Winners announced in 2017 International Spirits Challenge


Hibiki 21

Trophies have been awarded to the best spirits in the world in this year’s International Spirits Challenge from more than 1,300 entries around the world.

Now in its 22nd year, the ISC assessed spirits submitted from nearly 70 countries, including blind taste testing by panels of more than 50 respected and experienced industry professionals.

The title of world whisky producer of the year went to Suntory Spirits which won the world whisky trophy and the award for Supreme Champion Spirit with Hibiki 21 Years Old.

William Grant & Sons was named scotch whisky producer of the year after picking up trophies for Glenfiddich 18 Year Old and The Balvenie Thirty. Master blender Brian Kinsman won the award for master blender/distiller of the year.

Other winning whiskies included Chivas Regal Ultis, Dewar’s 18 Year Old, Nikka Coffey Malt, Johnnie Walker Green Label, Invergordon 43 Year Old Batch 11 from That Boutique-y Whisky Company and Kavalan Solist ex-Bourbon Single Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky from Taiwan.

Casa San Matias was named tequila producer of the year after winning a trophy with Expresiones del Corazon Old Rip Van Winkle Añejo tequila, available in the UK via Hi-Spirits. The Sazerac Company also won a trophy with Colonel EH Taylor Jr Single Barrel Bourbon, also distributed by Hi-Spirits in the UK.

Belvedere Vodka was awarded vodka producer of the year for the third year in a row while Diageo was named gin producer of the year. Liqueur producer of the year was Choya Umeshu while RL Seale was named rum producer of the year after winning trophies for its Foursquare Triptych and 2004 rums.

Arcus Denmark won all the aquavit trophies with Aalborg Dild Akvavit, Aalborg Jule Akvavit, Lysholm Linie Double Cask Madeira and Lysholm Linie – brands supplied in the UK via Amathus Drinks.

Other trophy winners included Elephant Gin, Supercassis Crème de Cassis and Bundaberg Rum. Visit http://www.internationalspiritschallenge.com/isc2017/2017-results for a full set of results.

Trophy and producer award winners

Tasting – Gin: Elephant Gin – London Dry Gin
Tasting – Gin: Gibson’s Exception (La Martiniquaise)
Tasting – Liqueurs: Supercassis Crème de Cassis (Vedrenne)
Tasting – Vodka: Stalinskaya Blue Vodka (Prodal 94)
Tasting – Vodka: Pravda Vodka (Charles Jacquin ET CIE)
Tasting – Aquavit: Aalborg Dild Akvavit (Arcus Denmark)
Tasting – Aquavit: Aalborg Jule Akvavit (Arcus Denmark)
Tasting – Aquavit: Lysholm Linie Double Cask Madeira (Arcus Denmark)
Tasting – Aquavit: Lysholm Linie Double Cask Port (Arcus Denmark)
Tasting – Tequila: Tequila Corazon Expresiones Van Winkle Añejo (Casa San Matias)
Tasting – Rum: Foursquare Triptych (RL Seale & Company)
Tasting – Rum: Bundaberg Rum: Master Distillers’ Collection – Blenders Edition (Bundaberg Distilling Co)
Tasting – Rum: Foursquare 2004 (RL Seale & Company)
Tasting – Brandy: Oude Meester Souverein (Distell)
Tasting – Cognac: De Luze XO Fine Champagne (Maison Boinaud)
Tasting – World Whiskies: Colonel EH Taylor Jr Single Barrel Bourbon (Sazerac Company)
Tasting – World Whiskies: Hibiki 21 Years Old (Suntory Spirits)
Tasting – World Whiskies: The Notch Nantucket Island Single Malt Whisky 12 Years Old (Triple Eight Distillery)
Tasting – World Whiskies: Kavalan Solist ex-Bourbon Single Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky (Kavalan Distillery)
Tasting – World Whiskies: Nikka Coffey Malt (Nikka Whisky)
Tasting – Scotch Whisky: Invergordon 43 Year Old – Batch 11 – That Boutique-y Whisky Company (Master of Malt)
Tasting – Scotch Whisky: Chivas Regal Ultis (Chivas Brothers)
Tasting – Scotch Whisky: Dewar’s 18 Year Old (John Dewar & Son’s)
Tasting – Scotch Whisky: Master of Malt 40 Year Old Blended Scotch Whisky (Master of Malt)
Tasting – Scotch Whisky: Johnnie Walker Green Label (Diageo)
Tasting – Scotch Whisky: Glenfiddich 18 Year Old (William Grant & Sons)
Tasting – Scotch Whisky: The Balvenie Thirty (William Grant & Sons)
Supreme Champion Spirit: Hibiki 21 Years Old (Suntory Spirits)
Gin Producer of the Year: Diageo
Liqueur Producer of the Year: Choya Umeshu
Vodka Producer of the Year: Belvedere LVMH
Tequila Producer of the Year: Casa San Matias
Rum Producer of the Year: RL Seale & Company
Brandy Producer of the Year: Distell
World Whisky Producer of the Year: Suntory Spirits
Scotch Whisky Producer of the Year: William Grant & Sons
Supermarket Own Branded Spirits Range of the Year: Aldi
Distiller of the Year: William Grant & Sons
Master Blender/Distiller of the Year: Brian Kinsman, William Grant & Sons
Rising Star Award: Aimee Gibson, Johnnie Walker
Lifetime Achievement Award: Dr Jim Swan

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