Judge profile: Eddie Ludlow
Eddie has been part of the whisky industry since his Ardbeg and Glenmorangie ambassadorial duties started in 2005. Prior to that he was one of many to receive a ‘well-rounded’ education in wines and spirits at the Oddbins ‘institution’ in the 1990s. In 2008, Eddie, along with his wife, Amanda, created 'The Whisky Lounge' - a UK events company that strives to educate and entertain in equal measure. He is a Keeper of the Quaich, a Freeman of the City of London, through the Worshipful Company of Distillers, and is finishing his first book, ‘Whisky - A Tasting Course’, due to be published by DK in September 2019.
What have you most enjoyed judging at the IWSC this year?
I’ve enjoyed judging pretty much everything. It’s such a rich variety that we’re treated to, from very basic Scotch blended whiskies all the way through to 45-50 year old single malts, plus all of the international whiskies that we have the pleasure of trying. Really it’s just a very enjoyable thing to do.
Are there any new trends this year?
A lot more international whiskies. For me, the best thing to see is the quality of those – particularly European – whiskies really hitting new highs.
What are you looking for when judging spirits?
Quality is paramount. We’re looking for whiskies that are going to please the consumer, so we’re acting on the consumer’s behalf by vetting these whiskies. The whisky that gets a Gold medal for example has to hit all the marks – nose, palate, finish – and it’s also got to be representative of the category that it’s entered into.
How can awards from the IWSC help producers?
I feel extremely fortunate to sit on a panel with so many iconic characters from the industry who all have incredible palates and experience. To have a product judged by these guys and girls is just a tremendous thing to do, and if you get a medal that is a real seal of certification, and acknowledgement of quality.