Aiming to recognise the people, teams and producers operating in the global whisky business, the Scottish Whisky Awards has promised to reward achievements in whisky distilling, of which Scotland has a rich history dating back to the 15th century.
This year, Scotland’s whisky industry is expected to report a record high export figure, a further increase on the most recent figure of £4.37bn in 2017, equating to 1.23bn bottles.
The new industry focused awards programme is now recruiting an independent judging panel which includes some of the foremost whisky experts in the UK.
They will gather in Edinburgh later this year to judge 16 categories which cover both business achievements and taste.
The judging panels will be chaired by Professor Alan Wolstenholme, chair of the Scottish Distillers Association. He said: “The Scottish Whisky Awards will give blenders, bottlers and distillers a fantastic opportunity for further business growth at a national and international level.
"Whisky exports are at an all-time high and with new distilleries opening at a record rate, there is no shortage of new and interesting products to assess. Winning a Scottish Whisky Award will give Scotch further distinction in an increasingly competitive global market and our Scottish distillers a positive sales advantage.”
The taste side of the competition will be operated under strict blind tasting conditions and will assess four main categories of Scotch; Single Malt, Blend, Blended Malt and a Speciality category.
Six business categories are also open to entry and include Brand Experience, Tourism Destination and Community Contribution. The ultimate award of the programme is for Scottish Whisky Distillery of the Year, presented to the distillery team which has demonstrated a successful year in people, product and profit.
Kirsten Speirs, managing director at PR and events company KDMedia, who are behind the new awards and have previously enjoyed success with the Scottish Beer and Gin awards events, said: “Working with a panel of industry advisors, we have designed The Scottish Whisky Awards as a concise and celebratory programme which can make a positive contribution to increasing the sales of Scotch in the UK and abroad.
"Our panel of experts will include high profile international and independent taste judges, ensuring we can deliver a high quality and trusted tasting programme. We look forward to celebrating with the Scottish whisky industry at the awards celebration in September.”