I became an honorary Gin Rectifier last night (May 9). I took an oath and now I am duty bound to promote the best interests of gin.
Hundreds gathered at an awards ceremony in London to honour the top producers, retailers and marketers in the spirits industry.
The prestigious distiller of the year trophy, which is calculated on a points systems depending on the number of medals awarded, went to Chivas Brothers.
William Grant & Sons took the supreme champion award for its Balvenie Portwood whisky.
The 2011 outstanding contribution award went to ISC veteran Nicholas Faith and the excellence in craftsmanship, for smaller-scale producers, went to Destileria Sierra Unidas, Borco.
Drinks International editor Christian Davis said: "It's been a great night. A real celebration of everything that is good about the spirits industry. We had the highest number of entries and the banquetting suite at the Marriott was heaving with the great and the good of the industry.
If the ISC is anything to go by, the spirits industry is in rude good health. An emphasis on quality - always quality plus consumer-focused innovation, is what keeps this business above the rest."
The awards were sponsored, and trophies provided, by Glencairn Crystal.
Here is the full list of winners:
Gin trophy winners:
Hendrick’s Gin, William Grant & Sons Distiller
Sainsbury’s Blackfrairs Gin, G&J Greenall
Tanqueray Ten, Diageo
Liqueurs trophy winners:
Crème de Cassis Supercassis, Pages Vedrenne
Tequila trophy winners:
Excellia Reposado, EWG Spirits & Wine
Sierra Tequila Milenario Reposado, The Drinks Company Ltd
Vodka trophy winners:
Russian Challenge Original, Rusimport
Heaven Luxury, LTD Arline
Altanturuu, APU Joint Stock Company
Brandy/Cognac trophy winners:
KWV 10 Years old Brandy, KWV
Cognac Leyrat XO Vieille Reserve, ABK6 Cognac
Rum trophy winners:
Havana Club Añejo 15 años, Havana Club International, Pernod Ricard
Whisky trophy winners:
Invergordon Single Grain – 1973,Whyte and Mackay
Kingdom 30 years old, Hiscot Co
The Balvenie Portwood, William Grant & Sons Distillers
Midleton Barry Crockett Legacy, Irish Distillers
ISC design and packaging awards:
1- Most Innovative Pack Format – winner is VOD-K by Fryd Food & Drink
2- Most Innovative Graphic Design – Winner is La Maison Fontaine by Metropolitan Spirits
3- Best Design & Packaging for Travel Retail – Winner is Bushmills Irish Whiskey Range
Best Overall Design & Packaging – Winner is La Maison Fontaine by Metropolitan Spirits
1 - UK Multiple Spirits Retailer 2011
2 - UK Independent Spirits Retailer 2011
Winner: The Whisky Exchange
3 - Multiple International Spirits Retailer 2011
Winner: La Maison du Whisky
ISC marketing awards:
Best Launch Campaign: The John Walker – Diageo
Best Advertising Campaign: Beefeater – Forever London – Chivas Brothers
Best Digital and Social Media Campaign: Smirnoff Be There – Diageo
Best PR Campaign: Buchanan’s Forever – Diageo
Overall Champion: Smirnoff Be There - Diageo
Overall cocktail challenge champion 2011:
Le Flip C’est Chic - Noille Prat Dry - by Bacardi Global Brands