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SPECIAL REPORT: Icons of Whisky America

Whisky Magazine’s awards season is well underway with the results of the Icons of Whisky America 2016 announced on Saturday 19 September during the Kentucky Bourbon Festival.

With new categories for this year, including Master Distiller / Master Blender, Travel Retailer and World Whisky Ambassador to name a few, the industry were once again invited to have their say by nominating and voting for their Icons online. A Whisky Magazine editorial panel then had the unenviable task of making the final decision.

Rupert Wheeler, managing editor of Whisky Magazine and chairman of the Icons of Whisky said: “It is exciting to see so many of the industry’s greats celebrated in our awards and I was very privileged to present the winners during The Great Kentucky Bourbon Tasting & Gala. I now look forward to a trip to Edinburgh in December to present the winners of the Scotland stage of the awards.”



Distiller of the year  Sponsored by Glencairn Crystal

Winner: Heaven Hill Brands

Highly Commended: Brown-Forman


Brand Innovator of the year  Sponsored by Multi Packaging Solutions

Winner: Jim Beam (Beam Suntory)

Highly Commended: Corsair Artisan Distillery


Visitor Attraction of the year

Winner: Evan Williams Bourbon Experience

Highly Commended: Wild Turkey


Craft Producer of the year  Sponsored by Wade

Winner: Westland Distillery

Highly Commended: Tuthilltown Spirits


Master Distiller / Master Blender of the year

Winner: Harlen Wheatley – Buffalo Trace

Highly Commended: Greg Davis – Maker's Mark Distillery


Distillery Manager of the year

Winner: Todd Roe – Woodford Reserve 

Highly Commended: Victoria MacRae-Samuels – Maker's Mark Distillery and David Perkins – High West Distillery


Visitor Attraction Manager of the year  Sponsored by Christie’s

Winner: Dee Ford – Woodford Reserve

Highly Commended: Matt Higgins – Buffalo Trace


American Whiskey Brand Ambassador of the year

Winner: Bernie Lubbers – Heaven Hill Brands

Highly Commended: Adam Harris – Beam Suntory


Scotch Whisky Brand Ambassador of the year

Winner: Simon Brooking – Beam Suntory

Highly Commended: Gregor Cattanach – Diageo North America and Chris Riesbeck – Classic Imports


Irish Whiskey Brand Ambassador of the year

Winner: Tim Herlihy – Tullamore D.E.W.

Highly Commended: John Cashman – Beam Suntory


World Whisky Brand Ambassador of the year

Winner: Ewan Morgan – Diageo North America

Highly Commended: Allison Patel – Brenne


Multiple Outlet Retailer of the year Sponsored by Loch Ness Water

Winner: Liquor Barn

Highly Commended: Binny's Beverage Depot


Single Outlet Retailer of the year

Winner: Astor Wines & Spirits

Highly Commended: Park Avenue Liquor Shop


Online Retailer of the year

Winner: Binny’s Beverage Depot –

Highly Commended: ForWhiskeyLovers –


Travel Retailer of the year

Winner: Duty Free Americas

Highly Commended: DFS Group


For more information on all the Icons of Whisky Awards, including forthcoming Icons of Whisky Scotland, Rest of World and Global, please contact Rebecca Sterritt on +44 1603 633 808 or

22 September 2015 - Rebecca Sterritt Paragraph Publishing, content manager