‘Master Distiller of the Year’ and ‘Whisky of the Year’ honors awarded to Stephanie Macleod, Director of Blending, Scotch Whisky for Bacardi and AULTMORE® Single Malt Scotch Whisky

LAS VEGAS, NV, June 20, 2023 /24-7PressRelease/ — The 2024 International Whisky Competition (IWC) recently concluded, with events held on the Isle of Raasay, Scotland, and in Louisville, Kentucky. This esteemed competition, dedicated exclusively to whiskies from around the world, has been a benchmark of excellence since it was reformatted in 2015. All whiskies were double-blind tasted, with no categories, or ABV provided to the judges.

Since 2023, the tasting panel has seen numerous additions from the Council of Whiskey Masters, whose members and graduates now make up the majority portion of the panel, bringing expertise in Scotch, Bourbon, and Whiskey.

Top Honors and Recognitions
The prestigious Golden Barrel Trophy for Whisky of the Year has been awarded to Bacardi for its exceptional AULTMORE® Oloroso Sherry Cask Travel Retail Exclusive 25 Year Old. This accolade highlights the company’s continued commitment to excellence and innovation in whisky-making.

• Whisky of the Year: AULTMORE® Oloroso Sherry Cask Travel Retail Exclusive 25 Year Old by Bacardi – 98.31 Pts

Bacardi, under the expert guidance of Stephanie Macleod, its Director of Blending, Scotch Whisky, has once again demonstrated excellence in craftsmanship. Stephanie, who has been honored as the Master Blender of the Year for the sixth consecutive year by the International Whisky Competition, continues to push the boundaries of flavor and maturation. This is the second time that Bacardi has received the Whisky of the Year award, a testament to the company’s consistent quality and dedication to producing world-class whisky.

Tasting notes provided by Adam Edmonsond, Master of Whisky: “The AULTMORE® Oloroso Sherry Cask Travel Retail Exclusive 25 Year Old is a stunning display of flavor complexity and integration. A gamut of orchard, citrus, tropical, and dried fruits beam with clarity between honied and sweet florals, ginger, butterscotch, and a leathery depth of maturity. The palate and finish more than fulfill the promises of the nose, gaining intensity at each stage. It has a luxuriously full, round body, and a controlled warmth. It was perfectly balanced along each dimension, and I would be hard-pressed to find something about it to improve.”

Other notable awards include:

• Distiller of the Year: Bacardi for scoring an average of 91.50 Pts on combined entries

• Best Blended Scotch Whisky: DEWAR’S® Double Double 37 Years Old – 96.37 Pts

• Best American Whiskey: George T. Stagg, 2023 – 94.98 Pts (Buffalo Trace Distillery, USA)

For the second year in a row, George T. Stagg has been honored with the titles of Best American Whiskey and Best Bourbon Whiskey, solidifying its already well-established reputation as an exceptional Bourbon.

• Best Indian Whisky: Indri Founder’s Reserve 11 Year Old Wine Cask – 95.09 Pts
(Piccadily Distilleries, India)

In another remarkable achievement, the Indri Founder’s Reserve 11 Year Old Wine Cask from India has emerged as a formidable contender on the global whisky stage. Over the years, Indri has steadily progressed, gaining recognition for its unique flavor profiles and exceptional quality.

• Best World Whisky: Kavalan Distillery Reserve Peated Malt Single Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky – 94.39 Pts (Kavalan Distillery, Taiwan)

Kavalan Distillery has once again demonstrated its remarkable consistency, securing the Best World Whisky (category) award for the fifth consecutive year.

• Best Irish Whiskey: Bushmills 25 Year Old – 92.40 Pts (Bushmill Distillery, Ireland)

The mastery involved in aging and blending these older whiskeys has resulted in a product that stands out for its complexity, smoothness, and rich flavor profile. Bushmills’ commitment to preserving traditional methods while innovating with their older stock has solidified their reputation as a producer of world-class, premium Irish whiskey.

• Best Whisky Based RTD: The Glenlivet Twist & Mix Old Fashioned Ready to Serve Cocktail (Pernod Ricard)

This innovative cocktail impressed judges with its perfect balance of classic Old Fashioned flavors and modern convenience, making it a standout in the rapidly growing RTD market.

Tasting notes provided by Francesco Lafranconi, Master Mixologist: “Rich and smooth whisky base from The Glenlivet, providing a deep and complex flavor profile with subtle notes of orange peel for citrus brightness. Warm baking spices like cinnamon and nutmeg create a comforting feel. The velvety mouthfeel enhances the overall drinking experience, complemented by a well-balanced sweetness. An aromatic finish leaves a lasting warmth on the palate.”

For a comprehensive list of winners and more details, please visit IWC 2024 Results Page

The International Whisky Competition, held annually, is widely recognized as one of the most influential whisky awards globally. A panel of whisky experts (Masters of Scotch, Masters of Bourbon, Certified Spirits Judges, Master Blenders, Distillers, and Whiskey Experts) rigorously double blind-taste each entry to identify the very best expressions across a range of categories from whiskies sent from all over the world. The International Whisky Competition tasting panel uses the most comprehensive tasting method available. 15 criteria are required to produce the tasting notes as well as the aroma and flavor profiles of each whisky entered. Unlike other competitions, the judges are presented with one whisky at a time, to ensure each whisky gets the proper attention. It’s possibly the only competition in the whisky world to deliver unique medals designed to promote each of the winning whiskies. Only 3 medals (Gold, Silver & Bronze) are awarded per category. The Whisky of the Year (highest score during the competition) gets rewarded with the Golden Barrel Trophy.

For more information about the International Whisky Competition, please visit whiskycompetition.com

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