Awards for the best distilleries and spirits of the year//
Prestigious awards go to Lantenhammer, Sibona, Ziegler, Domaine Tariquet, Broker's, POTT, as well as Kirsch Import
In total, almost 1,600 spirits from 53 countries were judged by an expert jury in three large, thematically bundled tastings this year. The international jury gathered more than 60 tasters from distilleries, the trade, the press as well as research and science at Meininger's International Spirits Award ISW in Neustadt an der Weinstrasse.
"We look back on an impressive tasting year in which we were once again able to break records in diversity and once again admire the high quality of the international spirits scene," tasting director Christian Wolf sums up ISW 2022 positively. "The move back to larger tasting dates enabled us to once again make the jury more international and to offer our spirits experts the valued networking and a high-quality supporting programme," Christian Wolf continues.
The range of categories extended from wine spirits and pomace spirits in January to the second edition of the gin-tonic tasting that was successfully launched last year, as well as an exciting variety of non-alcoholic distillates in April to the extensive whisk(e)y tasting in July. In the course of the year, the jury awarded special prizes to the best-rated spirits in particularly strong categories, as well as a total of 16 Grand Gold, 345 Gold and 116 Silver medals.
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, distillers and importers.
Spirit of the Year 2022 national:
Ziegler Alte Zwetschge, Gebr. J. & M. Ziegler GmbH
The plums - 11 kg for half a litre of distillate - that the Ziegler distillery used for this noble brandy were anything but old - the name comes, of course, from the barrel ageing: up to five years in chestnut and oak give this fruit brandy a full-bodied, wintry warmth. The intense and at the same time mild aroma serves as an absolute flagship for the fruit brandy category in Germany and beyond. Big gold and a well-deserved award as "Spirit of the Year 2022".
Spirit of the Year 2022 international:
Domaine Tariquet Pure Folle Blanche 8 ans.
This exceptional Armagnac was already awarded Brandy of the Year in January and can now also call itself Spirit of the Year. Alongside Cognac, the (Bas) Armagnac appellations often lead a shadowy existence in the spirits sector - unjustly, as this top bottling from Château du Tariquet proves. A pure brandy from the Folle Blanche grape, just eight years of barrel ageing and a barrel strength of only 50.5% vol. result in an unparalleled symphony of flavours.
Brand Spirit of the Year 2022 national:
POTT Egg Liqueur with Real Overseas Rum
Egg liqueur is an absolute classic that has undoubtedly gained an ever-growing fan base in recent years. Egg liqueurs with a fine rum flavour, such as POTT Eierlikör, are particularly popular. With this fairly new product, the tradition-rich rum import house has hit the nerve of the times. Straightforward, harmonious, pleasantly creamy and with the characteristic rum note of genuine overseas rum. This is how branded spirits are done today!
Brand Spirit of the Year 2022 international:
Broker's Dry Gin
The "old hand" in the competition was able to win the special award for "Gin of the Year International" for the second time and can also call the title of international branded spirit of the year its own. The Broker's London Dry Gin from Great Britain rightly embodies a global benchmark for the traditional style - clear juniper, coriander and fine citrus notes characterise the clean aroma. The winner also presents itself confidently and with a strong character in its design - classic British with melon. Hats off!
Organic Spirit of the Year 2022:
AYRER's PX, Hausbrauerei Altstadthof.
There are still absolute jewels to be discovered in the world of German whisky, and all the better when it's an organic spirit. The special red organic malt and the intensive finish in the small PX sherry quarter cask give this single malt a strong colour and a voluminous aroma with a uniquely sweet finish. The young whisky with 56 % vol. Cask strength remains appealingly present. German whisky par excellence!
Distiller of the Year 2022 national:
The triple is perfect for the Lantenhammer distillery from Schliersee. For the third time in a row, the Bavarian distilling pioneers can claim the title of "Distiller of the Year". 13 gold and four silver medals were awarded by the ISW expert jury across almost all categories of the competition for the diverse spirits portfolio of Lantenhammer Distillerie. Masterful achievement!
Distiller of the Year 2022 international:
On the international stage, too, the title goes to no stranger, but for the fifth time (!) in a row to Distillaria Sibona, based in Piedmont, Italy. 1 x Grand Gold, 7 x Gold and 4 x Silver is the impressive record of the grappa experts. In addition to their core competence in pomace brandies, the ISW jury of experts once again awarded gold medals to Distilleria Sibona's camomile liqueur and beer brandy. Congratulations on the unstoppable success story!
Spirits Importer of the Year 2022:
The secret of success of a modern spirits importer lies in diversity: the family-owned company Kirsch Import from Stuhr near Bremen impressively demonstrates what a product range must look like that knows how to convince both with niche products and crowdpleasers. 3 Grand Gold, 51 Gold and six Silver medals speak a clear language - this year there was hardly a category in which the quality of the products distributed by Kirsch Import was not convincing.
Kirsch Import also succeeded in defending its title from last year and again significantly increased the total of medals to a whole 60. Close behind is Bremer Spirituosen Contor with 52 medals, who already won the title in 2018, and Schlumberger (Importer of the Year 2019 and 2020) with 38 medals.
The successful format of Meininger's International Spirits Award will continue next year in three major tasting rounds in January, April and June. Registration for the 2023 tastings will soon be possible at the following link: www.register-sample.com
All results and information on the award-winning products can be found on the ISW page at: www.meininger.de/en/spirits/tastings/international-spirits-award/results
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.