Finalists announced for the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Awards

Finalists announced for the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Awards

Speyside's Top Whiskies Shortlisted for People's Vote

Eight of Speyside’s finest single malt whiskies have been shortlisted by a panel of leading whisky experts as finalists in the international Spirit of Speyside Whisky Awards.

The initial judging process took place earlier this month in the heart of Speyside where 10 expert whisky writers, industry representatives and specialist retailers carried out a rigorous blind tasting of 41 entries in total, before scoring each whisky on its character and flavour.

Over the next six months, the two finalists in each category will be put forward for judging by whisky drinkers around the world, visiting destinations in the UK and Europe and as far afield as India and Canada. The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Awards are the only industry awards in the world to give consumers the final say when it comes to recognising the best Speyside Whiskies.

The best malts to be produced in this world-famous whisky-making region will then be unveiled at the opening ceremony of the 2020 Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival in April after combining the wisdom of whisky experts with international consumers’ preferences.

This year’s category finalists include:

• 12 Years Old and Under:
Aberlour 10 Year Old and Cardhu 12 Year Old

• 13 to 20 Years Old:
Benromach 15YO and Glenallachie 15YO

• 21 Years Old and Over:
Glenfiddich Grand Cru 23YO and Glenfarclas 25YO

• Non Age Statement:
Tamnavulin Sherry Cask Edition and Cardhu Amber Rock

James Campbell, Chairman at The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival, said: 

“It was almost impossible to pick just two finalists in each Awards category this year - the standard of whisky produced here in Speyside by our local craftsmen and women is truly exceptional.

“From Rome to Dublin, Amsterdam to Cologne and Oslo to New Brunswick in Canada, almost 1000 international whisky lovers cast their votes last year, in addition to the sessions held in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Speyside itself. We hope to increase this reach for the 2020 Awards, are we’re very much looking forward to opening up the judging to consumers over the next six months before celebrating the winners at what we believe is the finest whisky festival in the world.”

Annabel Meikle, Director of Keepers of the Quaich said: 

“I was particularly impressed with the calibre of entries this year which encompassed a broad spectrum of impressive aroma and flavour. As the first stage of the judging process is completely blind, it allows us as judges to remain impartial. It has been a privilege to take part again this year and I’m excited to find out how international whisky drinkers voted at the Festival next year.”

Dr. Christopher White, Whisky Expert and Editor at Edinburgh Whisky Blog, commented: 

“Judging the Spirit of Speyside Awards is always a pleasure, as well as a real challenge, primarily due to the consistently high quality of whiskies across every category. Choosing the finalists was extremely tough but I think as a panel, we’ve selected whiskies which are shining examples of the Speyside region.”

The winning whiskies in each category will be announced at the opening of the 2020 Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival in late April.

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