WITH entries into the Gin category up by 20%, competition was fierce for the 2013 coveted Gin Trophy, but a local craft distillery, triumphed over contenders at the 44th International Wine & Spirit Competition.
The Gin Trophy was won by Adnams Copper House Distillery who also scooped five other medals in the announcement, including Gold for their Spirit of Broadside, Eau de Vie - Beer. The micro distillery, based in the heart of Southwold, Suffolk, has been handcrafting small batches of spirits since 2008.
Also beating strong competition was Asbach. For the first time since its introduction in 1984, the Worldwide Brandy Trophy was awarded to a German distillery. Their Asbach Private Brand 8 Jahre Gerdeift impressed judges, who described it as a “delightful balance of youth and maturity”.
Due to the quality and quantity of Bourbon entries this year, the judges took the decision to create the inaugural Bourbon Trophy; this new trophy was awarded to Kentucky’s Buffalo Trace Distillery for their Eagle Rare Single Barrel Bourbon 10 YO Whiskey.
Another first was for Beam’s Pinnacle Vodka, a new entrant; the product was selected by judges to receive the Vodka Trophy for its “fresh impact” and “well extended, warm finish”.
No strangers to the Rum Trophy, Demerara Distillers secured their 9th Rum Trophy, but it was the first for their 8 Year Old El Dorado Rum.
For the second year in a row, the Pomace Brandy Trophy was won by the family owned Distilleria Marzadro Spa for their Grappa Le Diciotto Lune di Marzadro.
William Grant & Sons were awarded 3 of the major Scotch trophies putting them firmly on the shortlist for the International Spirits Producer of the Year.
UK Supermarket own labels also found success, with Lidl’s 6 Year Old, Western Gold Bourbon Whiskey, awarded the Competition’s top medal honour, a Gold Outstanding Award, along with 32 other medals ranging from Gold to Bronze.
Meanwhile, Aldi won 2 Gold medals from the independent judging panel for their Glen Marnoch Single Malt Scotch (18 Year Old) and Highland Black Blended Scotch Whisky (8 Year Old).
Tesco found success in Scotch, Cognac, Armagnac, Calvados and the Liqueur categories winning 1 Gold, 4 Silver Outstanding, 8 Silver, and 4 Bronze with their Tesco Finest* 12 YO Blended Scotch Whisky winning the Gold medal.
Sainsbury’s picked up a total of 8 medals, an increase from 2012 while Waitrose also improved their performance, securing 18 medals versus 2012’s 15.
The Spirits Producer shortlists for 2013 have also been announced; the winners of each region will be revealed at the Annual Awards Banquet in November at The Guildhall in London along with the prestigious Distiller of the Year Award.
Tonight <Wed 24>, the 6th annual International Wine & Spirit Competition, Spirits Tasting & Results announcement takes place at the Apothecaries’ Hall, Black Friars, London. Held in association with The Worshipful Company of Distillers, the evening will showcase the very best of the award winners from the 2013 Spirits Competition.