International Spirits Challenge 2021 results for liqueurs, Asian spirits, premixed drinks and spirits tourism

28 June, 2021

Dutch liqueur producer De Kuyper Royal Distillers earned an impressive haul of two double gold medals and three golds at the International Spirits Challenge 2021.

De Kuyper’s Acqua Bianca and Mandarine Napoléon earned the highest accolade in the liqueurs category at the ISC after impressing our judges in a rigorous blind tasting process.

It also walked off with 11 silver medals and three bronze medals.

There were also double gold medals for Crème de Mûre des Roncières by Jospeh Cartron and Amaro Santoni by Gabriello Santoni.

The judges awarded six gold medals in total, with cream liqueurs Mozart, O’Casey’s and The Whistler all earning the prestigious accolade.

It was another strong year for Asian spirits. Our judging panel, headed up by Marie Cheong-Thong, worked its way through dozens of superb Shochu expressions, and eventually handed out seven double gold medals.

Three went to Yaesen Shuzo, for its magnificent solera-aged Shochus, while Kozoru the Banana by Komas Jyozo, Akane Kaze 43 by Hombo Shuzo, Ichiko Reserve Zenwa 21 by Sanwa and Imo by Hombo Shuzo also secured the top honour.

There were a further three gold medals, with Yaesen Shuzo and Hombo Shuzo taking one apiece.

We also had five double gold medals for Baijiu. All were claimed by the Taiwan Tobacco and Liquor Corporation. Three were for light aroma Baijius – Yushan Mau tai, Yushan Kaoliang Chiew XO and Da-Cyu, while strong aroma Baijius Yushan Aromar Kaoliang V.O. and Yushan Kaoliang Aged 6 Years also took secured double golds.

Taiwan Tobacco and Liquor Corporation also won six gold medals to cap an excellent performance.

Judging for the premixed drinks section of the ISC 2021 has also been wrapped up. There were two gold medals. Satsuma Sparkling Lemon by Yamamoto Shuzo in Japan earned one, and the other went to No.96 – a brand new premixed drink created by U.S. military worker Landon Tholen, which is set to be launched today.

There were also eight gold medals for premixed drinks, including two apiece for AB InBev and Jigger & Pony. The world’s largest brewer secured golds for its Spicy Bloody Mary and White Russia, while Jigger & Pony’s Negroni and Sakura Martini won gold.

There were further golds for Noveltea by Tea Venture, Funkin’s Piña Colada, Old Number 15 Bourbon & Cola by Edgemill Group and WAT Crème D' Azuki by Yibieqi.

Elsewhere, our design and packaging panel met in London to run the rule over the world’s most stylish bottles and gift boxes. HERE Design and William Grant & Sons secured a double gold medal for the beautifully designed Glenfiddich Grande Couronne.

They also won gold for Glenfiddich Grand Cru and Glenfiddich Gran Reserva. There were four golds for Stranger & Stranger – Castle & Key, Eminente Reserva, Royal Brackla 18 Year Old, and the King’s Ginger – thanks to its collaborations with Berry Bros. & Rudd, John Dewar & Sons, Möet Hennessy and Castle & Key.

The recently relaunched The Glenturret secured a gold. Apartement 103, which designed The Glenturret, also won gold for Cardenal Mendoza by Sanchez Romate. Butterfly Cannon and Diageo secured a gold for Johnnie Walker Master's Ruby Reserve.

In the Spirits Tourism Awards, there was a double gold for Taiwanese whisky producer Kavalan’s visitor experience, and another for the distillery tour of Diageo’s Bundaberg rum distillery in Australia. The Spirit of Manchester Distillery and Silent Pool Distillery also won gold medals.

You can check out the full range of award winners here.





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Nick Strangeway

Bar food's blurred lines

Once upon a time pubs and bars were somewhere you went with the sole purpose of getting pissed and there wasn’t a knife and fork in sight, just a packet of dry roasted nuts.

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