International Whisky Competition

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The International Whisky Competition is an event that takes place annually in Chicago in which whiskies are blind tasted and rated by a professional tasting panel. The results are used to produce tasting notes for an International Whisky Guide.[1]

History[edit]

The International Whisky Competition[2] was founded in 2009 by Sylvain Allard and Michael Petrucci. In 2016 the results began being used to produce an International Whisky Guide.

Event[edit]

There are up to 60 categories depending on the whisky type, with gold, silver, and bronze awards for each. Whiskies are sampled individually and judges are given 5 minutes to blind taste, judge, and score each whisky. A 100 point scoring system is used which was adapted from the wine industry. The rating system uses the following four criteria:[3]

  • Sight
    • Colors (0 points)
    • Visual appeal (5 points)
  • Nose
    • Intensity and complexity (15 points)
    • Distinctiveness of aromas (10 points)
    • Balance of aromas (10 points)
  • Taste-Mouth Feel
    • Palate and balance (10 points)
    • Alcohol, body and complexity (10 points)
    • Distinctiveness of flavors (10 points)
    • Balance between flavors (10 points)
  • Finish
    • Length and finish (10 points)
    • Quality of finish (10 points)

Awards given in the competition[edit]

  • Whisky of the Year
  • Master Distiller/Blender of the Year
  • Distillery of the Year
  • Best Blended Whisky (All Categories)
  • Best New Release
  • Best Single Malt Whisk(e)y
  • Best Rye Whiskey
  • Best World Whisk(e)y
  • Best Peated Whisk(e)y
  • Best Grain Whisk(e)y
  • Best Value Whisk(e)y (for whiskies under $30)
  • Brand Ambassador of the Year
  • Blogger of the Year
  • Best Flavored Whisk(e)y
  • 8 Country and continent awards
  • 15 Scotch whisky awards
  • 4 Irish whiskey awards
  • 19 United States whiskey awards

The complete list can be seen on the competition website.[4]

Judges[edit]

The present panel consists of ten experts.[5] In 2014, Michael Petrucci stepped down from the competition, and in 2015 Sebastien Gavillet took over as head of the tasting panel, restructuring the competition and implemented a new tasting methodology. Starting in 2016, entry samples began being archived for referencing.[6]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "New International Whisky Guide 2016 Will Change The Way You See Whiskey". WTHR Indiana News Leader. Retrieved March 3, 2016
  2. ^ http://www.trademarkia.com/international-whisky-competition-85297282.html
  3. ^ "These 30 whiskeys just took gold at an international spirits competition". Portia Crowe, Business Insider UK. Retrieved May 7, 2015
  4. ^ http://www.whiskycompetition.com/2016-results/
  5. ^ http://www.whiskycompetition.com/tastingpanel/
  6. ^ "Looking behind the International Whiskey judging curtain". Whiskey Wash. June 6 2016. Retrieved March 1 2017