I would never normally do this, but since I am completely snowed under with work, I have, instead of missing this important development completely, posted the press release I just received from ICS of Suntory's success in that competition. Normal service on Nonjatta should be resumed by January:
Yamazaki 1984 named "Supreme Champion Spirit" as Suntory Liquors is named "Distiller of the Year" at the 2010 International Spirits Challenge.
Suntory First Japanese Distilling Company to Receive Prestigious Honors
(November 18, 2010) – New York, NY… Suntory Liquors became the first Japanese distilling company to win the "Supreme Champion Spirit" title at the 15th International Spirits Challenge (ISC) 2010 with its Suntory Single Malt Whisky Yamazaki 1984.
At the same time, the company achieved a second remarkable “first” for a Japanese company, as Suntory Liquors was named "Distiller of the Year.” The awards ceremony took place on Monday, November 8th in London, UK.
After Yamazaki 1984 was announced as a top "Trophy" winner within the "Whiskies" category, the extraordinary single malt went on to become the Supreme Champion Spirit, an accolade given to a single product among all category "Trophy" winners. As the finest of some 1,000 brands entered into the ISC this year, Yamazaki 1984 was cited for its “…depth of flavor and maturation, together with the remarkable syrupiness of its texture. It is absolutely outstanding in every respect."
The additional, singular distinction of becoming the Distiller of the Year, also bestowed on Suntory Liquors by the ISC, is a prestigious honor that is given to the distiller that has endeavored to produce a rich array of high-quality products. This is not the first such highly esteemed and significant distinction received by Suntory Liquors this year; it comes on the heels of the Whisky Distiller of the Year award that was presented in February at Icons of Whisky 2010, itself another first for the Japan liquor industry.
The International Spirits Challenge
The ISC is a liquor competition held every year in the UK, the very home of Scotch whisky. Products are divided into categories such as "Whiskies" or "Liqueur" and each category has its own Gold, Silver, Bronze and Commended Medal winners, while the Trophy is the top honor awarded to only the most outstanding products from among the Gold Medal winners of each category. The "Supreme Champion Spirit" award is then given to one chosen product from among all the Trophy winners from each category, making it the apotheosis of accolades.
In addition to this, the "Distiller of the Year" award is granted to the one distiller which has endeavored to produce a rich array of high-quality products.
The prizewinners of the "Whiskies" category are determined by unanimous votes by the ten judges who include blenders from whisky distilleries the world over and the prize giving draws the attention of the worldwide liquor industry each year.