Welcome to  Meininger's International Spirits Award

Few things are as diverse and varied as the world of spirits. What drives the industry is unbridled creativity, the search for the extraordinary and the pursuit of the highest quality.

High-quality distillates are therefore increasingly coming into focus, new distilleries are being founded, existing ones are upgrading for the future and producers' ranges are becoming broader and more colourful. Visionary distillers around the world are looking for new ideas to make their spirits even better, leaving old paths behind - or deliberately going back to them. In this way, spirits are reaching ever new target groups who are eager to discover this infinite variety for themselves. A booming workshop and tasting culture are the best indicators of this new quality thinking on the part of consumers. 

In this growing variety, however, it is becoming an increased challenge for customers to keep their bearings and find their way around.

This is where Meininger's International Spirits Award - ISW comes in. Since 2004, we have made it our task to provide distillers and producers with objective, neutral, expert and detailed feedback on their products, as well as to offer consumers reliable quality orientation for their purchasing decisions. 


From 2021, we have decided to break new ground with the ISW. Instead of selecting the best national and international spirits within the framework of a single, multi-day tasting, we will switch to monthly, theme-specific tastings and awards at the beginning of the coming year. From our point of view, this procedure offers several other advantages for all participating distilleries in addition to the all-important planning security:
- For the first time, seasonal marketing events can be addressed and the spirits can be tasted and presented at the appropriate time of year. Winning spirits are thus marketed with pinpoint accuracy.
- The monthly awards provide the distilleries with repeated opportunities to communicate with their customers and the press during the year.
- The permanent media presence of the ISW strengthens the brand and thus increases the value of an award.

Hand in hand with this reorientation goes the significantly expanded communication strategy, which guarantees the participants of the spirits competition even more awareness and benefits. The new marketing tools include
- monthly, high-reach online award ceremonies (successfully implemented for the first time for ISW 2020)
- intensive editorial coverage of the tastings in the various trade magazines of Meininger Verlag, especially in BRANNT, plus presence in FIZZZ, Getränke Zeitung, Meininger's Sommelier, etc.
- Permanent reporting on the new ISW website and the strong social media channels.

We look forward to tasting and evaluating your spirits and to presenting the best ones to spirits lover all over the world in an even broader and more public way.

You can find more informationen and the conditions of participation in the section: service


Tasting at a Glance
Tasting at a Glance

The registered spirits are distributed among jury groups, each consisting of five to six tasters. Chaired by a jury president, the jury tastes the spirits blind in thematically related flights. Each spirit is tasted and evaluated individually and impartially by each juror. A comparative, openly discussed assessment, as is common in many other competitions, does not take place. The
guarantees that every spirit entered receives the maximum attention it deserves. The results of each jury member are checked for completeness by the jury president and then recorded by machine.
The average value of the ratings finally results in the number of points achieved.

The tasting is carried out in Rastal nosing glasses, which ensures maximum comparability. Each jury member evaluates the samples in terms of appearance, smell, taste and overall impression in a 100-point scheme. In addition, and this is another special feature of the ISW, the spirits are described aromatically using an aroma wheel specially developed for each spirit category. This gives the flavour profile of the product at a glance and provides
of the product at a glance and provides end consumers and producers alike with valuable added value.

The tasting usually takes place on the 3rd Tuesday of each month. The results are always available on Wednesdays after the tasting.

The International Spirits Competition ISW provides valuable help not only for the trade but also for the consumer. The well-known and widely used ISW medals have become a seal of quality for trade and consumers. Take advantage of the opportunity to win an award, present your spirit to this unique jury of international experts and increase the awareness of your product with an ISW medal!

Additional awards

 BrandSpirit of the Year
 Spirit of the Year
 Newcomer Spirit of the Year
 Distiller/Producer of the Year
 Spirit Importer of the Year
 Best spirit in each category (national+international)



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