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Own label spirits fly high

Retailers’ own label ranges showed their strength as the International Wine & Spirit Competition revealed its spirits results for 2015.

Asda’s Triple Distilled Vodka

Asda, Morrison’s, Spar and Lidl all won gold medals for their vodka, while Tesco’s Finest range of liqueurs took home two gold medals and one gold outstanding. Each of these products carries an RRP of below £15 a bottle, indicating the quality on offer at lower prices from the UK’s supermarket sector.

However it was Sainsbury’s that made the biggest ripple by winning the IWSC Single Malt Scotch Whisky Trophy (No Age Statement) with its Taste the Difference Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky, which is sourced from Whyte & Mackay and retails for £20.

For the second year in a row, the Vodka Trophy was won by a British producer, this time Ogilvy Scottish Potato Vodka. Meanwhile British gin showed its strength with the Carlton Club London Distilled Gin, which won the London Dry Gin Trophy.

Despite this buoyant UK white spirits performance, there were also some big results in the gin category for Scandinavian producers: Hernö Juniper Cask Gin from Sweden won the Contemporary Style Gin Trophy, while Finland’s Napue Gin from Kyro Distillery won the newly created Gin & Tonic Trophy.

Another new award, the Bloody Mary Trophy, went to a relatively recent arrival in the vodka category, German brand Vodrock.

Among the other trophy highlights were Ballantine’s 30 Year Old, which won the Blended Scotch Whisky Trophy; Blanton’s Gold Edition Bourbon Whiskey, which won the Bourbon Trophy; Club Cigare XO Grande Champagne, which won the Cognac Trophy; El Dorado Rum 12 Year Old, which won the Rum Trophy; and El Tesoro Platinum Tequila, which won the Tequila Trophy.

Commenting on the results, IWSC general manager Ewan Lacey remarked: “This year we’ve been really excited once again by the quality of the spirits entered into the competition. Our judges have been blind tasting samples over the past couple of months and we are really pleased to see that products at a variety of price points have been recognised”.

A selection of this year’s trophy and medal winners will be on show at today’s IWSC Annual Spirits Showcase in London. For full details of the competition’s 2015 results so far click here.

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