Winners announced in IWSC spirits competition

IWSC winners

The winning spirits in this year’s International Wine & Spirit Competition (IWSC) have been announced, with entrants from 60 countries around the world.

This year, Scotland swept the board again, winning five trophies and 427 medals, as well as taking home 73 of the Gold and Gold Outstanding accolades. Gold medal winners included anCnoc 12 Year Old, Hankey Bannister’s Heritage Blend, The Blended Whisky Company’s The Golden Age Blend and The Balvenie Thirty.

As the whisky category continues to innovate with travel retail exclusives and cask finishes, IWSC saw an entry increase of 10% from 2015 – an 88% entry increase over the past three years.

After a 35% uplift year on year for entries in the worldwide whisky category, Taiwan’s Kavalan Distillery was awarded three Gold medals as well as a Gold Outstanding for its Kavalan Solist Port Single Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky.

In a record year for spirit entries overall, there were 200% more entries into the gin category since 2013. Cumbria’s Bedrock Gin produced by Spirits of the Lakes achieved a Gold medal while Star of Bombay and Purity Gin were trophy winners.

Other significant growth areas in the competition since 2013 were shochu, with a 300% growth, rum with 83% growth and 44% growth for the liqueur category.

Launched in 2015, the Gin & Tonic and Bloody Mary categories returned along with a new Vodka & Tonic category in partnership with Fever-Tree mixers. Vodrock, last year’s Bloody Mary Trophy winner, picked up the inaugural Vodka & Tonic trophy while Hernö Export Strength Gin secured the Gin & Tonic trophy and Swiss Vodka Inc’s Elation Hemp Flavoured Vodka was awarded the Bloody Mary Trophy.

The top 200 winners of the spirits competition will be showcased at the annual spirits tasting event hosted by the IWSC and the Worshipful Company of Distillers tonight at London’s Vintners Hall. It follows months of rigorous evaluation by its panel of expert judges.

Ewan Lacey, IWSC managing director, said: “The significant growth of new entries over the last few years are testament to the continuing advancement and innovation of our entrants.

“An increase of 200% in gin entries since 2013 reflects the boom in the category worldwide and we are delighted that producers continue to choose the IWSC to benchmark and promote their products.”

2016 Spirit Trophy winners
Cognac Trophy: Richelieu XO, Distell Ltd
Fruit Spirits Trophy (supported by Arthur Nagele): Macardo Vielle Prune, Macardo Destillerie
London Dry Gin Trophy (sponsored by the Gin Guild): Star of Bombay, Bacardi Global Brands Inc.
Contemporary Style Gin Trophy (sponsored by the Gin Guild): Purity Gin, Purity Vodka AB
Pomace Brandy Trophy: Sibona Grappa Riserva affinata in Botti da Porto, Distilleria Sibona SpA
Worldwide Brandy Trophy (sponsored by Distell): Van Ryn’s 12-Year-Old Distiller’s Reserve, Distell
Liqueur Trophy: Tea Liqueur Jossie Earl Grey, SAEGB
Rum Trophy: Foursquare 2006, R L Seale & Company Limited
Sake Trophy: Junmai Daiginjo Aonomu “Blue Label”, Yaegaki Sake & Spirits Inc.
Shochu/Soju Trophy: Shochu iichiko Special, Sanwa Shurui Co, Ltd.
Tequila Trophy (supported by The Spirits of Mexico Festival): Tequila El Tesoro Anejo Tequila, Beam Suntory
Vodka Trophy: Count Pushkin Vodka, Distell Ltd
Bourbon Trophy: Jim Beam Black, Beam Suntory
Worldwide Whiskey Trophy (supported by Whiskies of the World): Knob Creek Rye Whiskey, Beam Suntory
Scotch Whisky Trophy (Single Malt Scotch Whisky over 15 Years): Balblair Vintage 1990,
International Beverage
Scotch Whisky Trophy (Single Malt Scotch Whisky No Age Statement): Kilchoman Sanaig, Kilchoman, Distillery Co Ltd
Scotch Whisky Trophy (Single Malt Scotch Whisky 15 Years and Under): The Balvenie DoubleWood 12-Year-Old, William Grant & Sons Distillers Ltd
Scotch Whisky Trophy (Cask Strength Scotch Whisky) (sponsored by Whyte & Mackay): Aberlour A’bunadh, Chivas Brothers
Scotch Whisky Trophy (The Independence Trophy for Blended Scotch Whisky) (sponsored by William Grant & Sons): The Golden Age Blend, Atom Supplies Ltd
Bloody Mary Trophy: Elation Hemp Flavored Vodka, Swiss Vodka, Inc
Gin & Tonic Trophy (supported by Fever-Tree): Hernö Gin AB, Hernö Export Strength Gin
Vodka & Tonic Trophy (supported by Fever-Tree): Vodrock, UG Vodrock
Best Packaging Design Range of the Year: Archie Rose Distilling Co for Archie Rose Original Vodka, Archie Rose Signature Dry Gin, Archie Rose White Rye
Best Gin Packaging of the Year: Dorset Dry Gin, Conker Spirit
Best Vodka Packaging of the Year: Stateside Urbancraft Vodka, Federal Distilling

For the full list of IWSC 2016 results, visit

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