Rohan Shah announced as IWSC's 2024 Emerging Talent in Spirits winner

Spirit news

Tue 20 Feb 2024

By Kristen Dougall

Following last week’s announcement of our 2024 shortlist for our Emerging Talent in Spirits award, sponsored by Fettercairn Whisky, we are delighted to reveal that our winner is Rohan Shah.

Rohan is the Founder and Distiller of IMIZI Rum, Rwanda’s only operational craft distillery. Rohan impressed our judges so much, not only is he a true emerging talent in our judges’ eyes, but his work is being carried out in an emerging market. Rohan’s compelling application blew our judges away. His vast trajectory is incredibly inspiring, as well as the work Rohan is doing to give back to his community in Rwanda.

Rohan’s mission, when moving to Rwanda, was “to develop singular products that honoured local terroir, paid farmers well, and pushed the boundaries of where beautiful spirits can come from.” The incredible story behind IMIZI’s first spirit, and also the description of its flavour profile, left our judges asking only one thing, “when can I taste it?”.

Rohan intends to use his travel bursary to turn IMIZI into one of Africa’s first contemporary global spirits brands. He hopes to visit and network with distributors, retailers, restaurants and bars, allowing him to bring IMIZI from Rwanda to the world.

We are delighted to present Rohan as our winner for our 2024 Emerging Talent in Spirits award, a candidate whom our judges said, “encapsulates what this award is about”.