarded expression was Bowmore 18-year-old, which scooped the much-coveted Double Gold for its masterful combination of ripe fruit, dark chocolate and Islay smoke. Cosseted away in the finest, hand-selected oak casks and allowed to mature at its own sedate pace, this bottle is one of the most remarkable, perfectly balanced single malt scotch whiskies of its kind.
Gold medals were also awarded to Bowmore’s 12-year-old and 25-year-old expressions, demonstrating the breadth of quality in the distillery’s production from one of its youngest core offerings to one of its oldest.
The 12-year-old, which reflects the essence of Bowmore, is both complex and perfectly balanced with subtle lemon and sweet heather honey complementing Bowmore’s trademark peat smoke.
The 25-year-old offers a joyful union of toffee and hazelnut, bound together by sweet peat smoke. It is a whisky that has been patiently matured for a quarter of a century in North American bourbon and Spanish sherry casks and is exceptional even by Bowmore’s standards.
Alongside these awards for the core range, Bowmore’s 15-year-old and 18-year-old Travel Retail Exclusives also picked up gold medals.
Bowmore 15-year-old Travel Retail Exclusive is a golden and elegant whisky, exquisitely married in first fill Bourbon casks and hogsheads for a refreshing, inspired and uplifting character.
Bowmore 18-year-old Travel Retail Exclusive is deep and complex. Perfectly balanced, with a dignified maturity through time well spent in the depths of the finest Oloroso and Pedro Ximénez Sherry casks.
David Turner, Bowmore® Distillery Manager, comments: “San Francisco World Spirits Competition is one of the top awards for the industry so it’s an honour to have picked up so many medals across our range. To have been awarded Double Gold for our 18-year-old core expression is a moment I will forever be immensely proud of – it’s superb whisky and having it recognised like this really makes for a rewarding moment for everyone at the distillery.”
Alongside the Double Gold award and four Gold medals, Bowmore 15-year-old and Bowmore 10-year-old Travel Retail Exclusive also picked up Silver medals to round off an impressive showing from one of Scotland’s most esteemed distilleries.
Since its introduction in 2000, the SFWSC has become one of the most respected and influential spirits competitions in the world. And that means that the award is one of the most reliable and universal indications of spirits excellence.
The 2019 Competition was the biggest in its history, featuring more than 3,000 entries. Judges of the 2019 Competition were established spirits-industry experts, including: Anthony Dias Blue (Executive Director), author, editor, publisher, and one of the most influential food, wine, and spirits writers and lifestyle personalities in the U.S.A; Tony Abou-Ganim (Director of Judging), the Master-Mixologist, one of the leading pioneers of America’s craft cocktail movement; David Wondrich, James Beard Award–winning author and longtime
Spirits Writer for Esquire Magazine; Julie Reiner, the renowned bartender who has brought New York’s Flatiron Lounge and Clover Club rave reviews and top rankings among the best bars in the world; and Jeffrey Morgenthaler, of Clyde Common at Portland’s Ace Hotel, named America’s Bartender of the Year and the country’s Best Cocktail and Spirits Writer at the 2016 Spirited Award.
The robust judging process includes four days of highly controlled blind tastings, where the experienced judging panels taste every product to decide if it is medal-worthy. Judges do not receive any information on producer or price point, ensuring each spirit is judged fairly, equally, and without bias.
While tasting, judges evaluate each product on an individual basis—not compared to other entries in the flight. During this stage, judges determine which entries are worthy of a Gold, Silver, or Bronze medal. Entries that receive a Gold medal from all judges on a panel earn a Double Gold award.
More information about the competition and the winners can be found here: http://sfspiritscomp.com/
Benromach 10 Years Old has been crowned the winner in the 12 Years & Under category at the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Awards 2019. The annual competition seeks out the best whiskies from Scotland’s most prolific whisky-producing region.
Just two finalists are selected in each category during a blind taste challenge held by the judging panel, which is composed of nine leading industry experts and whisky writers. Benromach was the only distillery to have two expressions in the final eight whiskies, including Benromach 15 Years Old which was recognised as the runner up in the 13 – 20 Years Old category.
In the only whisky competition of its type, the shortlisted expressions are then sampled by the public at judging sessions held in cities including New York, Cologne, Rome, Belfast and London.
Visitors and locals to the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival in May then cast the deciding vote on the shortlist, with the results revealed at the Festival’s closing ceilidh.
Keith Cruickshank, Benromach Distillery Manager, said: “We are immensely proud that Benromach 10 Years Old, our flagship whisky, has been recognised in these prestigious awards. It is particularly special because such a breadth of audiences from all over the world have had the opportunity to try two of our whiskies and have recognised them for their quality and taste.
“At Benromach, we are one of only a few Scottish distilleries to craft all our whiskies by hand. Our methods take a little longer, but we believe this extra attention is reflected in the depth of the flavours of our whiskies. We manage the process by sight, sound and touch and use only traditional techniques to create our distinctive expressions – beautifully balanced with a light touch of smoke.’’
For more information, images or interview requests, please contact Fiona Reyner or Annie Diamond on email@example.com
At the recent Drammie Awards for 2014, Stirling whisky bar The Curly Coo came out on top being voted best whisky bar in the world for the second year running. Speaking afterwards, owner Mandy commented “Feeling very honoured to be voted ‘Best Whisk(e)y Bar in the World’, 2 years running in 2 different bars!! Last year when I won, I was very grateful to Crieff people who voted for me but was a sweet/sad experience. Won the Drammie awards on Wednesday then found out the Coo building was being put up for sale on the Friday… The award means so much to me this year. I opened Curly Coo Bar in Stirling at beginning of December and have had so much support from the Stirling folk and many of Stirling Students, Lecturers and Professors… Exciting times ahead, thanks to all who have supported me along the way… Mandy.
A big congratulations to Mandy and the Curly Coo. Be sure to drop in for a dram when next in Stirling.
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