Scottish Field - - CONTENTS -

The first round of Scot­tish Field’s world-fa­mous whisky chal­lenge

Wel­come to the first stage in this year’s Scot­tish Field Whisky Chal­lenge. Now in its 17th year, the Chal­lenge has re­ally es­tab­lished it­self as an im­por­tant barom­e­ter for what’s go­ing on in the Scot­tish whisky in­dus­try and its re­sults are ea­gerly awaited by ex­perts and en­thu­si­asts alike.

One of the rea­sons for the suc­cess of the Scot­tish Field Whisky Chal­lenge has been its unim­peach­able cred­i­bil­ity. We only ap­point the most re­spected fig­ures in the whisky world – men and women whose cre­den­tials, nose and prove­nance are im­pec­ca­ble – to be our judges, and this year is no ex­cep­tion.

For the 2017 Chal­lenge we have a fab­u­lous line-up of eight judges, who have used skills built up over a life­time to bring you the top three whiskies in three cat­e­gories: un­der £40, £40-£80 and over £80. As well as the ku­dos of win­ning such a pres­ti­gious award, the top whisky in each cat­e­gory is au­to­mat­i­cally en­tered into the Grand Fi­nal at the end of the year, when our full panel of judges get to­gether to choose the Scot­tish Field Whisky of the Year 2017.

With 63 of Scot­land’s top whiskies go­ing head to head – a new record for the Sum­mer Chal­lenge – our judges re­ally did have their work cut out.

This year’s Chal­lenge ex­tends a warm wel­come to Vince Fusaro of Lu­vian’s Bot­tle Shops in St. An­drews and Cu­par who brings over 30 years of in­dus­try ex­pe­ri­ence with him to the panel.

Blind Tast­ing

What makes this com­pe­ti­tion so unique and, im­por­tantly, so im­par­tial, is the fact that our judges taste the whisky com­pletely blind. With the brand­ing and pack­ag­ing com­pletely stripped away, only the whisky is left, to be judged solely on its own mer­its.

As with last year, we asked pro­duc­ers to sub­mit new ex­pres­sions (since 1 Jan­uary 2016), which could in­clude blends, grains, malts or sin­gle casks. Then, at the Scot­tish Field of­fices, the 63 bot­tles were de­canted into 10cl sam­ple bot­tles with only a num­ber for iden­ti­fi­ca­tion. These were then posted to the eight par­tic­i­pat­ing judges for tast­ing and scor­ing.


The judges were asked to award each of the 63 whiskies a mark out of five. We then took away the low­est and high­est scores and used the re­main­ing marks to pro­duce an av­er­age score for each of the ex­pres­sions. We also asked the judges to pro­vide us with de­tailed tast­ing notes.

The re­sults

Once all the judges’ scores were in, we sep­a­rated the whiskies into their rel­e­vant cat­e­gories to find the first-, sec­ond- and third-placed whisky. The top whisky in each cat­e­gory will au­to­mat­i­cally be en­tered into our Grand Fi­nal at the end of the year. We have also listed the top 10 high­est scor­ing whiskies. Sláinte Scot­tish Field Whisky Chal­lenge Team

‘ With the brand­ing and pack­ag­ing com­pletely stripped away, only the whisky is left, to be judged solely on its own mer­its’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.