The new national competition to promote the business of Scotch whisky at home and abroad has announced that its inaugural event has sold out.
Over 400 leaders from the Scotch whisky industry will gather at the Scottish Whisky Awards dinner which takes place in Edinburgh in a few weeks’ time. The programme which launched earlier this year attracted entries from 52 companies, including 38 distilleries and 110 scotch whiskies.
The awards recognise business performance as well as taste following a blind tasting competition judged by 32 whisky experts from the UK, Europe and Asia.
Now the industry is gathering from across all five Scotch whisky regions to hear the news of the winners, announced at the black-tie celebration dinner. The evening will feature a gourmet whisky-paired menu designed by the Executive Chef of the Sheraton Grand Hotel.
Chairman of the Scottish Whisky Awards judging panel, Professor Alan Wolstenholme, commented;
“The experience of chairing the first annual Scottish Whisky Awards has been an immense honour and pleasure. Our distinguished judging panel has reviewed, first-hand, many excellent initiatives which exemplify major successes for Scotland’s whisky businesses. The taste competition presented the technical challenge of storing and pouring over 100 samples under strictly controlled conditions for the judges to blind taste. The quality of the entries was at a very high standard and the outcome of the day’s efforts was a great success.
“With 38 distilleries in the inaugural competition, we are looking forward to welcoming very many more in future years as we take on the important job of shining a light on the Scotch whisky industry at home and abroad. It is vitally important that we realise that while, as a nation, we are very good at protecting the Scotch whisky industry, we need to do much more to promote it.”
The awards will be presented by popular sports presenter and broadcaster, Eilidh Barbour and radio broadcaster and award-winning comedian, Des Clarke. They will guide guests through the presentation of seven business categories and eleven taste categories, when only the top three performers in each category will be awarded Gold, Silver and Bronze medals.
The event culminates in the announcement of the top award of the night for Scottish Whisky Distillery of the Year and five distilleries have been selected as finalists; Craigellachie, Glenallachie, Glen Scotia, Highland Park and Loch Lomond.
The first year of the competition is supported by sponsors including Shawbrook Bank, Bruce Stevenson Insurance Brokers and Scotland Food and Drink.
The awards, created by the PR and Events company KDMedia, is also an important fundraiser for two charities, The BEN, the Benevolent Society of the Licensed Trade of Scotland and the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation, set up by rugby legend Doddie Weir to help improve the lives of those affected by Motor Neurone Disease.