ISW: Awards for the best distilleries and spirits of the year

Awards for the best distilleries and spirits of the year //
Prestigious awards go to Lantenhammer, Sibona, BOAR, Cointreau, Heaven's Door and Kirsch Import

This year, a total of 1,588 spirits from over 30 countries, divided into eleven themed tastings, were evaluated by a proven expert jury consisting of 79 tasters from distilleries, the trade, the press as well as research and science within the framework of Meininger's International Spirits Award ISW.

"It was an exciting and varied tasting year, which once again showed how diverse and high-quality the international spirits scene is today," Christian Wolf, Director Degustation, sums up ISW 2021, which was held in monthly themed tastings for the first time. "Thanks to the concept that was adapted this year, we were able to guarantee safe and professional implementation at all times," Christian Wolf continues.

The range of categories extended from brand and marc spirits in January to the first gin and tonic tasting in April to the extensive whisk(e)y tasting in August. In the course of the year, the jury awarded special prizes to the best-rated spirits in 36 particularly strong categories.

Based on the results of the monthly tastings, the awards for the best spirits and the best distillers of the competition are the highlight of each year and the accolade for the award-winning distilleries and importers. 

Spirit of the Year 2021 national:
Apricot brandy matured in mulberry barrels, Lantenhammer Distillerie

The apricot brandy matured in mulberry barrels already won the award for "Fruit Brandy of the Year 2021 National" in March. The brandy from the Raritas range, which was awarded Grand Gold, left the competition behind in a highly contested competition and, incidentally, provides a strong argument for allowing fruit distillates to be barrel-aged even more often. At the end of the year, the apricot brandy is crowned with the title "Spirit of the Year 2021 national".

Spirit of the Year 2021 international:
Heaven's Door Bourbon

Not only due to the fact that the final bottling is released by none other than Bob Dylan, Heaven's Door Bourbon was able to completely convince this year's expert jury. In the glass, everything you would expect from a bourbon arrives in the end: a subtle sweetness of vanilla and nougat, spicy accents between toast and walnut and fruity hints of peach and pineapple. Rightly the "Spirit of the Year 2021 international".

Brand Spirit of the Year 2021 national:

In April, BOAR Gin was awarded "Gin of the Year 2021 national" and this is already the second time after 2019. The combination of highest quality, benchmark for German dry gin as well as brand awareness and placement, secured the award "Brand Spirit of the Year 2021 national" for the still quite small Black Forest distillery.

Brand Spirit of the Year 2021 international:

Cointreau is considered a classic in the world of Triple Secs. The fact that it is still a real benchmark more than 170 years after its invention is impressively proven not only by a Grand Gold Medal, but also by the special award as "Fruit Liqueur of the Year 2021 international". It owes its quality above all to the highly aromatic (bitter)orange peels, which form the basis for its balanced, fresh, fruity and intense aroma. The combination of absolute quality and benchmark in its category leads to the award of "Brand Spirit of the Year 2021 International" at the end of the year.

Distiller of the Year 2021 national:

Defending the title is the apt description for the "Distiller of the Year 2021 national" this year. The Lantenhammer distillery from Schliersee impressed the ISW jury of experts again this year, and not only in its parade discipline, fruit distillates. In total, Lantenhammer spirits were awarded 2 times Grand Gold, 17 times Gold and 5 times Silver.

Distiller of the Year 2021 international:

With a total of 11 gold and 3 silver medals, the spirits of Destilleria Sibona were awarded this year. In addition to their grappas, the chamomile liqueur as well as the herb liqueur, vermouth and, for the first time, the beer brandy were also convincing this year. The successful distillery from Italy repeated its victory from the previous year, so that it is also internationally: title defence and congratulations on the award "Distiller of the Year 2021 International".

Spirits Importer of the Year 2021:
Kirsch Import

3 times Grand Gold, 27 times Gold, 7 times Silver is the impressive balance of the spirits assortment of the "Importer of the Year 2021", the company Kirsch Import from Stuhr. Already in April, several gins were completely convincing, awards for vermouth and rum in various qualities and origins and excellent Korn are crowned by a total of 21 awards for the whisk(e)ys distributed by Kirsch Import in Germany.


The successful format will be continued in 2022, but will then take place in three parts in January, April and July.

All results and information on the award-winning products can be found on the ISW page at:


About Meininger's International Spirits Award ISW
The international spirits competition was launched 18 years ago by Meininger Verlag. Meininger's International Spirits Award ISW is one of the most important spirits competitions in the world today. With its tasting methodology, the competition sets new standards in the field of spirits evaluation. Based on the international 100-point scheme, the spirits are not evaluated comparatively, but individually according to appearance, smell and taste by a jury of experts without knowledge of the producer. In addition, the competition describes each tasted spirit sensorially in terms of the aromas and attributes typical of the respective competition category. From this, an aroma diagram is created that is comprehensible and understandable for distillers and consumers and gives a first impression of the flavour of the spirit.

Founded in 1903 in Neustadt an der Weinstrasse, Meininger Verlag is one of the oldest German specialist publishers. The company specialises in particular in the wine and spirits sector. Internationally, Meininger Verlag has made a successful name for itself with the MUNDUS VINI Grand International Wine Award. In addition to well-known trade magazines, the media company organises trade fairs, industry events and trade congresses. The portfolio of Meininger Verlag also includes FINEST SPIRITS in Munich, the trade fair for premium spirits with an international festival character.


Press contact:
Nicole Zeisset
Meininger Verlag GmbH
Maximilianstr. 7-15
67433 Neustadt/Germany
Tel.: +49 6321 89 08 94
E-Mail: [email protected]


Attachment Size
Press Release (Word) 63.55 KB
Pressemeldung (PDF) 135.71 KB


Awards for the best distilleries and spirits of the year