2023 Spirits Awards - deliberations from our judges #3

Spirit news

Thu 16 Mar 2023

Whisky is a major category for the IWSC spirits awards, and as we look beyond Scotch, we catch up with Spirits Judging Committee member Dawn Davies MW who oversaw two days of worldwide whiskey judging.

“Worldwide whiskey is such an exciting category, even more so as we see the price of scotch going up. I think there's a lot of opportunity for whiskies from beyond Scotland.

“During this years judging  we saw new producers and new countries coming on line that we haven't seen before which is great – there was a great German whiskey in there for instance and we tried some interesting whiskies from Denmark.

“Before I get too overexcited, I think the one caveat I would say is that some people aren't managing their oak that well. I think there's got to be a little bit of a look about the quality of the oak being used by some producers and how long they're leaving it in cask because I think sometimes over the last couple of days, that's the one thing that stood out to me is that the oak management isn't really there yet.

“Looking beyond the negative though,  it’s definitely all to play for, what more can you ask for when you get to taste some really great whiskies from different countries.

“Perhaps some surprises we’ve seen during this year’s judging, we’ve had some great entrants from France, we saw some super pretty whiskies from France coming through the tastings.

“We also had some interesting entrants from China and while still very young, it'd be interesting to see where they get to over the next couple of years.

“And I can’t not mention the stalwarts. As always we received some superb entrants for this category from Ireland and America, and these always do very, very well in this competition.

“So overall, great to see the classics, but also as I said, some real excitement for new countries in the worldwide whiskey category.”

The IWSC’s 2023 Spirits Results will be available from 27 March 2023.