Every year the global publication, Whisky Magazine, holds an international awards competition that recognises the best the whisky industry has to offer. In addition to their highly anticipated World Whiskies Awards, which sees whiskies competing in various categories, their Icons of Whisky awards recognise whisky people, establishments and producers.
This year for the Icons of Whisky (Rest of World region), WhiskyBrother was nominated in four categories:
- Single Outlet Retailer of the Year
- Online Retailer of the Year
- Whisky Bar of the Year, and
- Bar Manager of the Year (for Valentine Maseko)
We consider being nominated an honour in itself, so you can imagine our surprise when the results were published, and our Johannesburg whisky store won Single Outlet Retailer of the Year 2020! 🥳
Although we were Highly Commended in both 2016 and 2018 in the same category, this is the first time a South African retailer has won this award, and it is against international and long-established competitors. Needless to say we are very proud and incredibly honoured. Our goal has always been to provide a world-class service to South African whisky drinkers, and this award recognises our efforts. Thank you to the Whisky Magazine judging panel, all those who voted for us, and closer to home, our fellow South Africans that support us.
The awards are split into six regions, with South Africa competing in the Rest of the World which groups together countries/regions like England, mainland Europe, Canada, Africa and Asia (excluding China). The winners of each region then compete to take the global prize which will be announced at an awards ceremony in London on the 26th of March.
We want to extend our congratulations to all the very-deserving winners, with particular mention of the other South African award winners:
- Andy Watts, World Whisky Ambassador
- Three Ships Whisky, Campaign Innovator
- The James Sedgwick Distillery, Sustainable Distillery
- Big 5 Duty Free, Travel Retailer
There are 24 Icon of Whisky awards of which South African recipients won five, making up 21% of the awards! This is an incredible accomplishment considering it is on an international stage and there are not only larger whisky markets but much more established ones. This is also at a time when whisky sales in South Africa are (sadly) on the decline due to the tough economic times of the country and pressure from other drinks/spirits. (There's been a lot of hoohah of late for a particular clear spirit flavoured with anything producers can forage from their gardens!😉)
The full list of Icons of Whisky (Rest of World) winners - congratulations to all: