IWSC North American Whiskey & RTD Judging in Kentucky


For the first time in IWSC history, in 2024 we will be taking our global awards to Kentucky.

The IWSC North American Whiskey & RTD Judging in Kentucky will offer a unique opportunity for North American producers to put their drinks on the global stage and showcase them in front of internationally renowned industry experts – our judges, while taking advantage of the convenient local delivery. The judging will take place on 9-13 September 2024 and the results will be announced on 16 September 2024.

Why Enter

  • At the IWSC, we do not just award medals. We help drink brands grow. We promote our winners globally, via year-round social media campaigns; weekly features on Club Oenologique and IWSC websites; publications in industry-leading media; as well as at international trade fairs and tastings.
  • We are one of the only competitions to reveal the names of the judges, connecting you to the key decision-makers. 
  • The IWSC is also the only industry award body to share constructive feedback with the non-winners.
  • Producers entering the IWSC North American Whiskey & RTD Judging in Kentucky will benefit from convenient local delivery of their entries.

Meet Our Judges

Our judges ensure all judging is impartial, rigorous and adheres to the IWSC’s consistent standards. Confirmed judges for the IWSC North American Whiskey and RTD Judging in Kentucky are:

  • Richard Paterson OBE – known as ‘The Nose’, the IWSC Spirits Judging Committee member, Richard is one of the most respected figures in the Scotch whisky industry and has held the position of Master Blender at Whyte & Mackay for over fifty years. Richard is admired globally for his unparalleled knowledge of the art of blending.
  • Dr Emma WalkerMaster Blender for Johnny Walker and the first female to take on this prestigious role, Emma has worked in different areas of whisky production, gaining experience and understanding of how flavour develops in fermentation, distillation, and maturation, striving to ensure quality at every stage of the process. 
  • Dawn Davies MW - member of the IWSC Spirits Judging Committee and Head Buyer of distribution company Speciality Drinks. Dawn previously spent nine years working as beer, wine and spirit buyer with upmarket UK retailer Selfridges, where she was awarded a series of drink retailing awards for her pioneering approach.
  • Guy Hodcroft – Buyer for luxury fine wine and spirits merchant Bordeaux Index. Guy has worked in multiple areas of the wine and spirit sector, moving between bars, restaurants and retailers. In addition to his encyclopaedic knowledge of the spirits industry, Guy knows all the latest trends in consumer behaviour.   
  • Kristiane Sherry - Freelance whisky and spirits writer and communicator, Kristiane previously held the position of Head of Spirits at Fine + Rare, leading online platform for buying and selling fine wines and spirits. Kristiane writes for many publications, such as Whisky Magazine, Club Oenologique and the Malt Whisky yearbook. She is also a regular judge with the IWSC.
  • Nate Gana - Founder of @NateGana on Instagram (formerly known as @SingleMaltDaily), a platform of over 127K+ followers. Nate is also the Co-Founder of Bevridge; bringing together curated tasting experiences, compelling on-demand content, and opportunities to engage with industry experts.
  • Shannon Tebay - Beverage Director for 26 Denmark Street. Shannon arrived in the UK in 2021 from New York to take up the role of Head Bartender at The Savoy’s American Bar. She is a member of the IWSC’s Spirits Judging Committee and leads the judging for our RTD Awards in London.

Mixer Awards

Sponsored by Franklin & Sons - pioneers of top quality drinks and mixers since 1886, we created our Mixer Awards to crown the world's best spirits and mixer pairings.

If you are submitting a whiskey to our Kentucky judging, you can also enter your bottles into our Mixer Awards. The judges will be selecting the best whisky highball and whisky & ginger ale.