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Icons of Whisky Rest of World 2016

Whisky Magazine’s Icons of Whisky Awards recognise and celebrate the finest companies and individuals in the whisky industry. With the America and Scotland regional winners already announced, the time has come to reveal those receiving an award in the Rest of World stage.

Regional winners of each category will now battle it out against each other for the overall Global title, judged by the magazine’s expert editorial panel and announced at the Whisky Magazine Awards dinner in London on 17 March 2016.

With new categories for 2016, including Master Distiller / Master Blender, Travel Retailer, World Whisky Ambassador and Supermarket, there is an opportunity for many sectors of the industry to be rewarded for their contribution.

Rupert Wheeler, Managing Editor and Chairman of the Icons of Whisky says: "The whisky industry is expanding worldwide with many new distilleries being planned to fulfil demand. These awards are in recognition of all those exceptional companies and individuals who are working hard to make their brand different and engaging. I look forward to presenting the overall Global winners in March."

American Whiskey Brand Ambassador of the year

James Goggin - Maverick Drinks (England)

James began his career in the drinks industry as a bartender in Ireland at the age of 16 and has since worked in some of the world’s most prestigious bars. In February 2015, he took up a position at Maverick Drinks, and has never looked back. As Portfolio Ambassador, James is responsible for educating consumers and bartenders on the merits of craft spirits and the work that goes into producing them. Whilst his role is focused on developing the market for the UK, he travels to distilleries around the world to expand and share his knowledge.

Highly Commended
Matt Jones - Beam Suntory (Canada)

Shortlisted
James Goggin - Maverick Drinks
Matheus Borba - Cordon Bleu Brasil
Matt Jones - Beam Suntory

Brand Innovator of the year

Compass Box (England)

Specialist artisan whiskymaker, Compass Box, is well known for unique branding and eye-catching bottle designs. With a wide variety of styles and tastes on offer, the world of small batch Scotch is ready to be explored through the company’s Signature Range, Limited Editions and Great King Street brands. Quality and variety is of utmost importance and Compass Box ensure this is consistent by selecting the finest distillates from the best distilleries, aged in high quality oak casks. Explore the company website for more about the products, as well as videos from whiskymaker John Glaser.

Highly Commended
Kavalan Distillery (Taiwan)

Shortlisted
Compass Box (England)
Hiram Walker Distillery (Canada)
Hyde Irish Whiskey (Ireland)
Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard (Ireland)
Kavalan Distillery (Taiwan)
Master of Malt (England)
Nikka Whisky Distilling (Japan)
Sullivans Cove (Tasmania)
Suntory Spirits (Japan)
Teeling Whiskey Company (Ireland)

Craft Producer of the year

Still Waters Distillery (Canada)

Art, science and passion is the formula at Still Waters Distillery and this is applied to every handmade small batch of whisky. Thanks to a shared love of the fine spirit, friends Barry Stein and Barry Bernstein set about establishing the first craft distillery in Ontaria, Canada, and began production in March 2009. Over the years, they have honed their skills and now create a range of products, with their flagship Stalk & Barrel brand paving the way. The story of each barrel is tracked from ‘grain’ to ‘glass’ which enthusiasts can follow on the company website.

Highly Commended
Glendalough Distillery (Ireland)
The Owl Distillery (Belgium)

Shortlisted
Distillerie Warenghem (France)
Glendalough Distillery (Ireland)
Shinshu Mars Distillery, Hombo Shuzo Company (Japan)
Milk & Honey Distillery (Israel)
Overeem Distillery (Tasmania)
Redlands Estate (Tasmania)
Still Waters Distillery (Canada)
The Owl Distillery (Belgium)

Distiller of the year

The Nikka Whisky Distilling Company (Japan)

Nikka Whisky Distilling Company founder, Masataka Taketsuru, has always been passionate about whisky, and Nikka strives to make whisky in an authentic way without compromising quality. Taketsuru founded Yoichi Distillery in 1934 and completed Miyagikyo Distillery in 1969.

The company produces a wide range of Japanese whisky in these locations which are appreciated and loved by people around the world. Famous brands include single malts Yoichi and Miyagikyo, Taketsuru blended malt, From The Barrel blended, Coffey Grain and Coffey Malt.

Highly Commended
Tullamore D.E.W. Distillery (Ireland)

Shortlisted
Distell (South Africa)
Forty Creek Distillery (Canada)
Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard (Ireland)
Kavalan Distillery (Taiwan)
Penderyn Distillery (Wales)
Teeling Whisky Company (Ireland)
The English Whisky Company (England)
The Nikka Whisky Distilling Company (Japan)
Tullamore D.E.W. Distillery (Ireland)
Zuidam Distillers (Netherlands)

Distillery Manager of the year

Koichi Nishikawa - Yoichi Distillery (Japan)

Koichi Nishikawa was born in Kyoto in 1957 and began his career in the whisky industry after completing his studies at Kyoto University. He graduated with a degree in Agriculture in 1982 and joined Nikka Whisky Distilling Company where he was assigned to the Nishinomiya Factory.

He held production and quality-control posts at several sites in and outside of Japan, including Nikka owned Yoichi, Miyagikyo and Ben Nevis distilleries. In January 2015, he was appointed as Distillery Manager of Yoichi Distillery.

Highly Commended
Hugh Gaynor - Kilbeggan Distillery (Ireland)

Shortlisted
Denise Devenney - Tullamore D.E.W. Distillery
Hugh Gaynor - Kilbeggan Distillery
John Savage-Onstwedder - Da Mhile Distillery
Koichi Nishikawa - Yoichi Distillery (The Nikka Whisky Distilling Company)

Irish Whiskey Brand Ambassador of the year

John Quinn - Tullamore D.E.W. (Ireland)

In March 2011, John Quinn was appointed the first ever Global Brand Ambassador for Tullamore D.E.W. Tasked with travelling around the globe, John is responsible for spreading the word and improving product knowledge about Tullamore D.E.W. and working closely with key bar staff, brand managers and consumers. He also works alongside our enthusiastic team of local brand ambassadors in key markets such as America, UK, France, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Scandinavia and Ireland. John has worked with the brand for 35 years.

Highly Commended
Stephen Teeling - Teeling Whiskey Company (Ireland)

Shortlisted
Bernard Walsh - Walsh Whiskey
Jennifer Proctor - Tullamore D.E.W. (William Grant & Sons)
John Quinn - Tullamore D.E.W. (William Grant & Sons)
Oisin Davis - Jameson Cocktail Programme
Stephen Teeling - Teeling Whiskey Company

Master Distiller / Master Blender of the year

Andy Watts - The James Sedgwick Distillery (South Africa)

Since the James Sedgwick Distillery was established in 1886, it has only had six managers, one of which is current Master Distiller, Andy Watts. After spending some time in Scotland, Andy returned to South Africa to prove that this too could be an excellent whisky producing nation. The distillery’s Three Ships label was the first single malt to be produced in South Africa and Bain’s Cape the first single grain.

Andy has been instrumental in the success of this award winning distillery, putting the country on the whisky map.

Highly Commended
Shinji Fukuyo - Suntory Spirits (Japan)

Shortlisted
Alex Chasko - Teeling Whiskey Company
Andy Watts - Distell
David Fitt - The English Whisky Company
Dr. Don Livermore - Corby Wine & Spirits
Etienne Bouillon - The Owl Distillery
Ian Chang - Kavalan Distillery
Noel Sweeney - Beam Suntory
Patrick Maguire - Sullivans Cove
Peter Bignell - Belgrove Distillery
Shinji Fukuyo - Suntory Spirits

Multiple Outlet Retailer of the year

La Maison Du Whisky (France)

La Maison du Whisky is a family business and was founded by Georges Bénitah in 1956. The company grew to become one of the largest French specialists of the importation and distribution of rare whiskies. Thanks to the ever-growing whisky market both in France and around the world, La Maison du Whisky has been able to open up a number of successful stores. The first opened in Paris in 1968 and since then they have expanded to Réunion and Singapore.

Highly Commended
Picardi Rebel (South Africa)
Vom Fass (Germany)

Shortlisted
Dan Murphy's (Australia)
La Maison du Whisky (France)
Picardi Rebel (South Africa)
Shinanoya Shokuhin (Japan)
Vom Fass (Europe)

Online Retailer of the year

Master Of Malt - Masterofmalt.com (England)

Starting in a retail shop in Royal Tunbridge Wells, the Master of Malt website now provides one of the most expansive ranges of fine and rare malts to be found anywhere in the world. The site is simple and easy to navigate, combining distillery facts, tasting notes and products. The company demonstrates industry leading knowledge and experience with a drive and passion for all things whisky related.

Indulge in Master of Malt’s own independent offerings or explore the vast range of tasting sets on offer.

Highly Commended
Dan Murphy’s - (Australia)
Lion’s Whisky - (Italy)

Shortlisted
Celtic Whiskey Shop (Ireland)
Dan Murphy's (Australia)
Hard To Find Whisky (England)
La Maison du Whisky (France)
Lion's Whisky (Italy)
Liquors Hasegawa (Japan)
Master of Malt (England)
The Whisky Exchange (England)
Whisky-Online (England)

Scotch Whisky Brand Ambassador of the year

Elizabeth Havers - William Grant & Sons (Canada)

Elizabeth fell in love with single malts while living in Edinburgh, Scotland over a decade ago. Since then she has settled in Toronto, Ontario and for the past five years has been the Canadian Ambassador for Glenfiddich and The Balvenie. Since taking on the role, Elizabeth has hosted countless tasting events and master classes at the country’s top spirit consumer and trade shows, while simultaneously advocating for the female contingency of whisky lovers by curating the first Women and Whisky club in her home town of Toronto, Ontario.

Highly Commended
James Goggin-Maverick Drinks (England)

Shortlisted
Beth Havers - William Grant & Sons
James Chan - William Grant & Sons
James Goggin - Maverick Drinks
Rob Allanson - William Grant & Sons

Single Outlet Retailer of the year

Celtic Whiskey Shop (Ireland)

Since 2003, the Celtic Whiskey Shop, based in the heart of Dublin, has worked hard to build strong ties with distilleries and wineries around the world so as to offer a whiskey mecca for lovers in Ireland and abroad. The company also has its own exclusive label, Celtic Cask, of which it only releases bottles once they have reached their full potential. The store offers the customer a true whiskey experience with exclusive products, launches, tasting evenings and distillery tours.

Highly Commended
WhiskyBrother (South Africa)
Kensington Wine Market (Canada)

Shortlisted
Berry Bros. & Rudd (England)
Celtic Whiskey Shop (Ireland)
Gauntleys of Nottingham (England)
Kensington Wine Market (Canada)
Mejiro Tanakaya (Japan)
Nickolls and Perks (England)
Van Wees (Netherlands)
Whiskybase BV (Netherlands)
WhiskyBrother (South Africa)
Whiskyslijterij De Koning (Netherlands)

Supermarket of the year

Sainsbury's (England)

Founded in 1869 and operating over 1,200 supermarkets and convenience stores, J Sainsbury continues to be the supermarket of choice for many thanks to the quality and range of goods and services on offer. When it comes to whisky, the selection both in store and online is sure to meet the needs of the whisky enthusiast and the gift shopper alike. With a huge selection of single malts and blends available from around the world, and all at affordable prices, your weekly shop can easily include your favourite dram. Watch out for savings on Sainbury’s own branded single malt.

Highly Commended
Waitrose (England)

Shortlisted
Aldi
Asda
Auchen
Carrefour
Lidl
Morrisons
Sainsbury's
Tesco
Waitrose
YaMaYa Corporation

Travel Retailer of the year

DFS Group - Changi Airport (Singapore)

It all began for DFS Group in 1960 when Robert Miller and Charles Feeney established the first store location in Hong Kong on 7 November. By 1970s, the company was rapidly expanding and opening stores worldwide, one of which was located in Changi Airport, Singapore.

Here you can find some of the world’s most premium whiskies. Sample Travel Retail exclusives or find the perfect gift at this unique customer experience.

Highly Commended
Aer Rianta International, Dublin Airport (Ireland)
World of Whiskies, London Heathrow Airport (England)

Shortlisted
Aelia Duty Free, Charles de Gaulle Airport (France)
Aer Rianta International, Dublin Airport (Ireland)
DFS Group, Changi Airport (Singapore)
Flemingo International, Dubai International Airport (UAE)
Gebr. Heinemann, Frankfurt Airport (Germany)
Le Clos, Dubai International Airport (UAE)
Schiphol Airport Retail, Schiphol Airport (Netherlands)
World of Whiskies, London Heathrow Airport (England)

Visitor Attraction Manager of the year

Mary Hensey - Tullamore D.E.W. Distillery (Ireland)

Born and raised in Tullamore, Mary has a strong sense of pride working with Tullamore D.E.W. Irish Whiskey. After completing a diploma in interior architecture, she ran her own furniture shop before joining the team as visitor centre manager. Mary worked closely with all involved in the refurbishment and development of the new visitor centre in 2012. Under her management, last year was the centre’s busiest and most successful to date, solidifying it as a 'must see' attraction.

Highly Commended
David McCabe - Irish Whiskey Academy (Ireland)

Shortlisted
David McCabe - Irish Whiskey Academy
Geoff Burns - Penderyn Distillery
Mary Hensey - Tullamore D.E.W. Distillery
Sheila Baird - Teeling Whiskey Company

Visitor Attraction of the year

Teeling Whiskey Company (Ireland)

The Teeling Whiskey Distillery has enjoyed huge success since its official launch in June 2015. Bringing whiskey distillation back to Dublin, and the first new distillery in the city for 125 years, it is no wonder fans are flocking in their thousands to visit this tourist attraction. By December 2015, Teeling Whiskey Distillery had welcomed 25,000 visitors. Visit seven days a week from 9.30am to 5.30pm and join a guided tour to see all elements of the production process. Enjoy a dram and a preprohibition cocktail as part of the tour or upgrade to a Teeling Trinity tasting to enjoy more award winning single malts.

Highly Commended
Yoichi Distillery (Japan)

Shortlisted
Canadian Club Brand Centre (Canada)
Kavalan Distillery (Taiwan)
Mackmyra Gravity Distillery (Sweden)
PUNI Destillerie (Italy)
Teeling Whiskey Company (Ireland)
Teerenpeli Distillery (Finland)
The Jameson Experience (Ireland)
Tullamore D.E.W. Distillery (Ireland)
Yoichi Distillery (Japan)

World Whisky Brand Ambassador of the year

Ashok Chokalingam - Amrut Distilleries (India)

Ashok is well known on the world whisky scene and is best known for his work with Amrut Distilleries where he is currently head of International Operations. Credited as the reason for much of the success of Amrut in international markets, Ashok spends much of his time travelling across the globe conducting seminars and master classes, focusing on the growth of Indian whisky and in particular the award winning Amrut range. Ashok is currently pursuing a Diploma in Distillation with the Institute of Brewing and Distillation, London, to enhance his technical skills.

Highly Commended
Matt Jones - Beam Suntory (Canada)

Shortlisted
Ashok Chokalingam - Amrut Distilleries
Candice Baker - Edrington Portfolio
David Roussier - Distillerie Warenghem
Ichiro Akuto - Venture Whisky
Lawrence Graham - Whisky Intelligence
Matt Jones - Beam Suntory
Sayumi Oyama - Nikka Whisky Distilling Company