Glenfiddich Distillery has swept the board at the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival Whisky Awards, collecting a hat-trick of honours. The Dufftown distillery picked up first place in all three categories after their malts were selected by the whisky-loving public in a series of blind taste tests.
Glenfiddich 12 year old triumphed over Glen Grant’s 10 year old in the 12 year or younger category, and also took the title for the 13 to 20 year category with its 18 year old, winning over Glen Moray’s 16 year old.
Glenfiddich 21 year old won the category for single malts aged over 21, beating the Cragganmore 25 year old 2014 Special Release into second place.
Roving judging sessions were held across Speyside during the Festival, which closes today (Monday May 2), and one was also held in specialist Scottish shop Scotia Spirit in Cologne. This was the first time a judging session was held outwith the local area.
Owner Peter Klas is a long-term friend of the Festival and it is hoped the success of the overseas judging session will lead to more international destinations being added to future events.
The finalists in all three categories were whittled down into a shortlist of entries earlier in the year by a panel including industry experts, retailers and whisky writers.
Festival chairman James Campbell says,“Huge congratulations to Glenfiddich for such a tremendous success at this year’s awards – we have never had one single distillery win all three titles before.
“Our awards are considered as one of the industry’s highest accolades, as the winners are determined by the people who matter the most –the whisky-drinking general public.
“Having a panel of industry experts judging the drams would not represent the views of the majority of drinkers, which is why we allow Festival visitors to have the final say. The people who vote in the awards are judging the drams based on their personal preference of the nose and taste of each entry. As it is a blind taste test, consumer or brand loyalty does not affect their decision.
“The judging sessions are enjoyed by a wide variety of people - from whisky aficionados to novices still learning about our national dram - and are an extremely popular element of the Festival.”
The awards are sponsored by coppersmiths Forsyths of Rothes, the company responsible for building many of the pot stills in which the shortlisted single malts were distilled.
The five day Festival comes to an end today (Monday) and has featured a packed programme of over 500 events, with music, crafts, and food themes running alongside a wide range of distillery tours and tastings.