10 unmissable products at the IWSC Awards Banquet
With the IWSC Awards Banquet just a few short days away, those set to attend can look forward to tasting the very best of the IWSC 2018 award-winners.
Almost 500 Gold and Gold Outstanding medal-winning wines and spirits will be lined up for tasting at London’s iconic Guildhall on Wednesday night, including some of the most interesting and iconic drinks in the world.
We’ve selected just ten of the tipples that will be available for guests to try, picking out some of the rarest and most intriguing products, alongside a handful of the competition’s top trophy winners.
To preview the full line up, see the evening’s complete tasting guide.
Golan Heights Winery has played a significant role in developing Israel’s unique wine culture and placing the country on the world wine map; this year, Golan Heights received the only Gold medal from Israel this year for its powerful Cabernet Sauvignon.
This Gold Outstanding winning dessert wine from last year’s Italian Wine Producer of the Year, Fattoria La Vialla, received a perfect score from the IWSC Chair Judge: 100/100.
Thanks to overwhelming success in the category this year, the IWSC has introduced a new trophy celebrating Austrian grape Gruner Veltliner; this year’s winner is from Weingut Rabl in Langenlois, Lower Austria – a region famous for its wine production.
Chablis has shone in the IWSC this year, receiving four times as many Gold medals than last year – be sure to try the only one to receive a Gold Outstanding, from La Chablisienne, who have also been nominated for French Wine Producer of the Year.
South Africa have once again performed outstandingly at this year’s IWSC, and Pinotage Trophy winner Beyerskloof are leading from the front, also receiving the Blended Red Wine Trophy. Aged in a selection of the cellar’s best 20 barrels, the Diesel Pinotage 2014 is both extremely exclusive and limited, says winemaker Anri Truter.
The IWSC Distiller of the Year 2017 returns to the Guildhall this year with three expressions, including Solist ex-Bourbon Single Cask Strength and Distillery Reserve Peaty Cask Single Cask Strength. Keep your eye out for Kavalan Oloroso in particular, though, which won a Gold Outstanding medal this year.
The winner of our Cask Strength Scotch Whisky Trophy, Cask 3.305, has been aged by The Scotch Malt Whisky Society for 28 years – since March 1989 – in a first fill ex-bourbon hogshead on the Scottish island of Islay.
Made using two production methods – cask aged and Old Tom – Barr Hill’s gin is aged in new American oak barrels and received both a medal in the gin category and for gin and tonic, making it a perfect spirit to try with mixers provided by IWSC sponsor Fever Tree.
It’s not only gin and vodka that English distillery Adnams produces – the company also makes a triple malt whisky – and with Cotswolds Dry Gin also introducing a single malt to their range, English distilleries are beginning to show that they too can produce whiskies that are able to compete with the rest of the UK.
Crafted by IWSC chair judge and master distiller Richard Paterson and retailing at a hefty £10,000, the Dalmore 45-year-old is the type of whisky you’re likely to only come across once in your lifetime – don’t miss it at the IWSC Awards Banquet this year.
The IWSC Annual Awards Banquet returns to Guildhall, London, for our annual celebration of excellence in wine & spirit making on 14 November.
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- “As a start-up brand you focus hard on achieving credibility and creating awareness. Winning Gold Outstanding and the Mezcal Trophy provided us with a level of credibility and exposure that we simply could not have achieved on our own. The awards helped secure key listings in Harvery Nichols and Selfridges and certainly played a significant part in opening up dialogue with potential U.S importers and ultimately securing one. I thought hard about which competition to enter and what the return on that investment would be. I can say with absolute confidence that the IWSC was worth every penny.”David ShepherdFounder & Director, Corte Vetusto
- “IWSC is a very important competition to us in terms of showing consumers our quality. It's one of the competitions that we definitely enter on a yearly basis.”Ian ChangMaster Blender, Kavalan Distillery
- “Out of all of the awards, the IWSC is probably the most prestigious and most honest awards. You choose your judges very well and they're very good, honest, decent people. They do it for the love of the industry.”Sukhinder SinghMD, The Whisky Exchange
- “The IWSC is a very prestigious competition. The prestige is a great thing to be able to communicate to our customers who have great respect for it.”David PorterOperations & Buying, Lea & Sandeman
- “The IWSC represents everything, without a doubt. There's no better competition in the world where you can judge yourself not just against your countrymen but against the rest of the world.”Andy AndersonWinemaker, Takapoto Estate
- “Fantastic company and fantastic award . . . In the wine industry, having an award like this is such an accolade.”Claire GriffithsCommercial Director, Vina Cono Sur
- “It's one of the greatest international awards you can get. It's similar to an Oscar, if you like.”Lenz MoserWinemaker, Yantai Changyu Pioneer Company
- “Because of the number of international judges that are tasting the wines and the number of wines that are being entered, it’s a great privilege for us to receive this award. The history of the competition, the standing that it has amongst the international wine world and certainly amongst one’s peers, to be able to get an award at the IWSC means a lot. There are a lot of competitions around the world – this probably represents the top award you could get as a winemaker.”Gary & Kathy JordanWinemakers, Jordan Wine Estate
- “It’s a great honour to win especially as nowadays people are focusing on the quality not just the numbers, so it does mean a huge amount getting recognition from an institution as well sought after as the IWSC.”Chris BlandyOwner, Blandy's Wines
- “This will be a recognition that will help in building the brand further, and building its prestige around the world.”Victor FuentesDirector General, El Coto de Rioja S.A
- “The IWSC is a well renowned, well looked up to standard and a symbol of premium products so it’s a great achievement to win any award.”Andrea FreeboroughCellar Master, Nederburg Wines