Sainsbury's own label whisky among ISC top award winners

Sainsbury’s Islay Malt has been voted best own label Scotch whisky in the International Spirits Challenge.

The supermarket whisky was one of 16 category champions honoured at the prestigious awards ceremony at London’s Claridge's Hotel last night.

Of the champion spirits brands, eight won trophies - the highest accolade given to the 745 spirits entered into the competition.

They were Ballantine’s 30 Year Old Scotch whisky, The Famous Grouse 30 Year Old Scotch whisky, Suntory Hibiki 30 Year Old whisky, Delamain Vintage 1972 Cognac, KWV 10 Year Old brandy, Martin Miller’s Westbourne Strength gin, Wyborowa vodka and Appleton Estate Extra 12 Year Old rum.

Premium vodkas won the largest number of awards in the competition with gold medals also given to flavoured vodkas.

White spirits chairman Ian Wisniewski said: “Vodka continues to thrive as the most fashionable spirit, reflecting amazing mixability, cocktails are back in fashion and it’s cocktail consumption that drives the category in various markets.”

Three special awards were also given to individuals at the awards ceremony. Chivas Brothers was awarded distiller of the year, Charles Braastad, master blender for the Delamain Cognac Vintage 1972 picked up the excellence in craftmanship award and La Fée XS Suisse absinthe won the new brand innovation award.

For the full results go to