International Spirits Challenge 2020 Awards: Winners Announced

Dalmore 35 Year Old Single Highland Malt Scotch Whisky has been named the Supreme Champion at the International Spirits Challenge 2020 Awards. 

Trophies were awarded to 36 spirits that dazzled renowned panels of expert judges in a rigorous blind tasting process.

The elite collection of trophy winners encompassed shochu, baijiu, liqueurs, tequila, mezcal, gin, vodka, rum, aquavit, brandy, armagnac, cognac and whiskies from around the world.

Dalmore 35 was then selected as the very best spirit from that esteemed bunch. 

International Spirits Challenge director Justin Smith said: “It was an honour to celebrate the achievements of so many fantastic spirits producers around the world during an unprecedented tine for the industry.

“Our team worked tirelessly to overcome logistical barriers and deliver the ISC to an extremely high standard, and the results highlight just how much dynamism, innovation and quality there is in the global drinks industry. 

“The ISC is now in its 25th year and it is firmly established as the premier event for celebrating outstanding spirits from across the globe. Congratulations to all our medal winners, trophy winners and the Supreme Champion, Dalmore 35 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky.

“They impressed respected panels of industry experts in a rigorous blind tasting process, and they deserve to celebrate their achievements. We look forward to the ISC returning bigger and better than ever in 2021.”

William Grant & Sons was named Distiller of the Year after securing an impressive medal haul across a number of categories.

Chivas Brothers scooped three trophies within the scotch whisky category and was named Scotch Whisky Producer of the Year.

There were also three trophies for Beam Suntory’s tequila producer, El Tesoro, while TTL Longtian Distillery company also won three trophies – two in Baijiu and one in World Whisky. Arcus also won two trophies in Aquavit.

There were six trophies for scotch, five for tequila and four for baijiu, making them the most successful spirits categories.

Own-label spirits flourished in the tasting. Lidl won a trophy for its Rachmaninoff Triple Distilled vodka. Marks and Spencer was named Supermarket of the Year, and it also won Pre-mixed Drinks Producer of the Year.

Five Farms Irish Cream won the Design & Packaging trophy for best new brand launch, while Cihuatán rum won the trophy for best relaunch design. Five Farms Irish Cream was named Supreme Champion for Design & Packaging. Stranger & Stranger was named Design Agency of the Year.

Sazerac won the award for American Whiskey Producer of the Year, Suntory won Japanese Whisky Producer of the Year, Irish Distillers was named Irish Whiskey Producer of the Year and Kavalan was honoured as World Whisky Producer of the Year.

Beam Suntory took the award for Agave Spirits Producer of the Year for its success with El Tesoro. Quintessential Brands Group was named Gin Producer of the Year. Foursquare won Rum Producer of the Year, while Altia was named Vodka Producer of the Year.

Domaine Tariquet was named Armagnac Producer of the Year, and Bodegas Osborne was named Brandy Producer of the Year. De Kuyper Royal Distillers won the Liqueurs Producer of the Year award.

TTL Longtian Distillery won the award for Asian Spirits Producer of the Year, and Arcus was named World Spirits Producer of the Year.

Jim Beam legend Fred Noe was Distiller of the Year. Silent Pool distiller Tom Hutchings was named Rising Star. The Lifetime Achievement award went to Whyte & Mackay master distiller Richard Paterson.