The trophy winners for the 2017 International Spirits Challenge (ISC) have been revealed, with one Australian spirit claiming one of the top honours.

This is the 22nd year for the ISC, which is widely regarded as one of the most influential, respected and authoritative spirits competitions in the world. This year saw more than 1300 entries from nearly 70 countries going for the blind assessment by an experienced panel of judges.

Trophies are awarded to the spirits that score between 90-100 points, with awards for tasting, design and packaging as well producers of the year.

In the rum tasting category Bundaberg Rum: Master Distillers’ Collection – Blenders Edition won an ISC trophy, Bundaberg Distilling Co Marketing Manager Hayden Abercrombie understandably delighted.

“Bundaberg is an Australian icon with an incredible story to tell,” Abercrombie said.

“We’re one of the few single estate rum distilleries in the world and from ‘grass to glass’ everything that goes into a bottle of Bundaberg Rum is sourced and produced within eyesight of our Bundaberg home.

“Consumers are rediscovering the versatility and complexity of rum and they’re seeking out our premium styles. It’s fantastic to see our Master Distillers’ Collection Blenders Edition be recognised at the prestigious ISC awards and awarded a trophy. This trophy is a testament to the passion and talent of our Bundaberg distillers.”

Diageo was also named as the Gin Producer of the Year, and it was also a successful night for William Grant & Son which was named Scotch Whisky Producer of the Year, Distiller of the Year and Brian Kinsman was named as Master Distiller of the Year.

“It is a great honour to receive this award,” Kinsman said.

“The team and I work hard to maintain the spirit quality and character of our liquid, while pushing the boundaries and bringing new innovations to life. I love what I do and to get this recognition from the ISC is just brilliant.”

Jacqueline Nalder, Marketing Manager for Scotch whisky at William Grant & Sons Australia said: “We are truly honoured. These awards affirm our expertise in Scotch whisky and our passion for innovation and excellence in distilling. The team will be celebrating with a dram, that’s for sure”.

In other key awards on the night Aimee Gibson of Johnnie Walker won the Rising Star Award and the Lifetime Achievement Award was awarded to renowned whisky consultant Dr Jim Swan, who died earlier this year.

Hibiki 21-Year-Old was named as the Supreme Champion Spirit and the full list of trophy and other award winners is available on the ISC website.

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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