January 29, 2015 – South African-based Distell has taken top honors as Distiller of the Year in the third round of Whisky Magazine’s 2015 Icons of Whisky Awards. This round honors what are called “Rest of The World” whiskies and distilleries based outside of Scotland or the United States, which were honored in the first two rounds previously announced.

Distell is best known for its James Sedgwick Distillery in Wellington, South Africa, where its Three Ships and Bain’s Cape Mountain whiskies are produced under the guidance of Master Distiller Andy Watts. Both whiskies have been honored with multiple World Whiskies Awards presented by Whisky Magazine. Japan’s Nikka Whisky received the “Highly Commended” award presented to the runner-up in online voting by industry members and the magazine’s editorial panel.

Ian Chang of Taiwan’s King Car (Kavalan) Distillery was named Distillery Manager/Master Distiller of the Year, with Etienne Bouillon of The Owl Distillery in Belgium receiving “Highly Commended” honors. Kavalan/King Car was also named the Whisky Brand Innovator of the Year, with Compass Box receiving “Highly Commended” honors.

Australia’s Tasmania Distillery, which produces the award-winning Sullivan’s Cove single malt whiskies, was named Craft Whisky Producer of the Year. Japan’s Hombo Shuzo Company was the runner-up. Jack Teeling of Ireland’s Teeling Whiskey Company was named Brand Ambassador of the Year, followed by Ichiro Akuto of Japan’s Venture Whisky. The English Whisky Company’s Andrew Nelstrop took top honors as Visitor Centre Manager of the Year, with Tullamore Dew’s Mary  Hensey receiving “Highly Commended” honors.

Among retailers, Berry Bros. & Rudd in London took Single Outlet honors, followed by the Kensington Wine Market in Calgary, Alberta. La Maison du Whisky in Paris was the Multiple Outlet honoree, followed by Dan Murphy’s in Australia. The Whisky Exchange was named Online Retailer of the Year, followed by Master of Malt. Whisk-E of Japan was named Importer of the Year, with Dublin’s Celtic Whiskey Shop as runner-up. The Really Great Brand Company of South Africa was named Distributor of the Year, with the UK’s Maverick Drinks receiving “Highly Commended” honors.

The winners will go up against the previously announced winners from Scotland and the United States for the Global Icons of Whisky Awards to be presented on March 19 in London on the eve of Whisky Live London.

Links: Icons of Whisky Awards