Emma Cookson, The Whisky List’s (TWL) Whisky Specialist and Editor, has been awarded International Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC) 2024 Emerging Talent in Spirits Communication winner.

Cookson, who was named Icons of Whisky’s Whisky Communicator of the Year last year, was shortlisted for the award in 2023, and the IWSC judges were impressed with her progress over the past year.

“Our judges praised Emma’s accessible writing style, the way she shares technical information, as well as information about lesser-known areas, without losing her audience, but instead bringing them along for the ride,” the IWSC said.

“Emma has a knack for immersing herself so deeply in a subject that she really brings it to life. Our judges were blown away by Emma’s level of detail that goes into her content, her knowledge and passion is palpable, she really lives and breathes it.”

Cookson plans to put her winning bursary towards a visit to the UK where she will conduct in-person interviews with distillers and distillery managers, which will hopefully form the foundation for a future book.

“This award and my place in the industry wouldn’t be possible without the people who make the whisky that I love and prattle on about so much, so thank you to all the distillers, production managers, blenders, bottlers, my fellow TWL team, and everyone else I’m too shell-shocked to name.

“Massive thank you of course to IWSC for the great work you do shining a light on the incredible producers and talents across the wine and spirits industry. And thank you to Fettercairn Whisky for sponsoring this category and helping to lift up and promote people like myself and my fellow insanely talented shortlisters,” Cookson said.

When Cookson planned the communication style for TWL, her focus was on making whisky educational, fun and accessible for all audiences.

“My goal is to broach the tricky and nuanced aspects of whisky history and production in a way that everyone of any experience level can learn something new from it. I’m so humbled that our work writing about whisky is valued and noticed by international leaders in the industry,” she said.

TWL is currently exploring new content formats such as video interviews with distillery staff and is launching a new masterclass series.

Oliver Maruda, Co-Founder of TWL congratulated Cookson on the win.

“The entire TWL team are incredibly proud of Emma’s win, validating the incredible work she’s put in to making whisky fun and easy to get into. Congratulations Em,” he said.

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