17th June 2019 – Beam Suntory’s Laphroaig® has been awarded a total of five medals at the 2019 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, including a coveted Double Gold for its PX Cask Travel Retail Exclusive.
The awards, from one of the most significant global competitions, further cements Laphroaig’s famously divisive liquid as a true icon of the whisky world.
The top awarded expression was Laphroaig PX Cask Travel Retail Exclusive, which scooped the much-coveted Double Gold with its intense and rich flavour. Matured in three different types of cask – American oak, Quarter casks and finally Pedro Ximénez casks – the whisky is an explosion of peat with a heavy sherried oak dryness.
Gold medals were also awarded to Laphroaig’s 10-year-old, Select and Quarter Cask expressions, showing that the famed divisive whisky is still winning plaudits across the globe for its unique expressions.
Select is created from carefully selected casks of each of the distillery’s key styles. Mostly, these are historic styles, with one notable addition: the heart of the spirit is drawn from a final maturation in American oak casks – rarely used for scotch whisky. Bottled at natural colour, the result is an exquisite Laphroaig with the trademark ‘peat reek’ matched by an additional layer of complexity and depth brought about by the fusion of the maturation styles and different oaks.
Laphroaig 10-year-old is the original Laphroaig, distilled the same way today as when Ian Hunter invented it more than 75 years ago. Those enjoying the 10 Year Old will first notice the bold, smoky taste, followed by a hint of seaweed and a surprising sweetness. This full-bodied variant is the foundation of all Laphroaig expressions and comes with a long finish.
Laphroaig Quarter Cask offers an irresistible doubling of flavour due to the double maturation in two casks made of American oak. Still-maturing whisky from our standard ex-bourbon barrels is transferred to quarter casks and left to rest in our warehouse just a stone’s throw from the Atlantic shore. This process represents Laphroaig breathing new life into a once-defunct tradition: the use of the smaller cask size, which ensures increased contact with the oak, creating a soft and velvety edge to complement Laphroaig’s distinctive peatiness.
John Campbell, Laphroaig Distillery Manager, comments: “Our whisky has been dividing opinions since 1815 and we embrace every one of them – the good and the bad. But that doesn’t mean we’re not incredibly proud when our whisky picks up an award, even more so when five of our whiskies do.”
“The PX Cask Travel Retail Exclusive is an exceptional liquid that has only been in our range for a few years, so to have it award a Double Gold is a terrific achievement for the whole distillery team.”
Alongside the Double Gold award and three Gold medals, Laphroaig Lore also picked up a Silver medal 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/
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