Australia wins big at Icons of Whisky Awards

Australia is celebrating a slew of major wins in the Rest of the World Category at the prestigious Icons of Whisky Awards in London.

The Icons of Whisky Awards are designed to commend the very best people, places and products in the world of whisky. From bartenders to brand ambassadors, retailers to visitor attraction managers, the Icons of Whisky awards honour those who have worked tirelessly to produce and promote whisky.

Emma Cookson, Whisky Specialist and Educator at online whisky marketplace The Whisky List (TWL) won Communicator of the Year. 

“It’s such an overwhelming honour to be recognised by Icons of Whisky,” she said.

“I think my win is really a testament to the community here in Australia, the fact that people are so engaged and interested in whisky – locally produced and international – it’s the foundation for what I do. This award is definitely a pinnacle moment in my career, and it means so much to me that I even have the opportunity to converse with so many people on both the industry and consumer side and to share my love of whisky with people.”

The Whisky List was also awarded a Highly Commended for coming second place in the Online Retailer of the Year behind Master of Malt.

The Whisky List Co-Founder Oliver Maruda (pictured above with co-founder Chris Ross) said: “Achieving second place to industry legends Master of Malt this year highlights the team’s hard work at The Whisky List. It also underscores how much we value collaboration with our partners, bars, retailers and distillers who support our efforts to innovate and promote the thriving Aussie whisky industry.

“Our passion is simple – to help people discover their next whisky. We’re thrilled with Emma’s win as Communicator of the Year for the Rest of the World Icons of Whisky category. Emma excels in making whisky appreciation both enjoyable, educational, and approachable, and it really resonates with our customers. Congratulations on the well-deserved win Emma!”

World Whisky Brand Ambassador of the Year went to Ally Bhana at Tasmanian distillery Sullivans Cove, while Head Distiller Heather Tillott won Distillery Manager of the Year and received a Highly Commended award for Master Distiller/Master Blender of the Year. It’s the second year running the pair have picked up Icon awards.

“I’m blown away to be recognised alongside some incredible industry folk, Bana said.

“A fantastic result to see the Australian whisky industry so well represented on the world stage. The team at Sullivans Cove are chuffed to be adding a few more awards to the collection!”

Melbourne’s Whisky & Alement won Bar of the Year, with Lachlan Watt taking out Bar Manager of the Year.

“We are thrilled along with all the Whisky & Alement alumni with the World Whiskies Award,” co-owner Julian White said.

“Congratulations to Lachlan Watt as well on some well deserved recognition. Our mission is and always has been to acknowledge those at the forefront of our industry, champion great work be it macro or micro producer and share our love for whisky far and wide.”

The champions in each category and region will now compete for the title of World’s Best, which will be announced at the Whisky Magazine Awards Dinner on 30 March 2023. 

The full list of Icons of Whisky Winners is located here:

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