The new, monthly tasting mode of Meininger’s International Spirits Award (ISW) is very well received in the industry and brought the renowned competition around 200 entries at the second themed tasting of the year. On the agenda this time was the world of herbal, bitter, cream and spiced liqueurs, to which the jury awarded a total of 64 medals, 48 of which were gold and 16 silver. In addition, four products were awarded special prizes for their outstanding quality.
As usual, the jury consisted of spirits experts, distillers, bar professionals and other experts from research and academia, who tasted the distillates with a high level of expertise according to the special ISW scheme, in which the products are not only evaluated but also described in a decidedly sensory way.
One of the big winners of the February ISW tasting was the Lantenhammer Distillery from Hausham am Schliersee, which won two special prizes. The spirits experts chose the Lantenhammer Coffee Liqueur as the “Liqueur of the Year 2021”. The best ingredients, a great balance and a nuanced aroma already brought this top product this special prize in 2020, which it was now able to defend in the manner of a real champion.
The award for the “Egg Liqueur of the Year 2021” also goes to Schliersee. The Raritas egg liqueur refined with orange spirit from Lantenhammer was convincing all along the line, repeating its gold medal from the previous year, and with this additional recognition now finally enters the ISW Hall of Fame.
The special prize “Bitter Liqueur of the Year 2021” was won by the Silvio Carta distillery from Sardinia with its Bitteroma Assoluto. The distillery has already attracted attention at ISW with its vermouths and bitter liqueurs and is now entering its Olympus for the first time with the Bitteroma Assoluto. This pearl in the style of a classic Italian bitters convinces with a wonderful orangy-citrus fruitiness in the nose and a strong, tart bitterness on the palate and inspires all along the line.
Rossbacher also has another reason to celebrate in Vienna, where Rossbacher – Der Starke Kräuter won the title of “Herbal Liqueur of the Year 2021” – for the second time after 2019. The classic from Austria thus impressively demonstrates its consistently high quality and is emblematic of continuity, tradition and class. Spicy and herbaceous, discreetly sweet and slightly berry-like, but tart and strong at the heart, these attributes also impressed this year’s jury.
“With the new format of the monthly tasting, we dedicated ourselves entirely to the world of liqueurs in February. Both the producers and the tasters are enthusiastic, and the qualitative examination of the individual spirits has become even more intensive,” tasting manager Christian Wolf sums up the second themed tasting of the year as thoroughly positive. Alexander Thürer, board member of the Spirits Awards and spirits editor of the renowned gastro magazine Fizzz, adds: “The variety of entries was once again gigantic and the bar was accordingly very high. Products that prevailed in this field therefore truly deserve the highest respect. In addition, it is particularly exciting to see how trends we identified early on, such as those towards coffee or mint liqueurs, are now gaining relevance across the board.”
The next themed tasting will take place in mid-March. Then the world of fruit brandies, fruit spirits and fruit liqueurs will be on the agenda.
An overview of all medal winners of the “Herbs, bitter, cream and spiced liqueurs” tasting can be found here: www.meininger.de/en/verkostungen/ergebnisse/isw-february-tasting-liqueurs
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