In a blind tasting, our expert panel of ten judges, including whisky writers, industry representatives and specialist retailers, selected two finalists from each Whisky Awards category.

Annabel Meikle

Annabel Meikle

Annabel Meikle has worked in the whisky industry since 2001, organising events and tastings with the Scotch Malt Whisky Society. She was instrumental in opening new venue at 28 Queen Street in Edinburgh, in 2004. There she continued to grow the corporate membership.

Show Full Bio
Dr Christopher White

Dr Christopher White

Dr Christopher White has over a decade of experience in the whisky industry, and is the Editor of Edinburgh Whisky Blog, an award-winning, influential whisky website. This opinion-based blog offers an alternative view point on the industry; providing views on new releases and marketing initiatives, interviews with industry experts, reports on PR events and product launches, and commentary on the wider whisky world. Chris is also the Auctioneer at Royal Mile Whisky Auctions, an ethical, online whisky auction platform, set up in 2017 by independent, award-winning retailer, Royal Mile Whiskies.

Show Full Bio
Fergus Simpson

Fergus Simpson

Although Fergus is originally from Aberdeen and has had a lifelong interest in whisky, he only entered the trade later in life. It was only on returning to his native Scotland after many years in the south of England and abroad that he started in the whisky business.

Show Full Bio
Hamish Marshall

Hamish Marshall

A trained chef and one-time Restauranteur, Hamish cut his teeth in the Drinks Business as a Sales Representative with the then Lang Brothers Distillers, part of the Robertson & Baxter Group. His portfolio contained Langs Supreme and Glengoyne along with prestigious brands Remy Martin and Krug. The formation of the Macallan Langs Partnership brought an opportunity to be involved in very exciting times as part of the team that built The Macallan brand into the No 1 Malt Whisky brand on Speyside and Scotland.

Show Full Bio
Ian Wisniewski

Ian Wisniewski

An unexpected assignment from a drinks magazine when he was starting out in journalism steered Ian Wisniewski into the industry where he has remained. His first visit to a malt whisky distillery was a turning point: he found it so fascinating that he decided he had to learn as much about Scotch whisky as he could, and he is still learning, visiting distilleries as often as possible and constantly asking questions.

Show Full Bio
Justine Hazlehurst

Justine Hazlehurst

Justine Hazlehurst is the founder of Kask Whisky, a whisky events company based in Edinburgh. As a proud citizen of Leith, Justine has recently started the Leith Whisky Trail – walking tours, focusing on the history of the brokers, blenders and bottlers of what was once a thriving whisky district, which culminate in a tasting of some ‘blast from the past’ drams all linked to the area.

Show Full Bio
Paul Rollo

Paul Rollo

Paul Rollo is a Son of The Manse from a well-known and highly respected Elgin family. After studying Law and Politics at University, Paul returned home, soon to go into the licence trade in the Moray capital. Paul set up the now highly acclaimed Drouthy Cobbler which, like a breath of fresh air to the Moray pub scene, was instantly coveted by a loyal clientele, keen to support, not only an innovative new pub but music and comedy venue. The addition of Badenoch’s to Paul’s portfolio, a large Sports Bar on Elgin High Street, ensures Paul is kept very occupied.

Show Full Bio
Robert Anderson

Robert Anderson

After a series of accounting positions in the Malting, Leisure and Timber industries, Robert Anderson took up a similar position with Tomatin, which is a Highland Single Malt, in 1988 just 2 years after the new company at the distillery was formed. He progressed to company secretary in 1990 and in 2009 was appointed MD of J & W Hardie Ltd formed in 2001 to progress the branding side of Tomatin’s business.

Show Full Bio
Ronnie Routledge

Ronnie Routledge

Ronnie Routledge's love of whisky has kept him working in the industry for 35 years in various roles for a number of well-known Independent bottlers and distilleries.

Show Full Bio
Tatsuya Minagawa

Tatsuya Minagawa

Tatsuya Minagawa was born in Yamagata, Japan in 1969. He began working behind the bar at the age of 18 and learned his craft from various well-respected bar owners in his home country. He was 29 years old when he first travelled to Scotland, living and working in the capital city of Edinburgh for 4 years.

Show Full Bio

Sign up to stay informed of our events

Join our mailing list for the latest news & updates from the Spirit of Speyside Festivals!

Visit the Ticket Centre for full details on times, ticket prices, ticket availability and event programme.

Visit The Ticket Centre