With a record number of applicants entered into this year’s Emerging Talent in Spirits award, narrowing down the talent pool to just five shortlisted candidates was no mean feat. This award was created to recognise individuals working in spirits who go above-and-beyond their role, demonstrating dedication and passion for spirits beyond the scope of their day job.
Following our announcement last week of our five fantastic shortlisted candidates for this award, we are delighted to name our winner of our Emerging Talent in Spirits, sponsored by Whyte & Mackay, as Hemil Haria.
Our judges were so impressed with how much Hemil had managed to achieve in such a short space of time, they commented that he was “definitely one to watch”. Through his application it was clear that Hemil is a real people person, his fantastic networking skills have enabled him to singlehandedly propel himself into the spirits industry.
Our panel consisted of brewers, blenders as well as brand founders, who all greatly admired Hemil’s clear passion and keen interest in flavours, our panel believed this enthusiasm served as a great foundation for all emerging talent in the industry.
Hemil demonstrated great determination and it was clear from his application he is a hard worker who always wants to push the boundaries and continually seek more knowledge about the spirits industry he is so passionate about. Hemil’s desire to educate others was also commended by our judges.
Kieran Healey-Ryder, our panel chair, of whisky makers Whyte and Mackay said, “We’re delighted to work with the IWSC to support emerging talent in the spirits industry. The entrants for this year’s award made it clear that the future of spirits is very bright indeed. Thank you to our panel, who are each incredible makers in their own right - Jaega Wise, Gregg Glass, Paul Rutasikwa and Richard Paterson OBE alongside Laura Richards of Club Oenologique.
We were deeply impressed by the standard of entrants in this year’s awards. Our winner demonstrated a dedication to flavour-led craft, a commitment to learning, and a compelling vision for their future in the spirits industry. Congratulations to Hemil - a very worthy winner'.
Hemil will be awarded a £2.5k educational travel bursary from the IWSC Foundation, as well as being invited for a bespoke visit to the Whyte & Mackay Production Centre of Excellence in Invergordon. Hemil intends to use the bursary to complete his WSET level 3 in London, continuing his quest to expand his knowledge. Additionally, Hemil hopes to visit whisky distilleries around the UK to raise awareness, via content on his Instagram page, of the unique styles produced.