Emerging Talent in Spirits Communication 2024 shortlist

Spirit news

Tue 13 Feb 2024

By Kristen Dougall

The IWSC’s 2024 Emerging Talent in Spirits Communication award is sponsored by Fettercairn Whisky.

This year, the IWSC has seen the highest number of entries for all its Emerging Talent awards come in for the Emerging Talent in Spirits Communication award. Applications have been entered from every corner of the globe, really demonstrating the global perspective of spirits communication. As well as a vast number of different styles of communication shown by our applicants.

The judging panel consisted of Olivier Ward, Freelance Spirits Writer and Presenter and IWSC Judging Committee member for our gin category, Kristiane Sherry, Freelance Writer and Editor, Brand and Marketing Consultant for the spirits industry, as well as IWSC judge, Kate Malczewski, Freelance Writer and Editor and winner of the IWSC’s 2023 Emerging Talent in Spirits Communication award, Thom Watt, Global Brand Controller from our sponsor Fettercairn Whisky and Laura Richards, Club Oenologique’s Editorial Director.

The 2024 shortlist for the IWSC’s Emerging Talent in Spirits Communication is:


Arminder Randhawa

Arminder launched his YouTube channel, The Rum Revival, just 2 short years ago and has already amassed a following of over 2.2K. Arminder’s rum content is both educational but also interjects his personal touch, allowing his viewers to resonate with the content in his videos and make a connection with the spirit.

Our judges were greatly impressed by the breadth of Arminder’s content of work. He is challenging the industry through his content, yet able to communicate complex ideas with clarity and authenticity, as well as in an approachable manner. The judges found Arminder’s application to be inspiring, his desire to makes spirits more approachable for a younger drinking audience. Arminder believes through social media and the use of video, he will be able to overcome these obstacles and engage the younger generation.


Emma Cookson

Prior to delving into the world of spirits communication, Emma’s inception into the drinks industry was bartending in Melbourne. Emma is currently the whisky specialist for The Whisky List. Emma has hosted more virtual tastings than any other whisky professional in Australia, hosting at least one a week.

The judges praised Emma’s multifaceted communication approach. They saw clear development in the last year, and the journey Emma has been on has helped her find her unique style of communicating. Emma’s video style is dynamic and engaging. Her prolific writing was commended by our judges, with evidence of diving into technical aspects of spirits but in a way that was still translated effectively to consumers. Our judges commended Emma’s warm and conversational element she adds to her content, giving it a real presence that can sometimes be lost when you aren’t able to be face-to-face.


Kat Stanley-Whyte

Kat started her career in the drinks industry as a bartender, working in notable bars such as The American Bar in The Savoy. Kat has used her 13 years of experience behind the bar to develop her unique way of communicating spirits to a global audience. Kat successfully uses beautiful imagery and her keen spirits knowledge to connect with her consumers.

Kat’s sense of humour really stuck out to our judges. Her writing is emotive and shows her personality, but also has a clear purpose. Our judges believe Kat has real authority when she talks about a range of different subjects. The judges commended Kat’s advocacy work, she hopes to encourage the younger generation to join the industry, an industry Kat says she is “exceedingly proud to be a part of”.


Maria Eugenia Harttig

Maria is the Founder of Minas Whisky, a platform promoting whisky content in Argentina and further afield. Maria also produces a podcast called Destiladas (Distilled), which is the first Spanish-speaking podcast for women in whisky.  

Maria showed our judges that she is a strong communicator, using diverse platforms to get across her message to her consumers. Our judges praised Maria’s social responsibility in the way spirits are consumed, she cares about conveying her knowledge of spirits and their complexities, but also promoting responsible drinking and psycho-social responsibility. Maria showed passion for what she does and is a real advocate for women in Argentina, she demonstrated her ability to bring women on her journey with her. Maria’s enthusiasm is evident in her communication and has meant she has been able to build an engaged following.

Congratulations to our shortlisted entrants. The winner for the IWSC’s 2024 Emerging Talent in Spirits Communication award will be announced on Tuesday 20 February.