Glasgow distillery wins big at International World Spirits Challenge

Experimenting pays off for multi award-winning Glasgow Distillery Company who have won six medals at a world industry competition against 400 of the finest gins from 35 countries.

Published 8th Aug 2017
Updated 18 th Sep 2023

Raising the bar for craft distilling, the single malt and gin specialist is causing a stir with its newest botanical offerings to the market – Makar Old Tom and their cask matured expressions – Makar Oak and Makar Mulberry.

Rewarding excellence since 1969, the annual International World Spirits Challenge (IWSC) hosted the 10th Annual Spirits Tasting at Vintners’ Hall in London last week, and presented The Glasgow Distillery with an outstanding silver for Makar Old Tom which scored an impressive 89.9% result – an excellent gin.

World Spirits
Picture: Makar Old Tom, supplied

Makar Old Tom is hand distilled in a copper still with botanicals including Angelica, Black Pepper, Liquorice, Coriander, Orange, Sweet Almond, Juniper berries and finished with a drizzle of honey to re-create a sweeter and more traditional style of gin.

Made in small batches, this is a super-premium gin made in the heart of Glasgow.

Judges found the distillery’s newest expression to be ‘an interesting interpretation of the category’ with an ‘assorted abundance of aromas ranging from orchard fruit to explosive herbal notes to focused juniper and beyond’.

The cocktail gin also picked up a bronze quality award for design and packaging. While each Makar expression picked up an additional silver award.

World Spirits
Picture: Makar Old Tom gin, supplied

Makar London Dry was highlighted as amongst the best in the world to enjoy with tonic, garnering a silver award based on type, age and strength.

Only 200 global quality spirits across 90 categories were recognised by an intense two-stage judging process that sets the IWSC apart from other competitions.

400 judges from 30 countries are entrusted to seek out the world’s best spirits over a seven-month period which includes both double-blind tastings and a second round chemical and microbiological analysis of the winners.

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World Spirits
Picture: Makar gins, supplied

The Competition’s independent Technical & Judging Committee meet once a quarter to ensure the utmost integrity, accuracy and impartiality during the judging process.

Overall, each gin in the Makar Gin portfolio was awarded:

· Makar Old Tom – Silver (Outstanding)

· Makar Original (G&T Category) – Silver

· Makar Oak - Silver

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· Makar Mulberry – Silver

· Makar Original (London Dry Category) – Bronze

· Makar Old Tom – Packaging Bronze

The award wins are the latest in an exciting flurry of awards from every notable global spirits competition this year.

Commenting on the multiple award wins was Liam Hughes, CEO of The Glasgow Distillery Company, the crafters behind Makar: "Scotland is a global destination for outstanding food and drink and this is a fantastic result for the industry.

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"Winning six awards from such a distinguished judging process highlights our commitment to innovation and our confidence in creating super premium products for our customers to enjoy across the globe.

“The gin market is booming, taste profiles are evolving; customers are looking for big botanical flavours and unusual combinations.

"We’re passionate about our products and winning these awards gives our distillers the confidence to continue to challenge flavours, experiment and create more handcrafted products.”

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