SoSWF Awards Finalisten 2016

Jedes Jahr werden beim Spirits of Speyside Whisky Festival Tasting Sessions angeboten, bei denen man in drei Kategorien zwischen je zwei Whiskys entscheiden kann, welcher einem besser gefällt. Und somit könnt Ihr alle mit abstimmen, wer Sieger in der jeweiligen Kategorie wird. Ihr müsst nur zum Festival kommen.

Um welche zwei es sich jeweils handelt, wurde für 2016 heute bekannt gegeben. Das sind die sechs Finalisten aus den 34 eingereichten Whiskys:

Kategorie 1: Malts under 12 – or no age statement

  • Glenfiddich 12 yo
  • Glen Grant’s 10 yo

Kategorie 2: Malts 13 to 20 years

  • Glen Moray 16 yo
  • Glenfiddich 18 yo

Kategorie 3: Malts over 21

  • Glenfiddich’s 21 yo
  • Cragganmore 25 yo 2014 Special Release

Glenfiddich hat sich in allen drei Kategorien positionieren können. Mal sehen, ob sich die Nicht-Profi-Juroren, d.h. JEDER, der sich ein Ticket für die Award-Events organisiert, auch für Glenfiddich als Sieger in der Kategorie entscheiden.

Letztes Jahr habe ich an einem solchen Event teilgenommen und lag (natürlich) katastrophal daneben in Bezug auf welcher Whisky welcher ist. Nicht mal dieses „einfache“ 50:50 habe ich zuordnen können. Aber zumindest wurden meine Favoriten zum „Sieger“ gewählt. Ich werde es auch dieses Jahr wieder versuchen. (Hier findet Ihr die Liste von 2015: Whisky Awards – Shortlist der finalen 6 steht fest)

Wenn Ihr mehr über das Festival erfahren wollt könnt Ihr auch hier ein paar Eindrücke finden: Reisebericht: Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival 2015.

(Pressemitteilung, SoSWF/Tricker PR)

Hat-trick of award nominations for William Grant and Sons as Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival Whisky Awards first round judging takes place

William Grant and Sons has impressed an expert panel gathered to shortlist entries in the 2016 Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival Whisky Awards. The Glenfiddich 12, 18 and 21 year old expressions were shortlisted in all three of the award’s categories following a blind taste test on Speyside this week.

The judges – made up from a panel of eight industry experts – also put single malts from Glen Grant, Glen Moray and Cragganmore distilleries through to the final round.

The winner of each category is determined by visitors to annual five-day Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival, which takes place in venues across the drink’s spiritual home from April 28 to May 2. It’s the only awards scheme in the world where winners are determined by members of the public.

The six finalists were selected by judges out of 34 entries from distilleries across the Speyside region. The Glenfiddich 12 year old and Glen Grant’s 10 year old were selected for the malts under 12 – or no age statement – category. The finalists chosen for the 13 to 20 years section are the Glen Moray 16 year old and Glenfiddich 18 year old, while the category for malts over 21 is a head to head between Glenfiddich’s 21 year old and the Cragganmore 25 year old 2014 Special Release.

The awards are sponsored by Forsyths of Rothes – the coppersmiths responsible for building many of the pot stills in which the shortlisted single malts were distilled. The panel included a range of specialist whisky writers, connoisseurs and retailers.

Becky Paskin, editor of whisky website, joined the panel for the first time. She says, “The traditional perception of Speyside whiskies is that they are all light and fruity in style, but this notion is outdated. If there’s one thing the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival Whisky Awards demonstrates, it’s that as well as owning the greatest concentration of whisky distilleries in Scotland, Speyside is also home the broadest palette of flavours. Among the entrants in this year’s awards were heavily Sherried and spicy beauties, sweet yet peaty malts and even some intriguing wine cask finishes, all of which challenge the opinion of how a typical Speyside whisky should taste. If ever there was a whisky category offering something for everyone, this would be it.

Renowned whisky aficionado and writer Martine Nouet has served on the panel many times in the past, but says she always comes away surprised at the range of malts on offer. “I have taken part in the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival Whisky Awards judging since its beginning and every year, I am amazed at the growing diversity of aromatic profiles expressed by the whiskies in competition. This year, I found that the category 12 and under was the most challenging, with many younger whiskies than previously presented and more cask finishes. It is interesting to note that the finalist this year is the longest established single malt in Speyside. Tradition rubs shoulders with innovation, which results in offering whisky lovers a larger choice of styles and aromatic profiles. Wonders never cease,” she says.

Chairman of the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival, James Campbell, adds, “The judging process resulted in a lot of different opinions; the general consensus of the group wasn’t uniform across the board, which I think reflects the personal preferences and tastes of whisky drinkers everywhere. There was a lot of conversation happening throughout and many of the judges surprised themselves when scoring the malts, which is a testament to the blind tasting session.

The final judging session and awards prize-giving will take place at a ceilidh on Sunday, May 1.

Tickets for all events in the 2016 Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival programme, including the roving judging sessions, can be bought via the website – from February 2. Keep up-to-date with the Festival on social media – and @spirit_speyside on Twitter.