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Glenmorangie, Ardbeg and Harris Gin win big at International Spirits Awards

The winners at the International Wine and Spirit Competition have been announced.

Published: July 21, 2021

The International Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC) winners have been announced, and a host of Scottish brands have won gold, silver and bronze medals.

One of the largest spirits awards, the IWSC has over 50 years of experience and world-renowned judges.

This year's winners have been announced, and include a host of Scottish spirits including a whopping 30 gold medals for Glenmorangie and Ardbeg for their single malts from 2021’s International Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC) and the International Spirits Challenge (ISC).

Glenmorangie’s Travel Retail range was awarded a number of Gold Outstanding and Gold awards across the two competitions.

An IWSC Gold Outstanding medal was awarded to The Tribute, Glenmorangie’s zesty and rounded 16-year-old whisky created from a heritage spirit batch, while an ISC’s Double Gold and IWSC’s Gold was awarded to The Accord, a fruity and rich 12-year-old whisky marrying bourbon and Oloroso sherry casks.

Ardbeg was hailed by both awards bodies for its innovations. Gold medals from both the IWSC and the ISC were awarded to Ardbeg Scorch Main Release, the limited edition created especially for the Feis Ile, Islay’s annual Festival of Music and Malt.

The exclusive and rare-aged Ardbeg 19 Years Old Traigh Bhan, launched in late 2020, was also celebrated by the IWSC with a Gold Outstanding medal and an impressive 98 points out of 100.

Dr Bill Lumsden, Glenmorangie’s director of distilling, whisky creation and whisky stocks, said: “We are delighted that the Glenmorangie Travel Retail whiskies have received this clutch of awards from the prestigious IWSC and ISC.

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"This is a testament to the outstanding whiskies crafted at the Glenmorangie and Ardbeg Distilleries. The total number of ‘Double Golds’ awarded in the ISC this year was only 3 per cent, which makes these commendations even more pleasing. These bold, velvety single malts are simply delicious drams.

“It is fantastic to receive such positive feedback about our carefully created Ardbeg whiskies from globally respected competitions.

"Ardbeg Scorch’s bold notes of black liquorice and medicinal lozenge is undoubtedly worthy of the judges’ praise.”

Other winners include the ever popular Harris Gin, who won a silver award at the International Wine and Spirits Competition.

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Simon Erlanger, Isle of Harris Distillers managing director, said: “We are absolutely to have picked up a much-coveted Silver Award at the International Wine and Spirits Competition, the world’s largest and arguably most influential spirits awards.

"It is another wonderful testament to our local distillers and the team as a whole, and further confirmation that we are truly leading the way when it comes to Scottish spirit quality.

"After winning Gold at the World Gin Awards earlier this year, this makes a hat-trick of quality accolades for our gin in 2021.”

This year's IWSC's was the biggest so far, and took place over eight days where 80 experts tasting over 4,000 spirits.

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See the full list of winners here.

Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind writes for The Scotsman on all things food and drink related as well as hosting Scran, The Scotsman's food and drink podcast.

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