We, humans, love to be associated with victory, with winners, I could go further and call them heroes. We often do not care about how much work, grit, and hours that go into achieving greatness, all we care about is when they win, we can be associated with them; they are demigods in our eyes.
You remember back in school how we idolized the number one, how we wanted to be associated with them, how we wanted to be them? Why do you think we love superhero movies so much? Why we like to be associated with “big people”, calling them mheshimiwa and all those soft names, although sometimes we just need a few coins from them. I can bet everyone remembers Ineos 1.59 challenge that was undertaken by Eliud Kipchoge back in 2019, how he made “ Kenyans proud”. Need I say more?
The case applies with whiskies as well. If you were given a choice to go with a whisky that has won awards or the one that has not, which one would you go for? The award-winning whisky, right? We are not saying it would taste better, because everyone has their own preferences. But, there’s a perception the whisky will taste better, and we cannot help but want to be associated with winners!
Here are some of the awards in the whisky/whiskey world and the products that have won some of those awards;
a) The San Francisco World Spirits Competition, one of the industry’s most recognized and prestigious spirit awards among merchants and consumers all over the world. The highest accolade is the Double Gold Award, which is awarded to a brand that receives Gold Award from every judge unanimously.
b) The Spirits Business Competition is overseen by the Spirit Business Magazine which was founded in 2007, produced by publishers of the Drinks Business Magazine. It has produced an annual award series presented in London since 2008.
c) When Massel created the International Wine & Spirit Competition, his aim was to reward excellence in drinks worldwide, ensuring recognition for the very best wines and spirits. The IWSC is proud to set the international benchmark for quality, standing out in the crowded world of drinks awards with hundreds of global experts – including buyers, producers, distillers, sommeliers, distributors, and influencers – judging wines and spirits throughout the year.
d) The International Spirits Challenge (ISC) is the most authoritative, respected, and influential spirits competition in the world. The event evaluates outstanding quality spirits from all over the world. The competition is founded on a rigorous and independent judging process, which serves to encourage the high caliber of spirits entered into the competition each year. Receiving more than 1,700 entries from nearly 70 countries worldwide makes it a global competition. It is supported by many of the world’s leading spirits producers as the international standard for quality and excellence.
e) International whisky competition was founded in 2009 by Sylvain Allard and Michael Petrucci. is an event that takes place annually in Chicago in which whiskies are blind tasted and rated by a professional tasting panel.
f) World Whiskies Awards, presented by Whisky Magazine, celebrates the best of whiskies from around the world. They are global awards selecting the very best in all the internationally recognized styles, award and promote the world’s best whiskies to consumers and trade across the globe.
The Glenmorangie Signet is a dark amber-colored single malt whisky made by Glenmorangie Distillery. It is usually made in small batches in comparison to the scale of the rest of the Glenmorangie whisky range. This is because its production is complicated. Its complication lies in the high roast chocolate malt barley. However, there are other variations that set it apart from the other whiskies, including the casks, age maturation, and different layers of complexity.
Gold: Single malt no age statement- 2020 at International Spirits Challenge
Gold: Single malt no age statement-2019 at International Spirits Challenge
Silver outstanding: Scotch single malt-highland-2017 at International Wine & Spirit Competition
whisky of the year at the 2016 International Whisky Competition.
3rd place: Best single malt scotch (highlands)- 2015 at International Whisky Competition.
The Glenlivet 18 Years
The Glenlivet 18yrs is one of the most popular malts in the world – deservedly so. Representing The Glenlivet’s signature style, this classic malt is first matured in traditional oak, before spending time in American oak casks which impart notes of vanilla and gives the whisky its distinctive smoothness. The mineral-rich water that comes from Josie’s Well helps form the flavours during mashing and fermentation, whilst the specific height and width of the copper stills add a delicate yet complex character.
The Glenlivet 18 yrs is perhaps the most highly decorated of the whiskies
Gold: Single Malt Speyside category in 2017 at the International Wine and Spirits Competition
Gold: Single Malts 13 to 18 Years category in 2015 at The Scotch Whisky Masters in the Speyside
Gold: The Distillers’ Single Malts between 13 to 18 Years category in 2014 at the International Spirits Challenge
Silver: Single Malts 13 to 18 Years category in 2014 at The Scotch Whisky Masters in the Speyside
The Scotch Whisky Masters in the Scotch Single Malt: Speyside category in 2014
Silver Outstanding: Single Malt Speyside category in 2013 at the International Wine and Spirits Competition in the Scotch:
Double Gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in the Single Malts – 13 to 19 Years category in 2013.
Talisker 10 Years
Talisker 10 years is a powerful Single Malt Whisky, with a sea-salty nose, spicy complexity, smoky-sweet character, and signature peppery finish. It is double distilled to create a rich, deep character embodying the maritime characteristics of a coastal whisky, and then aged for a minimum of 10 years in American oak casks. Every sip is a taste of the Isle of Skye itself, one of the most remote, windswept yet beautiful landscapes in Scotland. . Delivered in a beautifully crafted maritime gift box, Talisker 10 Year old makes a perfect gift for those looking to explore Island single malt whiskies, known for their general smoky style.
Gold medal winner at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2018
Gold: the Best Islands Single Malt of World Whiskies Awards 2017
Master: Highlands & Islands up to 12 years 2015 at The Scotch Whisky Masters ( The Spirit Business)
2nd place: Best Single Malt Scotch (Islands) 2015 at International Whisky Competition
Double Gold: Single Malt Scotch up to 12 years 2013 at San Francisco World Spirits Competition
Johnnie Walker Double Black
Johnnie Walker Double Black is an interesting twist on Johnnie Walker Black Label. Double Black adds to the normal Black Label profile by including more Islay whisky and casks that have been heavily charred, giving a more intense flavour with a greater emphasis on smoke while keeping true to the sophisticated Johnnie Walker style.
Its nose is fairly light but oily, with dry oak, honey, and gently stony smoke. The flavour is full-bodied and complex with the signature Johnnie Walker peat smoke shining brightly through rich raisins and sultanas. Apples, pears, and orange zest bring freshness while creamy vanilla and spice bring softness and sweetness to the tongue. Its long warming finish combines spicy oak tannins and lingering smoke.
Gold: No Age Statement category in 2018 at The Scotch Whisky Masters in the Blended
Silver Outstanding: Blended category in 2017 at the International Wine and Spirits Challenge in the Scotch Whisky.
Gold: Premium category in 2015 at The Scotch Whisky Masters in the Blended.
Silver: Deluxe Blend category in 2014 at the International Wine and Spirits Challenge in the Scotch Whisky.
Ballantines Finest is a light gold complex mix of over 40 malt and grain whiskeys. They are first carefully selected from 4 different iconic Scottish regions, then undergo years of aging in high-quality casks. It is soft, elegant, and has heather honey aromas with a hint of spice. The blend is well-balanced with subtle flavours that give it the exceptionally soft, sweet, complex character. Ballantine’s Finest has a sophisticated after-taste of a fresh, floral, and rounded glow.
Gold: Blended scotch no age statement 8- 10 years- 2020 at International Spirits Challenge
Gold: Blended scotch no age statement 8-10 years- 2020 at International Spirits Challenge
Silver: Blended scotch no age statement including 8-10 years- 2019 at International Spirits Challenge
Silver outstanding: scotch whisky- deluxe blend 2017 at international wine & spirit competition.
Gold: Liquid gold award-2014 at Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible
Glenfiddich 15 Years
Glenfiddich 15 years is a scotch blended whisky from the highlands areas of Scotland. Due to aging for long in oak casks, the Glenfiddich 15 is smooth in taste. Glenfiddich 15 years whisky is adored for its sherry, oak, honey, and spicy flavor notes. This Scotch is carefully distilled at Glenfiddich distillery, Speyside.
Glenfiddich’s 15-year whisky has performed the best in the Glenfiddich whisky range.
Silver: Speyside Single Malts 13 to 18 years 2019 at The Scotch Whisky Masters ( The Spirit Business)
Double Gold: Single Malt Scotch 13 to 19 years 2013 at San Francisco World Spirits Competition
Master: Speyside Single Malt 13 to 18 years 2013 at The Scotch Whisky Masters ( The Spirits Business)
Gold: Scotch Single Malt Speyside 2013 at International Wine & Spirit Competition
A score of 91 with the Beverage Testing Institute
Chivas Regal 18 Years Gold Signature
The Chivas Regal 18 Year Old was personally created by Master Blender Colin Scott. Picked up two Gold medals during the blind tasting, it is praised for being highly fragrant on the nose, with baking spices on the finish to add extra complexity.
The judges discovered nuttiness and caramel on the palate, along with some red apples.
Gold for blended malt: ultra premium-2020 at the scotch whisky masters ( the spirits business)
Silver: blends aged 13-18 years old- 2018 at the scotch whisky masters ( the spirits business)
Gold outstanding: scotch whisky- deluxe blend- 2014 at the International wine & spirit competition
Double Gold: Blended Scotch- 2013 at San Francisco world spirit competition
Monkey Shoulder Scotch is a superb blended malt whisky from William Grant, made with single malts from three famous Speyside distilleries. The result is a smooth, creamy, supple, and very malty Scotch which works superbly well neat, over ice, or in whisky cocktails (where it really excels).
Three metal monkeys decorate the shoulder of the bottle and just three single malts go into the blend – Glenfiddich, Balvenie, and Kininvie. It is widely known for mixability, hence very popular with cocktails.
Monkey Shoulder has a banana, honey, pears, and allspice notes on the nose. The palate is mellow with vanilla, nutmeg, citrus hints, and generic fruit. Its finish is dry with a short burst of menthol.
Gold: Blended Malts-2020. International Wine & Spirits Challenge
Silver: Scotch Whisky – Blended Malt – 2019.
Gold: Speyside No Age Statement – 2014. The Scotch Whisky Masters (The Spirits Business)
Gold: Scotch Whisky – Blended Malt – 2014. International Wine & Spirit Competition.
Silver: Speyside Blended Malts – 2013. …
The likelihood of you walking into your favourite wines & spirits outlet to find some of these premium whiskies/whiskeys is highly unlikely. That is why we are here. We are hailed for our wide range of whiskies/whiskeys, and we are involved at both wholesale and retail scale. Buy your favourite whisky/whiskey from us and we will deliver at your doorstep, in Nairobi and its environs.
Cheers to the winners, and to those making strides to join them, in whiskey/whisky as well as in life!🏆
By Roseline Maina: Digital Marketer