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Winners Announced in Inaugural 2018 London Spirits Competition

09/04/2018 2018 London Spirits Competition, held in the month of March this year announces the winners of the contest. The Irishman Single Malt from Walsh Whiskey Distillery wins “Spirit of the Year". Here is the entire list

London, April 9 – At the first-ever London Spirits Competition, which took place in London on March 8-9, 20 spirits from all over the world were awarded the prestigious Gold medal. The top scoring spirit, The Irishman Single Malt from Walsh Whiskey Distillery, was named the “Spirit of the Year.”

Spirits were judged on the basis of three primary criteria – quality, value, and packaging – and then scored on a 100-point scale. Spirits that scored 90+ points were awarded Gold medals, while spirits that scored 76 to 89 points were awarded Silver medals. The primary reason for using three criteria rather than just one was to focus on the overall drinkability of each spirit. As a result, the judging panel ranked spirits not just by how they taste, but also their overall presentation and appearance in the bottle. In addition, judges assessed spirits on their relative value in relation to their peers, as determined by retail pricing.

The breakout star of the event was The Irishman Single Malt from Walsh Whiskey Distillery in Carlow, Ireland. In addition to winning “Spirit of the Year,” this whiskey also won “Best in Show” and “Whiskey of the Year.” Several UK spirits in addition to The Irishman Single Malt scored high enough to be awarded a Gold medal, including Dewar’s 18 Year Old The Vintage from John Dewar & Sons Ltd, The Dead Rabbit Irish Whiskey from the Dublin Liberties Whiskey Company, and Tomintoul 16 Years Old Single Malt and Glencadam 19 Years Old Oloroso Sherry Cask Finish Single Malt from Angus Dundee Distillers.

The breakout star of the event was The Irishman Single Malt from Walsh Whiskey Distillery in Carlow, Ireland. In addition to winning “Spirit of the Year,” this whiskey also won “Best in Show” and “Whiskey of the Year.” Several UK spirits in addition to The Irishman Single Malt scored high enough to be awarded a Gold medal, including Dewar’s 18 Year Old The Vintage from John Dewar & Sons Ltd, The Dead Rabbit Irish Whiskey from the Dublin Liberties Whiskey Company, and Tomintoul 16 Years Old Single Malt and Glencadam 19 Years Old Oloroso Sherry Cask Finish Single Malt from Angus Dundee Distillers.

Other notable winners included Nemiroff Honey Pepper Vodka (“Vodka of the Year”), Ratu Spice Rum (“Rum of the Year”), High Spirits Gin (“Gin of the Year”) and Angus Dundee Distillers (“Distillery of the Year”). Also, since winners at the London Spirits Competition were ranked according to three different scoring criteria – quality, value, and packaging – the event recognized those entrants that scored the highest in each of the categories. Slane Irish Whiskey from Brown Forman was the highest-scoring spirit according to value.

The London Spirits Competition was launched in late 2017 by Beverage Trade Network, which organizes alcohol beverage industry events all over the world. The goal of this event was to judge spirits the way consumers judge them. In contrast to other spirits competitions, where technical expertise sometimes receives primary consideration at the expense of drinkability, the goal of the London Spirits Competition was to award and celebrate the spirits that spirits drinkers actually want to buy, whether at a retail liquor store or ordering off the menu at a London restaurant.

Chief executive of Beverage Trade Network Sid Patel said, “At all the major competitions, spirits are judged solely on the quality of what’s in the bottle. We wanted to take a different approach, by asking our judges to look at spirits the way spirits drinkers do, adding appearance and value for money into the mix.”

“The best-tasting spirits in the world won’t attract the attention of consumers unless the packaging design and price point appeal to spirits drinkers,” says Patel. “People buy products with their eyes first, and that puts a real premium on spirits that are able to offer an attractive presentation, everything from the label to the brand perception.”

“Including all three factors into the judging process produces results that are closer to the reality of the way consumers purchase spirits and gives distillers better feedback on how their spirits are perceived by spirits drinkers,” Patel notes.

At the judging session, judges tasted and scored spirits on a blind basis before seeing bottles and marking them for on-shelf appeal as well as value for money. This enabled them to come up with an overall score that reflects their overall drinkability.

Patel said, “Launching a new competition is exciting but also daunting, especially when it fundamentally changes the way spirits are judged. We’re delighted with the first-ever London Spirits Competition, which attracted entries from award-winning distilleries from all over Europe, in addition to Australia and the United States.”

Based on the initial success of this year’s London Spirits Competition, Beverage Trade Network plans to run the competition again in 2019 and will be opening up entries towards the end of 2018.

 

THE 2018 WINNERS

 

Spirit of the Year

The Irishman Single Malt - Walsh Whiskey Distillery

 

Vodka of the Year

Nemiroff Honey Pepper vodka – LVN Limited

 

Rum of the Year

Ratu Spice Rum – Rum Co Fiji

 

Gin of the Year

High Spirits Gin – High Spirits Distillery

 

Whiskey of the Year

The Irishman Single Malt – Walsh Whiskey Distillery

 

Distillery of the Year

Angus Dundee Distillers, Great Britain

 

Best in Show (By Country)

Netherlands – Organic Old Gin – BioSpirits BV

Australia – High Spirits Gin – High Spirits Distillery

Denmark – Rum Edition, batch 01 – Fary Lochan Destilleri

France – Puranique Vodka – Global Spirits LLC

Great Britain – Dewar’s 18 Year Old The Vintage – John Dewar & Sons Ltd

Ireland – The Irishman Single Malt – Walsh Whiskey Distillery

United States – Hop Vodka – Drinklab Inc


London Spirits Competition Gold medal winners:

Walsh Whiskey Distillery - The Irishman Single Malt

High Spirits Distillery - High Spirits Gin

John Dewar & Sons Ltd - Dewar's 18 Year Old The Vintage

Casoni Fabbricazione Liquori - Bitter del Ciclista

The Dublin Liberties Whiskey Company - The Dead Rabbit Irish Whiskey

Poetic License - Northern Dry Gin

Brimmers Limited - Brimmers Bitters

LVN Limited (Brand - Nemiroff) - Nemiroff Honey Pepper

Poetic License Distillery - Sarsaparilla Gin Liqueur

Piperita Srl - Liquore delle Sirene

Copperhead NV - Copperhead Black Batch

Angus Dundee Distillers - Tomintoul 16 Years Old Single Malt

Angus Dundee Distillers - Glencadam 19 years Old Oloroso Sherry Cask Finish Single Malt

Conker Spirit Ltd - Conker Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur

Isle of Skye Distillers LTD - Misty Isle Gin

Quintessential Brands - Opihr Gin

Applewood Distillery - Økar Amaro

Drinklab Inc - Hop Vodka

City of London distillery - Square Mile

Torino Distillati - VII Hills Italian Dry Gin

 

London Spirits Competition Silver medal winners:

Brown Forman - Slane Irish Whiskey

Northumberland Spirit Company Ltd - Alnwick Gin

L. Psenner GmbH - Grappa Barrique Riserva

Dà Mhìle Distillery - Botanical Gin

John Dewar & Sons Ltd - Dewar's 12 The Ancestor

John Dewar & Sons Ltd - Dewar's 15 The Monarch

John Dewar & Sons Ltd - Dewar's 25 The Signature

NAYA & BLAZQUEZ ASSOCIATS,S.L. - Licor de Marialluïsa

Casoni Fabbricazione Liquori - Nocino di Modena

The Oxford Artisan Distillery (TOAD) - Oxford Dry Gin

Orkney Gin Company - Orkney Gin Company Johnsmas

Global Spirits LLC - Puranique Vodka

The Walled Garden Trading Company Ltd - Gordon Castle Scotland Distilled Gin

Angus Dundee Distillers - Tomintoul Tlath Single Malt

Angus Dundee Distillers - Old Ballantruan 15 Years Old

Ben Nevis Distillery - 12 Years Old Deluxe Blend

Alpine Distilling - Preserve Liqueur

Sacred Spirits - English Whisky Liqueur

BEPI TOSOLINI - GIN T

John Dewar & Sons Ltd - Dewar's White Label

Spirit Of Harrogate Ltd - Slingsby Navy Strength Gin

The Gower Gin Company Ltd – GWYR – Gower Gin

Applewood Distillery - Espressocello

Lignell & Piispanen - Gustav Dill Vodka

The Dublin Liberties Whiskey Company, part of Quintessential Brands Group - The Dubliner 10 Year Old Irish Whiskey

Rum Co Fiji - Ratu Spice Rum

Rum Co Fiji - Ratu Signature Liqueur

Vodquila LLC - Vodquila

Tesseron Cognac - Tesseron Lot 90 XO Ovation

Angus Dundee Distillers - Glencadam Origin Single Malt

Angus Dundee Distillers - Glencadam 13 Years Old Single Malt

Access the full list of silver and bronze medal winners HERE

Enter your spirits into 2019 London Spirits Competition and get early bird pricing discount before December 15, 2018.

ENTER YOUR SPIRITS HERE