Gin trend continues // German whisky triumphs
"Spirits of the Year" awarded at a virtual awards ceremony
The Spirits of the Year 2020 were presented today during a live virtual award ceremony. A total of 314 spirits were honoured by the jury of the 17th Meininger's International Spirits Award ISW competition, held in Germany.
The gin category was once again strongly represented, with almost 200 products tasted and rated. As in previous years, this category shows that gin – a universal drink which can be used both pure and in long drink or cocktail variants – is characterised by a wide range of taste interpretations. The two best gins of 2020 are the "Broker's Dry Gin" (Gin of the Year 2020 international) and the "Playboy Gin" (Gin of the Year 2020 national), which is produced exclusively by the finch® Whisky Distillery.
German whisky is one of the winners of this year's spirits competition, with a total of 16 whiskies from Germany winning one of the coveted medals. The special award "German Whisky of the Year 2020" goes to the Ayrer's Alligator of the Hausbrauerei Altstadthof, which was also the only whisky in the competition to be awarded the highest distinction "Grand Gold". "More whisky is not possible," was the brief but clear verdict of the jury.
Among the Spirits of the Year are well-known spirits such as "Linie Aquavit Double Cask Port" (Aquavit of the Year 2020), "Broker's Dry Gin" (Gin of the Year 2020 international) and "Asbach Selection 21 Years Aged" (German Brandy of the Year 2020), along with a large number of new discoveries such as "Luk Handcrafted Vintage Korn" from the Birkenhof distillery (Korn of the Year 2020) or the "CINECANE Popcorn Rum Gold" from Tastillery (Spirits Innovation of the Year 2020).
The "Spirit of the Year 2020" award for the best spirit in the whole competition, goes this year to France to the Domaine Tariquet for the "Pure Folle Blanche 15 ans".
The best distilleries of this year's competition are the Italian Distilleria Sibona (Distiller of the Year 2020 international) with 10 Gold and 4 Silver medals and Lantenhammer (Distiller of the Year 2020 national) with 1 Grand Gold, 7 Gold and 2 Silver.
The top 5 countries: Germany (8 Grand Gold, 81 Gold and 46 Silver); Italy (1 Grand Gold, 41 Gold, 12 Silver); France (1 Grand Gold, 16 Gold, 3 Silver); Great Britain (14 Gold, 5 Silver), and Switzerland (10 Gold, 1 Silver).
"Over four days this year, our almost 50 spirits experts tasted their way through the great and diverse world of spirits to award only the best with a medal. Each category, be it fine fruit spirits, peaty whisk(e)ys, aged brandies, herbal and fruit liqueurs or the wide and diverse world of gin, which has been around for years, was incredibly well represented," said Christian Wolf, the Tasting Director.
A virtual award ceremony was held this year, moderated by Tasting Director Christian Wolf and Meininger Verlag’s spirits expert, Alexander Thürer.
Although the ceremony was mostly virtual, the awards for the "Spirits of the Year 2020" were given to the master distillers, who were present in person.
The fact that the competition could take place at all in times of a global pandemic is due to the great hygiene efforts made by the organisers. Thus, this year's award could offer a worthy platform for the best spirits.
All special awards as well as all results of the ISW 2020 can be found on MEININGER ONLINE as well as in the magazine "BRANNT - magazine for iconic spirits" (www.meininger.de/de/brannt) which will be published at the end of September.
All special awards at a glance
Spirit of the year 2020
Domaine Tariquet Pure Folle Blanche 15 ans
Château du Tariquet
Brand spirit of the year 2020
Distiller of the year 2020 international
10 Gold, 4 Silver
Distiller of the year 2020 national
1 Grand Gold, 7 Gold, 2 Silver
Whisky of the year 2020 international
Bowmore 19 Years
Beam Suntory Germany
German whisky of the year 2020
Rum of the year 2020
Rhum Savanna Traditionnel Le Must
Distillery de Savanna
Gin of the year 2020 international
Broker's Dry Gin
McCormick Distilling Int. Ltd. - Broker's
Gin of the year 2020 national
finch® Whisky distillery
Aquavit of the year 2020
Line Aquavit Double Cask Port
Fruit liqueur of the year 2020 international
Crème de Pamplemousse rose (Pink grapefruit liqueur)
Fruit liqueur of the year 2020 national
Williams Liqueur 0,5l 25% vol.
Fruit spirit of the year 2020
Roner AG Distilleries, South Tyrol
Spice liqueur of the year 2020
AH Riise Lakrids Shot Danish liquorice liqueur
A.H. Riise Spirits
Grappa of the year 2020
La Grappa di Nebbiolo
Distilleria Sibona SpA
Vermouth of the year 2020
Gamondi Vermouth di Torino Superiore Rosso
Vodka of the year 2020
KINETIC Single Estate German Vodka
Spirits Innovation of the year 2020
CINECANE Popcorn Rum Gold
Bitter spirit of the year 2020
Diversa Spezialitäten GmbH
German brandy of the year 2020
Asbach Selection 21 years matured
Korn of the year 2020
Luk Handcrafted Vintage Grain
Birkenhof Distillery GmbH
Liqueur of the year 2020
Coffee liqueur 0,5l 25% vol.
Lantenhammer Distillery GmbH
Egg liqueur of the year 2020
Egg liqueur with a shot of rum 15% vol.
Rola Weinbrennerei- und Likörfabrik GmbH & Co.KG
About Meininger’s International Spirits Award ISW
The international spirits competition was launched 17 years ago by the Meininger publishing house. Once a year, spirits experts from all over the world gather in Neustadt, Germany, to taste and evaluate spirits of all kinds from all over the world. Founded in Neustadt an der Weinstrasse in 1903, Meininger Verlag is one of the oldest German specialist publishing houses. The company specialises in the wine and spirits industry. Internationally, Meininger Verlag has made a successful name for itself with the MUNDUS VINI Grand International Wine Award. In addition to well-known trade journals, the media company organises trade fairs, industry events and specialist congresses. Meininger Verlag's portfolio also includes FINEST SPIRITS in Munich, the trade fair for premium spirits with an international festival character.