ISW November Tasting: Other spirit drinks

Distillates from all over the world as guests at ISW

A wide variety of spirits categories from all over the world were represented at the ISW November Tasting. More than 80 products were tasted, of which 23 were awarded a Gold Medal and one was awarded Grand Gold. Two special awards went to the Aquavit and the Tequila of the Year.

Under the umbrella term "Other spirit drinks", a colourful mix of spirits categories was tasted at Meininger's International Spirits Award in November. From aquavit to baijiu, sake and spirits - made from hazelnut, hops, ginger and gentian - to agave spirits such as tequila and mezcal, the experts were allowed to evaluate an undreamt range of products.

No easy task, as the taste buds had to be calibrated anew and adapted to the respective standards. But it was certainly an exciting day of tasting for the spirits experts, who were delighted to find one or two unexpected exotics in the glass. There were great discoveries such as the Akashi-Tai Junmai Ginjo Sparkling Sake, which was awarded Grand Gold.

In addition to a variety of convincing niche products, special awards were also presented in two categories: Aquavit of the Year and Tequila of the Year.

Aquavit of the Year 2021
Linie Aquavit

No stranger to success in the field of caraway and dill spirits. With the Norwegian Linie Aquavit, last year's winner defends its award. The classic with the fine caraway flavour is rightly regarded as the benchmark for the up-and-coming spirits category with the long tradition. Since 1805, every drop of Linie Aquavit has crossed the equator twice in sherry casks - on a four-month sea voyage designed to intensify the maturation process. A passion that pays off and produces an incomparably harmonious product.

Tequila of the Year 2021
MAYACIEL Tequila blanco

The young brand Mayaciel goes back to two friends from near Berlin who set themselves the goal of producing a first-class tequila in Mexico for Germany. With Mayaciel blanco, they have undoubtedly succeeded. The tequila is made of 100% agave and brings the full floral-fruity freshness of the blue Weber agave into the glass. A subtle sweet vanilla note rounds off the character of the distillate, which comes across as pleasantly mild and mellow despite the tequila's untypical 45% alcohol by volume. This is how contemporary tequila enjoyment works!

ISW Director Degustation Christian Wolf is enthusiastic about the diversity of the products on offer:
"Of course, with the somewhat unwieldy term 'other spirit drinks' we don't actually give enough credit to the aromatic diversity. It is really impressive how much creativity the distillers show again and again to combine tradition and modernity in the art of distillation. We at ISW and our tasting experts are happy about every niche, no matter how exotic, and always remain curious about all the innovations to come."

All results of the November Tasting can be found on the ISW site:


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) 62.67 KB
Press Release (PDF) 131.09 KB


The winners of the November Tasting 2021