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Cheers to Excellence: IWSC 2023

April 17, 2023

The International Wine and Spirits Competition (IWSC) is one of the most prestigious and respected annual awards in the world of wine and spirits. It was founded in 1969 and has been recognising excellence in the industry for over 50 years. The IWSC is a global wine and spirits community, whose mission is to champion the best wine and spirits from around the world. The competition is open to producers from all over the world, and judges blind taste each entry to ensure that the awards are based solely on the quality of the product.

The IWSC awards cover a wide range of categories, including wine, spirits, sake, and liqueurs. Within each category, there are different subcategories to ensure that each type of product is judged fairly and accurately.  For the first time,  Brave New Spirits submitted a broad range of bottlings from our portfolio for review this year, and we’re  delighted to share with you the incredible results that our releases received from this renowned organisation:

  • The Highland Shepherd, Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky, unpeated, Score 96, Spirit Gold Award.

Whisky was tasted by such respected figures in the Scotch whisky industry as Richard Paterson OBE, David Stewart MBE and others. The judgers describe this whisky as having a “lusciously rich Manuka honey nose with a fruity apricot compote undertone and sweet heather-scented honey flavours. There's an oaky sweetness giving a long and well-balanced finish. "

  • Whisky Of Voodoo: The Nailed Puppet, 11 years old, ;lightly peated, matured in 1st and 2nd fill Bourbon Barrels, Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Score 95, Spirit Gold Award.

Whisky was tasted by a panel that included such well-known whisky experts as Richard Paterson OBE &  Billy Abbott. The judges describe this expression of Voodoo as having “full and fresh nose with singed citrus fruits and an amazing complex palate. Candied fruits developing into a rich medicinal aroma that is perfectly coupled with smoke and sea spray. "

  • Cask Noir: Secrets Of Bonnie Banks, 17 YO, matured in 1st Fill Merlot Wine Barrique, Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Score 94, Spirit Silver Award.

Whisky was tasted by such icons as Richard Paterson OBE, Jim Beveridge and others. The judgers describe ‘Secret of Bonnie Banks’ as having  "An intriguing nose with rich fruit and rubber notes combining with grape, raisin and sweet wine flavours on the palate and ending with a thick finish with a hint of smoke. "

  • Cask Noir: The Rise Of The Badger Clan, Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Score 93, Spirit Silver Award.

Whisky was judged by the judgers mentioned above and described us having “Charming nose with fresh fruit and a great balance. Lightly fruity with some acidity around the edges. The finish is dominated by dark caramel. "

  • Celtic Revival 12 YO, Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Score 92, Spirit Silver Award.

The judging panel here have described ‘Celtic Revival’ as having a "perfumed nose of freshly cut grass and lemon drops that develop into a bold mix of clove, toffee and cinnamon spice. Sugary on the palate with hints of pepper spice. "

  • Lighthouse, Lightly Peated Blended Scotch Whisky, Score 90, Spirit Silver Award

Within other well-known judges ‘Lighthouse’ was also judged by J Dhavall Gandhi and Eddie Ludlow.  They described this bottle as "elegant, soft and sweet. Citrus and peach on the palate with hints of smoke and peat on the palate. Simple but enjoyable with bitterness on the finish. Decent. "

  • Whisky Of Voodoo: Mask Of Death, 10 YO, matured in Virgin Oak and 1st fill Bourbon Barrels, Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Score 89, Spirit Bronze Award.

Judges described it as "delicate candied citrus and hints of earthiness with soft spices around the edges. "

  • Ecosse G 12 YO,  Single Grain Scotch Whisky, Score 89, Spirit Bronze.

New names that were judging this particular bottle were Becky Paskin and Sandy Hyslop. The bottle was described as “" Rich and juicy with candied orange notes, herbal undertones and a burst of fine oak on the palate. "

  • Lighthouse, Blended Scotch Whisky, Score 87, Spirit Bronze Award

Whisky was tasted and judged by Richard Paterson, Guy Hodcroft, Caroline Roddis and others. The judge described the ‘Lighthouse’ as "attractive with notes of pear drop and a pleasant nuttiness on the palate. "

We were honoured to receive such high results for our first releases from the IWSC this year. The global recognition of the IWSC panels definitely raises awareness of our whiskies around the world, and introduces our whiskies to a much wider audience.   

The IWSC awards are a testament to the excellence and innovation in the world of wine and spirits. They recognise the hard work and dedication that goes into creating each whisky. The awards help to celebrate the best this industry has to offer and we are delighted to be able to present these highly regarded drams to you.

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