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IWSC Spirits Communicator of the Year Award shortlist revealed

Published:  15 August, 2017

The International Wine & Spirits Competition (IWSC) has unveiled the shortlist for its Spirits Communicator of the Year Award.

Judges have whittled down this year’s shortlist to five industry names who have all helped to promote spirits to consumers and within the trade over the past year.

They include drinks writers, commentators and educators, including duo Neil Ridley & Joel Harrison and aperitif champion Amanda Victoria.

According to the IWSC, the award is designed to recognise individuals whose “unique skills and knowledge have enabled them to make an exceptional contribution towards increasing public awareness and interest” within the spirits industry.

Nominees were announced at the IWSC’s Annual Spirits Tasting at Vintners’ Hall on July 26.

Judges include master distillers, masters of wine, wine and spirit buyers and sommeliers who will once again convene to decide the winner.

Shortlist 2017 for Spirits Communicator of the Year Award:

Neil Ridley & Joel Harrison - Renowned drinks writers and commentators.

Dave Broom - 12-time revered spirits author, journalist and educator.

Olivier Ward - Gin aficionado, and co-founder of Gin Foundry – a compendium of gin information and commentary.

Amanda Victoria - Described as ‘the face of elegant drinking’, with a background in bartending and a revivalist of the aperitif.

The winner will be announced at the IWSC awards night on November 15.

The IWSC is now in its 48th year, having begun in 1969.

Its mission statement is to “reward and promote the world’s best wines, spirits and liqueurs” as well as recongise the individuals working in the industry.

In April, Joe Fattorini won the title of Wine Communicator of the Year 2017, and spoke to Harpers about some corners of the industry still come up short when its comes to communicating effectively to the “man and woman on the street”.

Speaking of this year’s higher number of entries, Richard Stoppard, CEO partner businesses and group CMO for IWSC Group said: “The world of communications is becoming more and more diverse, with an ever-increasing number of platforms available for experts to broadcast their message. We are pleased to have the opportunity, thanks to our sponsor Chivas Brothers, to recognise the top talent in this field. We were hugely impressed with the four shortlisted entries, all of whom have proved, against tough competition, their ability to successfully harness the modern world of communicating to convey their message about an age-old topic: spirits”.

Photo: Amanda Victoria

Photo at top of page: Neil Ridley & Joel Harrison