And the winner is… well… everyone! IWSC 2009

So yeah, the Alpha and Omega of all the booze competitions, the one and only, glorious and true International Wine And Spirit Competition announced its results sometime last week.

Some ‘particularly successful’ distillers boasted their awards, special awards, best in class awards, trophies, special trophies and super special trophies on their websites and in press releases.

That’s all grand. But who the hell is the winner? Well, as it happens with the IWSC… actually everyone.

We don’t know how many entrants there were, but no less than 265 Scotch whiskies, 30 Irish whiskeys (I didn’t know there were so many!), 15 bourbons and 26 other whiskies received awards. That’s 336 altogether.

Play with their award search tool and see for yourself here:

Why do I bother writing about this you may ask. Everyone knows what food and drink competitions are like, all that matters is that you can put a nice shiny sticker on your product afterwards. But here at Edinburgh Whisky Blog we never put up with things only because ‘this is the way they are’. Only because they are the way they are doesn’t mean they have to be… if this ridiculous sentence makes any sense.

I don’t think IWSC people read us, but if they do, then please, please, please tell us what in your opinion is the single best whisky (or spirit) in the world this year, so that we can disagree and ridicule you. Thanks.



  1. That’s just the general award inflation. I don’t think I’ve been to many pubs which weren’t “award winning” in some shape or form. It’s died down a bit, but remember all the website awards during the early years of the internet? Same thing.

  2. Hehe:) That’s right. Everything these days is “award winning”. I genuinely think we can create something that will count though.

  3. Very amusing piece on the IWSC!
    There isn’t one single best product in the world of spirits or even in the world of whisky. It’s like asking what’s the best car in the world! It depends how you want to use it.
    The best of the best are the trophies and it’s actually quite hard to get one as entrants need to get a top award first before being considered. Even then they are sent for chemical (microbiological) analysis before being judged again for a trophy.

    I can understand why you would think the IWSC is a rip off but in fact once entrants have paid their entry fee we don’t ask them to pay more for publicity. We have a number of international events where we look to promote our winners at no extra charge.

    There are a number of advantages:

    - promulgation of awards at exhibitions; fairs and on the IWSC web
    - exposure (winners) at IWSC Showcase events where trade come to sample
    - exposure (winners) at Awards Presentation & Banquet tasting
    - opportunity of exposure at various tastings internationally (depending on activities)

    As it’s our 40th year we held some extra events in Scotland this year and put on a promotional tasting of all winners FREE for all to attend.

    As we are not a publication we don’t ask winners to advertise; they don’t pay for artwork it’s provided free on a CD when they get their results.

    IWSC – Director

  4. I missed off a piece off the end of my response which I attach here:

    On numbers the IWSC gets in the region of 1200 spirits entries each year including around 500+ whiskies from: Scotland; US; Ireland; Japan and Wales! This year spirits entries came from 58 different producing countries and Gold (bic) amounted to only 11% of the entries.

    Anyway – thanks for directing people to our web site!

    IWSC – Director

  5. [...] awards and festivals where these whisky makers (read ”venture capitalists”) congratulate themselves to the point of orgasm, then bottle it and call their new make ”the spirit drink [...]

Leave a Reply

Anti-Spam Protection by WP-SpamFree