Islay’s most northerly distillery, Bunnahabhain, took home 19 accolades including Double Gold for its 25 Year Old at this year’s International Spirits Challenge (ISC) and The Scotch Whisky Masters.
Spirits producer Distell has received global recognition for its Scotch Whisky collection, as its portfolio received 33 awards in total.
These latest wins come on the back of a successful period for Distell, having collected 28 awards this year and the business recently crowned as ‘Overall Distiller of the Year’ at the Icons of Whisky Awards.
Now in its 24th year, the ISC is the premier event in promoting outstanding quality spirits from across the globe and is regarded as one of the most respected and influential spirits competitions in the world. It received more than 1,700 entries from 70 countries, which were judged by 50 esteemed spirits experts.
New for ISC 2019 is the Double Gold Award, awarded to the Bunnahabhain 25 Year Old. Positioned higher than a Gold Medal, the new Double Gold Award is a special showcase for brands which achieved exceptional scores in the blind tasting assessment. The 25 Year Old is the super-premium member of Bunnahabhain’s core range and is 100% sherry matured.
Bunnahabhain Distillery received further praise from The Scotch Whisky Masters. From 350 entries, only 12 Masters were awarded this year with Bunnahabhain An Cladach and Bunnahabhain Toiteach A Dhà scooping two of the top awards. Toiteach A Dhà, meaning smoky two in Scots Gaelic, is described as a sequel to the original peaty paradox. To achieve a Masters in the awards, whiskies need to score over 90% from all judges.
The latest addition to the Bunnahabhain core range, Stiùireadair, brought home a Gold award in the same competition. Stiùireadair, pronounced Stew-Rah-Dur and meaning ‘Helmsman’ in Scots Gaelic, pays homage to the distillery’s nautical heritage and shoreline location which creates a whisky with a distinctive coastal character.
Bunnahabhain’s World Traveller Exclusive Range received recognition at the ISC, with Eirigh Na Greine and An Cladach winning gold and silver respectively. The third World Traveller Exclusive, Crauch Mhona, was also awarded gold at The Scotch Whisky Masters
This news follows the announcement of a three year refurbishment programme at Bunnahabhain as Distell invest £10.5m in an extensive upgrade and refresh of the iconic distillery. As part of the works, a number of the original buildings will be carefully restored giving them a new lease of life, whilst others will be removed and relocated to create more space, allowing better operational flow across the site and to enhance the experience for visitors to the distillery.
Derek Scott, brand director for Malts at Distell International, said: ‘We are delighted to have so many of our brands recognised by these prestigious competitions. The results speak for themselves and come hot on the heels of a raft of honours for our world class spirits across the collection.
‘We are particularly proud to have Bunnahabhain’s portfolio of malts recognised, reinforcing the passion and commitment from the distillery team to deliver internationally renowned products. We have ambitious plans for the distillery and look forward to sharing updates on the ongoing refurbishment programme over the coming year.’