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Whisky Magazine Awards 2021: Winners revealed

Icons of Whisky, World Whiskies Awards and Whisky Magazine Hall of Fame announced in virtual presentation
Brown-Forman was named Distiller of the Year 2021
Brown-Forman was named Distiller of the Year 2021


The best and brightest in the world of whisky have been commended in the Whisky Magazine Awards 2021. For the first time, the awards were announced virtually, in a broadcast streamed on the Whisky Magazine Facebook page and YouTube channel. Comprising three parts, the Whisky Magazine Awards are designed to commend the 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 for the growth of the industry.

Nicole Austin, general manager and distiller at George Dickel, was named Distillery Manager of the Year


Highlights of the people awards included the naming of Nicole Austin, general manager and distiller at George Dickel, as Distillery Manager of the Year and Bob Dalgarno of The Glenturret as Master Distiller/Blender of the Year. In the producer awards, Nc’Nean Distillery was named Sustainable Distillery of the Year and Brown-Forman, owner of Jack Daniel’s, was crowned as Distiller of the Year

Nc"nean Distillery took the award for Sustainable Distillery of the Year 2021


Meanwhile, the World Whiskies Awards (part of the World Drinks Awards) commend the best whiskies in the world, with over 1000 entries from across the globe tasted by an expert judging panel to decide the World’s Best. This year’s winners included The GlenAllachie 10 Years Old Batch 4, which took the prize for World’s Best Single Malt.

The GlenAllachie 10 Years Old Batch 4 was named World"s Best Single Malt


Induction into the Whisky Magazine Hall of Fame is the highest honour bestowed by Whisky Magazine, reserved for those who have dedicated their lives to helping the sector thrive. This final round of awards saw the Hall of Fame’s 73rd inductee: Brendan Buckley, international marketing director at Irish Distillers.

Brendan was also the 5th inductee this year, after Whisky Magazine welcomed four new inductees to the Hall of Fame in February: Andrew Symington, managing director of Signatory Vintage Scotch Whisky Co. and Edradour Distillery; Billy Walker, master distiller at The GlenAllachie Distillers Company; Andy Watts, head of whisky intrinsic excellence at Distell Group; and Fred Noe, master distiller at Jim Beam.

On his induction to the Hall of Fame, Brendan said: "I want to thank the devoted production, marketing and innovation teams at Irish Distillers, both past and present, whose dedication to craft and brilliance has contributed to the expansion of the category. While I look back on the past decades with immense pride, I am also extremely excited about what the future of Irish whiskey holds.”

Conor McQuaid, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman at Irish Distillers, added: “It is an absolute pleasure to offer my congratulations to Brendan upon his induction to the Whisky Magazine Hall of Fame. This honour demonstrates his role in strengthening the Irish Distillers’ portfolio, through ground-breaking marketing and innovation over the years. From his stewardship of Jameson toward being a global icon to the resurrection of the single pot still category which has changed the Irish whiskey landscape, to the birth of the experimental Method and Madness brand, Brendan’s marketing vision continues to shape the Irish whiskey category’s reputation for excellence.”

Brendan Buckley, international marketing director at Irish Distillers, became the 73rd inductee to the Hall of Fame


On the Icons of Whisky results, Christopher Coates, editor of Whisky Magazine, said: "The global whisky industry has taken the challenges of the past year in stride and the strength of the entries we've received to our Icons awards for 2021 reflects this perfectly. It was no easy task for our panel to choose global winners from our regional shortlists, 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."

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

"None of this would have been possible without all the great people involved, across all parts of the operation, who were all willing to help and work together to make this a great year. We have seen over 1000 whiskies entered in 2021, and we’re looking forward to next year already."

Full results of the Icons of Whisky can be viewed at www.iconsofwhisky.com

Full results of the World Whiskies Awards can be viewed at www.worldwhiskiesawards.com

Information about all of the Hall of Fame inductees can be viewed at www.whiskymaghalloffame.com