Awards & Events

The cream of the crop

Every year Whisky Magazine holds the Icons of Whisky, the international awards recognising the very best in the whisky industry
By Rob Allanson
There are only really three things that are important in the whisky business,people, product and place.With these things you get the passion,craft and history behind every drop of the good stuff.To celebrate the people and places behind the whiskies you enjoy,the Icons of Whisky was launched six years ago.This year we changed the judging process,with regional heats in the US,Japan and Scotland.Each regional heat has been voted on by industry members only in that country.Once we have the regional winners,we will open the field for other contenders from the rest of the world,who will be voted upon by the whole industry.The final winners will then be awarded in London on Thursday 1st March 2007.So far two of the four regional heats have been held and awards handed out to the winners.It has to be said that the voting in many categories was painfully close.In America,the awards were handed out during a prestigious lunch in Louisville,Kentucky.Several of the bourbon industry’s greats attended the awards presentations at the Seelbach Hotel,including the Van Winkles,Woodford Reserve’s Chris Morris,Four Roses’Jim Rutledge and Heaven Hill’s Larry Kass.In Japan,the awards will be handed out by Whisky Magazine Contributing Editor Dave Broom.The Irish Icon winners,together with the Scottish winners,are set to receive their awards before the grand final in March.There are two awards in each category,an Icon and a Highly Commended.For more details see www.whiskymag.com and watch out for the final results in Issue 62.AMERICAN ICONS OF WHISKEY AMBASSADOR OF THE YEAR
Bill Samuel,Maker’s Mark
Highly Commended
Pam Gover,Kentucky Bourbon Festival DISTILLER OF THE YEAR, SPONSORED BY GLENCAIRN CRYSTAL
Buffalo Trace
Highly Commended
Four Roses INNOVATOR OF THE YEAR
Buffalo Trace
Highly Commended
Heaven Hill

VISITOR CENTRE OF THE YEAR
George Washington’s Distillery, Mount Vernon, VA
Highly Commended
Heaven Hill RETAILER (SINGLE OUTLET) OF THE YEAR
LeNell’s,New York
Highly Commended
Park Avenue Liquor Shop,New York RETAILER (MULTIPLE OUTLET) OF THE YEAR
Binny’s,Chicago
Highly Commended
Beverages and More

BAR/RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR
Bourbons Bistro,Louisville
Highly Commended
Brandy Library,New York HOTEL OF THE YEAR
Seelbach Hilton,Louisville JAPANESE ICONS OF WHISKY

AMBASSADOR OF WHISKY
Seiichi Koshimizu,Chief Blender,Suntory DISTILLER OF THE YEAR,SPONSORED BY GLENCAIRN CRYSTAL
Suntory
Highly Commended
Nikka Whisky INNOVATOR OF THE YEAR
Venture Whisky,Hanyu Distillery VISITOR CENTRE OF THE YEAR
Yoichi,Nikka Whisky
Highly Commended
Hakushu Distillery,Suntory RETAILER (SINGLE OUTLET) OF THE YEAR
Liquors Hasegawa,Tokyo
Highly Commended Mejiro Tanakaya RETAILER (MULTIPLE OUTLET) OF THE YEAR
Shinanoya,Kanto region
Highly Commended
Kawachiya BAR/RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR
Cask,Roppongi,Tokyo
Highly Commended
Grace HOTEL OF THE YEAR
Old Imperial Bar,Imperial Hotel,Tokyo
Highly Commended
The Bar,Ritz-Carlton Hotel Osaka