International Spirits Challenge 2014

Rewarding quality, celebrating excellence

Marks and Spencer's was delighted to be involved with the International Spirits Challenge this year. To have our products endorsed by this recognised competition reaffirms the hard work we have put in, to expand and diversify our range. By participating in these awards we have increased awareness of the quality of our spirits range both within the trade and also to consumers.
Emma Dawson, Wine & Spirits Buyer, Marks & Spencer Group plc

We are delighted to receive recognition from such a respected and independent industry body as the International Spirits Challenge. The quality of the panel means that this award is of great significance to us, and we are honoured to have received it for a third consecutive year, reflecting our commitment to our range, our products, our suppliers and to our customers...
Anne Jones Wines, Beers and Spirits Buying Team Waitrose Ltd

Quality is our No. 1 priority and we are delighted with the Sierra results from the ISC. Not only does this endorse our own views but it also provides an independent reference point for our customers and consumers which we can use beneficially in our Brand communications strategy...
Bill Oddy Managing Director of Sierra Tequila UK Distributor, The Drinks Company Ltd

The Whisky Exchange is delighted to have won the ISC's Independent Spirits Retailer of the Year– although we have been honoured with several awards in recent years we are particularly proud of this one as we were nominated and voted for independently by the industry rather than entering ourselves. To win this coveted title twice in three years is very special...
Tim Forbes The Whisky Exchange

Winning an ISC award for our whisky has great value because it's the only authentic "Spirits" competition. The judges are real specialists...
Kazuyuki Takayama, European Brand Manager, Suntory

KWV has participated in the International Spirits Challenge for many years, as our company believes that it offers an objective, credible and highly competitive platform by which KWV benchmarks its products, and is recognised for its quality...
Hymli Krige, Communications Director, KWV South Africa Ltd

We were very honoured to pick up two Trophies this year and received numerous new business references as a direct result, as well as congratulations from clients...
Kevin Shaw, Managing Director, Stranger & Stranger

I am proud to have worked with the International Spirits Challenge for many years, particularly when I am judging alongside the most dedicated "Master Blenders" of the World. Therefore I know that every spirit sample evaluated receives the highest scrutiny possible which not only reflects the success of the competition but more importantly benefits the consumer...
Richard Paterson, Master Blender, Whyte & Mackay Ltd

KWV's number one priority is quality and measuring ourselves against the best products and producers in the world. The ISC being one of the oldest competitions and most certainly the most independent competition there is, showcases a lot of products over the whole spirits portfolio. As a company we were proud to be honoured with the Best Brandy trophy in 2013 and this shows the dedication of our team to be the best when looking at our track record in previous years. The ISC will always be the competition to track the best quality brands...
Lourens Stander, Manager: Blending and Distillation, KWV South Africa

Entry Deadlines

JAN 17 Gin & Genever, Liqueurs

FEB 14 Vodka, White Spirits, Tequila & Mezcal, Anise Spirits

MAR 14 Rum, Cachaça, Brandy & Cognac, Armagnac, Calvados, Pisco, Grappa

APR 11 Scotch Whisky, World Whiskies

MAY9 Design & Packaging, Marketing

Special Awards

Special Awards

Tasting Awards

Excellence in Craftsmanship

Based on a scoring system, this award celebrates the spirit portfolio of smaller drinks companies whose brands have put in an exceptional performance in the Challenge.

Distiller of the Year

Designed to show consistent excellence and quality across large spirit portfolios, the Distiller of the Year award is scored on a weighted points system based on the performance of all brands entered by a company.

Supreme Champion Spirit

For this award, all the Trophy winners are re-tasted blind by the category chairmen. The Supreme Champion Spirit is awarded to the highest scoring Trophy winner of the competition.

Special Awards

Outstanding Contribution

This award celebrates the work and commitment of an individual who has made a significant impact on the drinks industry. The ISC chairmen vote for each year’s winner.

Design & Packaging Awards

Best Design & Packaging for Travel Retail

Awarded to the best design that captures the essence of this luxury retail sector through elegant design and positioning of the premium product.

Best Design & Packaging for the On-trade

This award recognises the best creativity, innovation and design functionality of a spirit brand positioned in the on trade sector.

Most Innovative Graphic Design

This award celebrates the best graphic design that successfully communicates the identity and key messages of a spirit brand.

Most Innovative Pack Format

Awarded to the best pack format that demonstrates excellence through its design and presentation.

Retailer Awards

UK Multiple Spirits Retailer of the Year

This award recognises leading UK retailers for their impressive in store promotions, sampling, consumer education and campaigns that increase the sales of spirits in the off trade. Nominations are submitted by drinks producers to the ISC committee before final assessment.

UK Independent Spirits Retailer of the Year

Awarded to an independent UK retailer for its commitment and excellence in spirits retailing. Nominations are submitted by drinks producers to the ISC committee before the winner is selected.

International Spirits Retailer of the Year

This award is in search of a leading international retailer that has led the way in spirits retailing through commitment, innovation and responsibility. Nominations are submitted by drinks producers to the ISC committee before final assessment.

rewarding quality and celebrating excellence.