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23rd November 2023
Icons of Whisky Ireland 2024 winners revealed

The winners of the Icons of Whisky Ireland, which celebrate the best people and places in the island's whisky industry, were announced at an event in Dublin.

The winners in the Icons of Whisky Ireland 2024 competition have been announced at an event in Dublin.

Among the winners in this year's competition were Irish Distillers, which was named as Distiller of the Year and scooped the Master Distiller/Master Blender of the Year title for its master distiller Billy Leighton.

Brendan Carty at Killowen Distillery was named Irish Whiskey Brand Ambassador of the Year, and Barry Chandler of Stories & Sips was crowned Communicator of the Year for a second consecutive year in the regional awards.

A number of new categories have been introduced for the 2024 Icons of Whisky competition, which give companies the opportunity to celebrate more of their employees. These include Visitor Attraction Team of the Year, which went to Teeling Whiskey; Production Team of the Year, which was won by Killowen Distillery; and Marketing Team of the Year, which was awarded to Pernod Ricard-owned Jameson.

Members of the Irish whiskey industry gathered at the Iveagh Garden Hotel in Dublin on Thursday, 23 November for the awards announcement.

As well as the announcement of the regional Icons of Whisky winners, the event saw another key figure in the Irish whiskey industry inducted into the Whisky Magazine Hall of Fame: Colum Egan, the veteran master distiller at Bushmills.

After training under its former master distiller, Colum has held the position of master distiller at the Old Bushmills Distillery in County Antrim since 2002. As well as informing the development of Buhsmills' range of whiskeys, he travels the world to share its spirits with Irish whiskey fans globally.

Bethany Brown, editor of Whisky Magazine and chair of judges for the Icons of Whisky, said: "Of all the countries that contributed to and capitalised on whisky's growing popularity over the past 25 years, Ireland's journey is perhaps the most heart-warming. Just when many may have assumed that the final glimmer of Irish whiskey's 19th-century golden era had been extinguished, a new generation of producers and promoters took up the mantle and fought fervently to put Ireland back on the global whisky map.

"According to data from Drinks Ireland, exports of Irish whiskey reached 15.25 million cases in 2022, an 8.6 per cent increase on the year before, while domestic sales rose by more than 10 per cent – proof that the new wave of craft Irish whiskeys is resonating at home as well as abroad.

"With the explosion of new operations setting up in the past five to 10 years, Irish whiskey is still in the process of defining itself – the current review of single pot still whiskey regulations being just one example of this process. But with close to 50 distilleries now producing spirit on the Emerald Isle, the future looks bright – even, some might say, golden.

"From myself and the teams at Whisky Magazine and the Icons of Whisky, may I extend a huge thank you to all those who entered the Icons of Whisky Ireland this year and congratulations to all our winners and highly commended entrants. We hope to see you all again next year!"

The Icons of Whisky Ireland are sponsored by Brindiamo Group (also principal sponsor of the World Whiskies Awards), Glencairn Crystal, Reflex Label Plus, and McLaren Packaging. The Whisky Magazine Hall of Fame is sponsored by Amorim Top Series.
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