A Set of Silver Medals From The International Wine and Spirits Competition

“These awards acknowledge the best spirits in the world”.

Last week The International Wine and Spirit Competition announced the winners of its 2018 spirits category, and Wheadon’s won four silver medals to bring back to Guernsey!   Each of our three expressions - rock samphire and pink grapefruit, mandarine lime and hibiscus, and yuzu, lemongrass and green tea – took home a silver medal apiece, and our rock samphire and pink grapefruit was awarded a silver medal in the Gin & Tonic category.  This year the competition was stiffer than ever before, with well over 600 gins being entered (up from 400 in 2017) representing approximately a quarter of the gin brands and varieties available around the world.  The Gin & Tonic category also saw a 42% increase in entries, and this year gin took Scotch whiskey’s crown as the largest category for the first time in the competition’s history.  This large field makes us particularly proud to have come away with four silver medals in our first outing at the IWSC. 

“Winning a coveted IWSC award isn’t easy, but that’s what makes the medal so well respected among trade and consumers alike.”

International Wine and Spirits Competition

A silver medal means that a spirit has scored between 80-85.9 out of 100, and is deemed “a fine example of excellent quality” by the judges.  More than 400 judges from over 30 countries are involved in determining the IWSC winners, and they work in panels of seven tasting samples that have been pre-poured into numbered glasses (to avoid any bias due to branding).  They score these samples silently, and then the head judge collects the scores and the panelists discuss the entries before coming to a majority decision on a score.  Judging takes place over seven months of the year at the IWSC’s headquarters in London, and judges taste on 60 samples each session to avoid palate fatigue.  There is then a second round consisting of a chemical analysis of each entrant, to ensure that the samples submitted are the same as that which consumers can buy “off the shelf” and are not specially prepared “show products”.  This incredibly involved process is the reason why an IWSC medal is so prestigious, and why they are held in such high regard by both the drinks industry, and members of the public picking a bottle off the shop shelf.

Olivier Ward presenting a masterclass on the diversity of contemporary gin styles at the annual IWSC Spirits Tasting

“I’m delighted that each of our three gins came away from such a hotly contested and highly acclaimed competition with a sliver medal.  This is the first time that we’ve entered and we were up against a huge field of distillers, so not only does it demonstrate to our customers and our peers the quality of our products, but it gives us a great point from which to improve upon what we’re doing, and aim for bigger and better next year.”

Luke Wheadon 

To learn more about the IWSC and to see the full list of past and present winners, visit www.iwsc.net, and click here to find out where you can purchase a bottle of our award winning gin.

Written by:

Mat Hailer