24 Jul 2013

Look mum, I won an IWSC award!

It was hard not to notice on twitter today that there had been some kind of whisky award ceremony last night and all were merry as the PR machines pumped out the good news to all and sundry via twitter, blogs and the like.

As one or two folk on twitter noted rather wryly it seemed as if every whisky distillery and bottler had won award or another. I was lured over to the IWSC website to see quite how many awards were actually given? As we probably already knew.. an awful lot!

This year there were no fewer than eighty-five categories of Scotch Whisky and I'm not even going to count 'world wide whisky' But briefly, there are four categories just for Taiwanese whisky. Come to think of it, is there even another distillery in Taiwan apart from Kavalan's 'King Car distillery'?

Another good example is the category above. How many 5 y.o. cask finished Islay whiskies are there out there? You know I can't think of any other than... Kilchoman!

I wonder who won the coveted awards in this category...

Surprise! (?)

This is an extreme example admittedly, but for the 8 distilleries on Islay there are still plenty of other categories to go for and remember there can be more than one, two, three or four awards ;)
I don't want to say that the awards are completely worthless, but some of the categories really are mighty narrow and it has got to call into question the real usefulness of these awards. If you're in a shop comparing two drams would an ISWC award sway you? Perhaps and that's their value for the producers, while they may almost be meaningless when you look a little deeper.

Ok, so that 'Sheep Dip Amoro Oloroso; didn't win, but then again they don't have their own category of not 'quite Scotch, but basically scotch that was forgotten about in Spain'... doesn't mean the whisky isn't absolutely fantastic!! (It is really good.)

At £130 pound per entry you can see why the number of categories has sky-rocketed.. not that the producers mind too much, it just means there are plenty of awards to go around! But please, just be careful before you choose one bottle over another because it has a wee Bronze, Silver or Gold award...

Well done everyone!

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