49th International Wine & Spirit Competition is now open for entries

Chris Blandy

The International Wine & Spirit Competition is inviting the world’s best wines, spirits, retailers, drinks businesses and industry personnel to submit their entries for the 2017 awards.

This year, Whisky & Ginger, Rum & Cola and Rum & Ginger categories have been added and experts will evaluate mixed whiskies and rums in a blind tasting, with no ice or garnish. The introduction follows the success of the Gin and Vodka & Tonic categories in recent years and the continued global popularity of whisky and rum around the world.

The IWSC Wine Tasting 2017 is expecting a record number of entries from across Europe, South Africa, South America, New Zealand, Australia, the USA and the rest of the world. French wines dominated the Northern Hemisphere in 2016 with 45 Gold and Gold Outstanding medals, but there was room for English wine to shine – with seven Gold medals – a trend that is expected to continue.

The IWSC Spirit Tasting 2017 is looking forward to another record-breaking competition this year. While Scotch dominates the segment, scooping 427 medals in 2016, emerging categories are driving the growth of the medal table with World Whiskies (+67%), Tequila/Mezcal (+67%), Irish Whiskey (+55%) and Rum (+42%) proving particularly dynamic.

Newly-appointed IWSC 2017 president, Chris Blandy, chief executive of the Madeira Wine Company, said: “We are very excited this year particularly to unveil our brand new tasting categories, the Whisky & Ginger, Rum & Ginger and Rum & Cola competitions. The global surge in popularity of whisky and rum is incredibly dynamic and we look forward to announcing the results of the inaugural contest at the Spirit Tasting in July.”

The prestigious IWSC Achievement Awards are now open for nominations and entries close on 5 February 2017. Each of the four accolades recognise the success of a person or company in the drinks industry and there is a celebrated list of past winners including; Joe Wadsack, Wine Communicator of the Year 2016; Alice Lascelles, Spirit Communicator of the Year 2016; Dawn Davies (buyer for Whisky Exchange), Julian Brind Memorial Trophy For Outstanding Achievement in the Wine Industry 2014; and David Stewart (William Grant & Sons), Outstanding Achievement in the Scotch Whisky Industry 2005. You will also be given a 10% discount if you enter the competition at www.iwsc.net before 31 January 2017.

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