Icons of Whisky Rest of World 2022 Revealed

The Rest of World results of Whisky Magazine’s Icons of Whisky and World Whiskies Awards 2022 were announced in an online presentation

The best and brightest in the world of whisky have been commended at the Rest of World round of the Whisky Magazine Awards 2022.

The Rest of World awards presented by Whisky Magazine were announced virtually in a broadcast streamed on the title’s Facebook page. Split into five regional rounds (America, Ireland, Scotland, India, Rest of World) leading to global titles, the Whisky Magazine Awards are designed to commend the very best people, places and products in the world of whisky.

From bartenders to brand ambassadors, retailers to visitor attraction managers, the Icons of Whisky awards honour those who have worked tirelessly to produce and promote whisky. Among this year’s winners were Dave Withers of Australia’s Archie Rose Distilling Co, who was crowned Master Distiller/Blender of the Year, and Lark Distilling Co, which was named Sustainable Distillery of the Year. The coveted title of Distiller of the Year went to Taiwan’s Kavalan Distillery. These Rest of World winners will now go head-to-head against successful entrants from America, Scotland, Ireland, and India, for the chance to win the global title. The Icons of Whisky Global awards will be announced at a gala dinner in London on 24 March.

Meanwhile, the World Whiskies Awards (part of the World Drinks Awards) named its category winners for Rest of World, chosen from hundreds of entries from distillers across the globe by an expert judging panel. This year’s winners include Teeling Whiskey 30 Years Old, which took the prize for Best Irish Single Malt 21 Years & Over, and Roe & Co Cask Strength was awarded Best Irish Grain 13 to 20 Years Old.The title of Best Australian Rye 12 Years & Under went to Archie Rose Rye Malt Whisky, while Best Australian Blended Malt No Age Statement went to Lark Distilling Co. Symphony No.1.

All category winners will now be compared head-to-head by the World Whiskies Awards judging panel to determine the Country and Global titles for 2022, such as France’s Best Single Malt and World’s Best Single Malt.

On the Icons of Whisky results, Christopher Coates, editor of Whisky Magazine, said:
“The global whisky industry has taken the challenges of the past few years in stride, and the strength of the entries we’ve received to our Icons awards for 2022 reflects this perfectly. It was no easy task for our panel to choose these Rest of World winners, but I believe we’ve been successful in highlighting some truly iconic whisky heroes.”

“As always, we have been inspired by each and every one of our Icons nominees. Regardless of where in the world they are located or the part of the industry they work in, it is apparent that all are united by an unrivalled passion for whisky and a shared commitment to excellence in their respective fields.”

Anita Ujszaszi, awards director, commented on the World Whiskies Awards:
“We must extend a heartfelt thanks to our judges, who all met online in dedicated tasting sessions to share their expertise and evaluate each sample individually. It’s been an incredible experience.”

“We’ve been particularly impressed by submissions from some of the world’s newest distillers, many of which have been embracing innovative techniques to produce exceptional whiskies.”

“None of this would have been possible without all the great people involved, across all parts of the operation, who were willing to help and work together to make this a great year for the World Whiskies Awards. We have seen increased numbers of whiskies entered and measurably improved quality across the board. We’re looking forward to next year already.”

Icons of Whisky Rest of World Winners 2022

Headline sponsor: Glencairn Crystal

Distiller of the Year

Sponsored by Glencairn Crystal

Kavalan Distillery

The internationally lauded Kavalan Distillery, owned by the King Car Group, produced its first bottle of whisky in 2008. Last year, it launched its ‘Artists Series’, a new range of expressions that aims to highlight the art of whisky while supporting the work of the King Car Cultural & Educational Foundation. The team partnered with internationally renowned Taiwanese painter Paul Chiang, who produced the label artwork for the series.

Highly Commended

Lark Distillery

Craft Producer of the Year

Sullivans Cove Distillery

The birthplace of Tasmanian whisky, Sullivans Cove is an independently owned craft distillery located in the port city of Hobart. Demand for its whisky far outstrips the distillery’s extremely limited annual supply. Prioritising liquid quality above all else, it focuses on what it calls ‘intentional inefficiencies’, which include having no set ageing schedule, regularly tasting each and every barrel in the bond to find peak maturity, extensive settling periods, no chill-filtering, and exceptionally slow dilution.

Highly Commended

M&H Distillery

Brand Innovator of the Year

Sponsored by WestRock

M&H Whisky Distillery

Established in 2014, M&H Distillery is Israel’s first whisky distillery. It’s currently running several maturation projects throughout Israel: the Mediterranean coast, the Upper Galilee, the Jerusalem mountains, the Negev desert, and the Dead Sea. Whisky maturation in the Dead Sea – the lowest body of water on the surface of Earth and characterised by extreme weather conditions – became a flagship project for M&H, with the distillery launching its Apex Dead Sea edition in autumn 2021.

Sustainable Distillery of the Year

Lark Distillery

Regarding its local climate as being vital to the way it produces spirits, Tasmania’s Lark Distillery recently received a climate-neutral certification from the Australian Government’s Climate Active initiative. The certification – the most credible carbon-neutral certification in the country – is achieved through rigorous testing and processes based on international standards and sustainable practices to ensure a genuine emissions reduction. To this end, Lark Distillery has eliminated plastic packaging, recycles heat during production, and is investing in carbon-offsetting projects.

Highly Commended

Sullivans Cove Distillery

Visitor Attraction of the Year

Kavalan Distillery

Having started as a local business striving to find a footing on the global stage, Kavalan is a staunch promotor and nurturer of local artists and Taiwanese talent, intent on giving back to the community in which it began. Throughout the past 12 months, the distillery has held a number of visitor exhibitions and concerts focused on art and music conveying the natural beauty of Taiwan.

Highly Commended

Starward Distillery

Master Distiller/Master Blender of the Year

Sponsored by Whisky Auctioneer

Dave Withers, Archie Rose Distilling Co.

Born into a family of winemakers, Dave Withers joined Archie Rose in 2015, taking on the role of master distiller in 2016. Last year, Dave and his team launched a patented ‘individual malt’ production process, separately milling, mashing, fermenting, distilling and maturing each malt in its six-malt mash bill. The process allows the Archie Rose team to tailor every step of the production process, yeast selection, cask type and maturation conditions to each specific malt.

Highly Commended

Tomer Goren, M&H Distillery

Distillery Manager of the Year

Sponsored by Larkfire

Heather Tillott, Sullivans Cove Distillery

Heather started in the Australian wine industry before moving to Tasmania. After falling in love with Tasmanian whisky, she was quickly hired as a junior distiller at Sullivans Cove. Now, as a distillery manager personifying the ‘second generation’ of Tasmanian distilling, Heather has been one of the driving forces behind the recent success of the distillery. She has spent the last year securing relationships with suppliers, improving the distillery’s barrel regime, and training the team to future-proof production quality.

World Whisky Brand Ambassador of the Year

Sandra Tsai, Kavalan Distillery

An especially well-travelled brand ambassador, Sandra Tsai’s sound cross-cultural communication skills and understanding of different cultures makes her an excellent whisky educator. She regards it as her mission to share Kavalan’s unique story and exceptional whiskies with consumers and importers in every corner of the world, hosting in-person tastings, media events, masterclasses, social media live streams and more.

Highly Commended

Tal Chotiner, M&H Distillery

Visitor Attraction Manager of the Year

Ally Bhana, Sullivans Cove Distillery

The manager of the Sullivans Cove bottle shop and tasting room, the Cellar Door, Ally Bhana is dedicated to sharing her passion for Sullivans Cove. She took up her role in 2018, and in her time at the distillery she has vastly improved the processes, operations and offerings of the Cellar Door. Despite the challenges of 2021, under Ally’s leadership none of her team members at the Cellar Door lost a single hour of work due to Covid-19 lockdowns.

Communicator of the Year

Sponsored by McLaren Packaging

Felipe Schrieberg

Felipe Schrieberg is a whisky writer, musician, author, spirits competition judge, and international tastings host. Writing professionally about whisky since 2015, he is a senior contributor for Forbes.com, writing about spirits. He also regularly writes for Whisky Magazine, Unfiltered Magazine, TheWhiskeyWash.com, and many other platforms. In 2018, he co-founded ‘The Rhythm and Booze Project’, a duo fusing live music and whisky through gigs, tasting events, and multimedia. He published his first book, London Cocktails, in2020.

Campaign Innovator of the Year

Sponsored by Berlin Packaging

Lark Distilling Co.

The first fully licensed commercial distillery on the island of Tasmania since the ban of 1839, Lark Distillery was founded in 1992. The team has made significant strides in the on- and off-trade markets recently, entering new territory with a successful gifting campaign for Father’s Day in 2021 before launching its ‘Whisky Bar Series’. A collaboration between Lark and Australia’s best whisky bars, the series comprises co-branded single cask whiskies, hand selected by bar owners and bartenders.

Online Retailer of the Year

Sponsored by The Glenturret

The Whisky List

Founded in 2018 by veteran technology consultants Oliver Maruda and Chris Ross, The Whisky List was set up to make buying whisky online easy, personal and social. It boasts an engaged community of 20,000+ ‘Whisky Lovers’ (members) who can utilise a suite of virtual tools and experiences to help them learn about, try, rate, and buy their next whiskies. The platform even uses artificial intelligence technology to map member’s taste preferences and identifies available products most suited to their tastes.

PR Agency of the Year

Richmond & Towers Communications

Richmond & Towers is a UK and international trade and consumer communications specialist agency with over 50 years’ experience in the drinks industry. Its client roster has included some of the biggest names in whisk(e)y, including Chivas Regal, Jameson, Redbreast, Jura and The Dalmore. A standout campaign last year was the launch of Midleton Very Rare’s highly collectable annual vintage, which generated a wealth of coverage and praise across international media, laying the PR foundations for next year’s release.

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