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Icons of Whisky America 2015

This has been an exciting year for Icons of Whisky with the launch of the all new nominations and voting process. We decided it was time the industry had a say and helped us recognise the very best in the world of whisky. Producers, retailers, distributors and importers were invited to nominate iconic companies and individuals and help draw up a shortlist of those who deserve an Icons of Whisky title. We then opened up the voting on www.iconsofwhisky.com where those in the industry voted for their top three. With almost 4,000 votes, Whisky Magazine’s editorial panel had the final task of reviewing the votes, and we are now delighted to present the results of the Icons of Whisky America 2015.

American Whiskey Ambassador of the Year

Fred Noe – Beam Suntory

“Fred Noe 7th Generation Master Distiller and great grandson of Jim Beam is, from the brand's perspective, the single most important individual in the marketing of the Jim Beam brand. He guards the bourbon family flame that has burned for over 200 years.”

Highly Commended
Al Young – Four Roses Distillery

Nominees
Alison Mouratis – Few Spirits
Al Young – Four Roses Distillery
Bernie Lubbers – Heaven Hill Distilleries
Fred Noe – Beam Suntory
Douglas Kragel – George Dickel, Diageo
Emerson Lamb – Westland Whiskey
Ewan Morgan – Diageo
Gable Erenzo – Tuthilltown Spirits
Gardner Dunn – Next Level Marketing
Mark Coffman – River City
Matt Jones – Beam Suntory
Neyah White – Next Level Marketing
Stephen Gertman – Ascendant Spirits
Steve Beal – Diageo

Craft Whiskey Producer of the Year

St. George Spirits

St. George Spirits has been producing a fine array of artisanal products since 1982. Among these are single malt whiskey, bourbon, agricole rum, absinthe and a selection of gins, brandies and liqueurs. Their latest release of St. George Single Malt Whiskey, Lot 14 is due for release in September 2014, just in time to celebrate their Icons of Whisky success!

Highly Commended
Koval Distillery

Nominees
Ascendant Spirits
A. Smith Bowman Distillery
Catoctin Creek Distilling Company
Charbay Artisan Distillery and Winery
Distillery 291
Dry Fly Distillery
Few Spirits
Garrison Brothers Distillery
Kings County Distillery
Koval Distillery
Sons of Liberty Spirits
St. George Spirits
Still 630 Distillery
Tuthilltown Spirits
Wiggly Bridge Distillery

Scotch Whisky Ambassador of the Year

Rick Edwards – The Glenlivet / Aberlour, Pernod Ricard USA

“Rick Edwards has been working in the American Market since 1996. He has consulted on several Single Malt & Blended Scotch Brands and has identifiable style and swagger.” Rick has spent a great deal of time travelling through Scotland and making his name as a Brand Ambassador. In 2001, he completed a course at the Royal Lochnagar Academy of Malt earning him the title of ‘Master of Scotch’.

Highly Commended
Brad Jarvis - International Spirits and Wines
Simon Brooking – Beam Suntory

Nominees
Brad Jarvis – International Spirits and Wines
David Blackmore – Glenmorangie Distillery
Ewan Morgan – Diageo
Freddy May – William Grant and Sons
Johnnie Mundell – Next Level Marketing
Max Warner -The Glenlivet / Aberlour, Pernod Ricard USA
Philip Pepperdine – Next Level Marketing
Rick Edwards – The Glenlivet / Aberlour, Pernod Ricard USA
Robin Nance – Next Level Marketing
Robin Robinson – Compass Box Whisky
Simon Brooking – Beam Suntory
Steve Beal – Diageo

Whisky Brand Innovator of the Year

Buffalo Trace Distillery

Buffalo Trace Distillery has won numerous awards and titles over the years and recently added National Historic Landmark to the list. But it is the impressive portfolio of innovative brands that has earned it the Icons title of Whisky Brand Innovator of the year. Whether it be Buffalo Trace Bourbon, Pappy Van Winkle or Master Distiller Harlan Wheatley’s handcrafted vodka, it is fair to say that they produce a quality dram for every occasion.

Highly Commended
Beam Suntory

Nominees
Beam Suntory
Brown-Forman
Buffalo Trace Distillery
Few Spirits
Heaven Hill Distilleries
Koval Distillery
Sons of Liberty Spirits
Tuthilltown Spirits

Whisky Distiller of the Year

Four Roses Distillery

“Four Roses. One Brand. Ten Recipes.” Master Distiller Jim Rutledge prides himself on producing ten unique Four Roses Bourbon recipes. The unmistakable spicy and rich, fruity character makes this brand the dram of choice for many.

Highly Commended
Buffalo Trace Distillery

Nominees
Alltech Lexington Brewing and Distilling
Brown-Forman / Woodford Reserve Distillery
Buffalo Trace Distillery
Four Roses Distillery
George Dickel
Heaven Hill Distilleries
Jim Beam
Maker’s Mark
Wild Turkey Distillery

Whisky Distillery Manager of the Year

Harlen Wheatley – Buffalo Trace Distillery

“Harlen tirelessly works to improve existing processes and innovate new products. Buffalo Trace Distillery's Warehouse X, which has recently been completed, was all Harlen's brainchild and will lead to interesting results that will impact the future of whiskey ageing worldwide.”

Highly Commended
Brian Lee – Tuthilltown Spirits

Nominees
Brian Lee – Tuthilltown Spirits
Chris Morris – Brown-Forman
Dan Garrison – Garrison Brothers Distillery
Harlen Wheatley – Buffalo Trace Distillery
Michael Myers – Distillery 291
Nicole Austin – Kings County Distillery
Stephen Gertman – Ascendant Spirits

Whisky Distributor of the Year

Southern Wine and Spirits

Southern Wine and Spirits puts customers and suppliers at the forefront of everything the company does. It currently operates in 35 states and constantly strives to be the leading distributor of alcohol thanks to superior quality service and continuous improvements to the business.

Highly Commended
Empire Merchants

Nominees
Anchor Distilling Company
Cobalt Brands
Empire Merchants
International Spirits and Wines
Southern Wine and Spirits
Wirtz Beverage Group

Whisky Importer of the Year

Anchor Distilling Company

“Anchor began proving itself as an innovator in 1996 when it produced such notable whiskies as the Old Potrero Rye whiskies using a small copper pot still and 100% rye mash in the tradition of America's early distillers.” Since then, Anchor has come a long way. With the amalgamation of Anchor Distilling Company, Anchor Brewing Company, Berry Bros. & Rudd and Preiss Imports, this company prides itself on importing handcrafted, artisanal products from multigenerational family-owned companies.

Highly Commended
Purple Valley Imports

Nominees
Admiral Imports
Anchor Distilling Company
Charmer Sunbelt Group
International Spirits and Wines
Purple Valley Imports
Total Beverage Solution

Whisky Retailer of the Year – Multiple Outlets

Binny’s Beverage Depot

With over 4,000 spirits in more than 30 stores, you will definitely find what you need at Binny’s. If you are not able to make it to an outlet, their impressive online selection will surely help you find that hidden gem. With competitive prices and excellent customer care, it is no wonder they have hit the top spot in this Icons category.

Highly Commended
Total Wine and More

Nominees
BevMo!
Binny’s Beverage Depot
Liquor Barn
Party Mart
Spec’s Liquor Warehouse
The Party Source
Total Wine and More

Whisky Retailer of the Year – Online

Binny’s Beverage Depot - www.binnys.com

Find everything you need in their online store at www.binnys.com .

Highly Commended
The Whisky Shop

Nominees
Binny’s Beverage Depot
ForWhiskeyLovers
Suburban Wine and Spirits
The Whisky Shop

Whisky Retailer of the Year – Single Outlet

Julio’s Liquors

“I can sum up my nomination for Julio's Liquors for Icons of Whisky in one word…passion.” Julio’s provides more than just a platform for buying a vast range of whisky. With 17,000 square feet worth of shopping and a dedicated tasting room offering free tastings, this store guarantees a true whisky experience.

Highly Commended
Park Avenue Liquor Shop

Nominees
Astor Wines and Spirits
Bayway World of Liquor
D & M Wine and Liquor
Federal Wine & Spirits
Hi-Time Wine Cellars
Julio’s Liquors
Park Avenue Liquor Shop
The Whisky Shop
Wally’s
Warehouse Liquors

Whisky Visitor Attraction Manager of the Year

Julie Gorham – Four Roses Distillery

Julie has played a key role in supervising and managing the Four Roses Distillery Visitor Centre since July 2004 and she spearheaded the remodelling of the huge and beautiful distillery completed in autumn 2012. She is also involved in the remodelling of the new Cox’s Creek Visitor Centre. Under Julie’s management, visitors have grown from 3,677 to a massive 49,507 over the years. Her deep experience, retail and design knowledge, as well as her management skills and excellent ability with people, have enabled her to excel.

Highly Commended
Kimberley Bennett – Beam Suntory

Nominees
Cathy Erenzo – Tuthilltown Spirits
Dan Garrison – Garrison Brothers Distillery
Julie Gorham – Four Roses Distillery
Kimberley Bennett – Beam Suntory
Stephen Gertman – Ascendant Spirits

Whisky Visitor Attraction of the Year

Maker’s Mark

Maker’s Mark distillery was designated a National Historic Landmark over 30 years ago and became the first Kentucky distillery to be named as such. Over the years, it has developed into a ‘must see’ on the Bourbon Trail. Ever wondered how they make each drip of iconic wax different on every bottle? A trip to the Bottling House will explain all.

Highly Commended
Buffalo Trace Distillery

Nominees
Woodford Reserve Distillery
Buffalo Trace Distillery
Four Roses Distillery
George Dickel
Jim Beam
Maker’s Mark