The Whisky Tasting Club

Here Come The Wizards

My inaugural Wizards of Whisky World Whisky Awards, sponsored by Glencairn glass, start in earnest this week when the first world regions are judged for medals.

I launched the awards to cover whisky from every region except Scotland, and an astounding 80 whiskies have been entered, representing Australasia, Asia, Europe, Ireland, Canada, American craft distiilers and non-Scottish independent bottlers.

In the first stage of judging that total of 80 has been whittled
down to 60 potential medal winners. But now the contest is set to get serious.

London Wizards of Whisky judges

How it works from here

On Monday the first of two second round panels met to taste and score whiskies from North America, Asia and Europe and from non-Scottish independent bottlers. Today a London judging panel will judge Australia and New Zealand, Ireland, Japan and Canada. They will be considering which of the 60 ‘finalists’ are entitled to receive a medal.

There are no limited to how many gold, silver or bronze medals the judges can give, and they will be advised that these 60 have been chosen because the original judges consider them worthy of a medal of some colour or other. However in theory they may award no medals at all, or they may award 60 golds. And while in an ideal world 20 bronzes, 20 silvers and 20 golds may be awarded, the second round judges have the power at this stage to score any
whisky low so that it does not receive a medal.

On Wednesday a smaller and final judging panel will meet to
consider the second round scores and confirm medal colours. They will re-taste whiskies where the judges’ totals put them on a margin of a medal to decide the final medal colour.

The final list of medals’ winners will be announced world region
by world region from later this week, with the full announcement of who won what medal and which distiller won overall regional winners of the year and World Wizard of the Year will be announced in the next issue of World Whisky Review, published on the weekend of October 4-6.


The judges

Both second round judging panels have been selected specially to
offer two things: a) a knowledgeable and advanced understanding of world whisky  b) a fresh and new approach from other awards where the same old judges are rolled out each time.

The judges come from two main sources:

1.Dominic’s VIP whisky tasting club, which has been meeting for
nearly eight years and has tasted hundreds of whiskies with me in that time. They can spot a Mackmyra or a Belgian Owl from a hundred paces and individual members include North American single malts, Swiss whisky and the occasional Australian gem among their favourites.

2. The finer end of the new wave of whisky enthusiasts, experts
and bloggers, including new distillers, web hosts and events organisers.

What happens next

Once the medal winners are announced one distiller from each world
region will be chosen as overall world regional winner, and each will receive a trophy provided by our sponsors Glencairn Glass.

From those one will be picked as the World Wizard of Whisky overall


Over the next six months Dominic will undertake a 12 date ‘tour’
featuring Wizards medal winners, and The Whisky Tasting Club will put together some miniature tasting packs so that others can taste the whiskies.


Watch out for the whiskies shortlisted for medals, published from

ED: more info on the wizards will be published on the website

which is under development.


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