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The Travel Retail Masters 2013 Results

With competition for shelf space supremely high, our entries in The Travel Retail Masters 2013 all put up a fight, Becky Paskin reports

The-Travel-Retail-Masters-2013-Results
With competition fierce in travel retail, brands must ensure the quality of their spirit is pristine

Travel retail is a fiercely competitive arena. Being privy to a consumer base with potentially long dwell times – particularly considering the number of flight delays and cancellations these days, the environment is an attractive option for spirit brands looking to expand their global presence.

As our readers will undoubtedly gather from our special TFWA Cannes issue (out now), producers are falling over themselves to secure distribution in travel retail, which is why brands need to ensure the quality of their product is pristine.

Nowhere is that notion underlined more than in The Spirits Business’ Travel Retail Masters 2013, which attracted a strong selection of brands from a variety of spirit categories, spanning vodka and gin to rum, Scotch and Tequila. We anticipated a diverse journey of a day ahead, fraught with leaps between starkly different spirit categories.

As such, we knew we needed an experienced panel of judges with knowledge of several categories. Joining me as chair of judges in the pretty private dining room at London bar The Folly, were Tobias Gorn, sales coordinator at The Whisky Shop, Pritesh Mody, founder of LFLD Amplified, and Mark Thomson, founder of The Spirits Bureau. We kicked off proceedings with vodka, which true to the theme of the day, contained a variety of styles that attracted six medals from the judges.

“It was good to see some character coming through in a category so widely criticised for being bland,” mused Mody, while Thomson added the range was impressive, “showing the traditional through to the more modern style”.

Two Masters were awarded to Purity Vodka and Tovaritch!, while Legend of Kremlin, Snow Queen, Flirt and Stoli grabbed Golds. Shifting into gin, and while our judges were disappointed not to see more representation from the category, they were blown away by one gin in particular, the only one to attract a medal. Others however, did raise questions as to how diverse the category is becoming.

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Our judges remained on form despite jumping from category to category

“The gin category was diverse, as expected, although sometimes I feel being too diverse can be dangerous,” Thomson suggested. It’s not usual to step from gin into Tequila, but that we did and were pleasantly surprised. Two Masters were awarded here to Tequilas (Corralejo Silver and Reposado) that were “a pleasure to judge” and “a good standard of sipping liquid”.

Mody enthused: “These really show how far Tequila has come.” After a short break to refresh the palate, we returned to the table to embrace the rather large single malt Scotch category, one our whisky enthusiasts were eager to get cracking on. It was disappointing then not to see the exceptionally high quality we have come to expect from single malt Scotch in competitions such as our Scotch Whisky Masters.

While there wasn’t a bad whisky among the bunch, in an environment such as travel retail where exclusivity and quality mean everything, a sizeable hole was left by a lack of impression.

Those that did win a medal, and to be fair it was the majority of the entries, did so because they were balanced with good flavours and a decent finish. But for our largest category of the day, we had expected more Masters to be awarded; the Scotches walked away with just two for Glenmorangie Signet and Glenfiddich Age of Discovery Bourbon Cask.

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Pritesh Mody, founder of LFLD Amplified; Becky Paskin, The Spirits Business; Tobias Gorn, sales coordinator of The Whisky Shop; Mark Thomson, founder of The Spirits Bureau

“Sometimes people try to be a little too clever when they create whisky,” Thomson reflected. “Simple, well-made whisky showed through in the line-up today.” The competition took a turn for the better when we started on the travel retail exclusive Scotches – two Masters and two Golds were awarded for four editions new to the travel retail arena this year.

Following Scotch was an equally impressive round of Cognacs, which along with one travel retail exclusive garnered two Golds and a Silver medal. While a lovely selection were presented, a couple were deemed slightly too young. The rum round didn’t disappoint either, and two Golds winged their way to Brugal XV Gran Reserva and Brugal Anejo.

Click through the following pages to see the results of The Travel Retail Masters 2013.

SCOTCH SINGLE MALT
Company Product Name Medal
The Glenmorangie Company Glenmorangie Signet Master
William Grant & Sons Glenfiddich Age of Discovery Bourbon Cask Reserve Master
International Beverage Holdings Balblair Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky 1995 Vintage Gold
Berry Bros & Rudd Spirits The Glenrothes Minister’s Reserve Gold
Berry Bros & Rudd Spirits The Glenrothes Elder’s Reserve Gold
Bacardi Ltd Glen Deveron 20yo Gold
International Beverage Holdings Old Pulteney Single Malt Scotch Whisky Duncansby Head Silver
International Beverage Holdings Speyburn Single Malt Scotch Whisky 10yo Silver
Angus Dundee Distillers Tomintoul Speyside Glenlivet Vintage Single Cask Sherrywood 1977 Silver
Bacardi Ltd Glen Deveron 30yo Silver

 

VODKA
Company Product Name Medal
Tovaritch & Spirits Int Tovaritch! Premium Russian Vodka Master
Purity Purity Vodka Master
Calibre Bands Snow Queen Vodka Gold
Vinprom Peshtera Flirt Vodka Gold
Soyuzprodesport Legend Of Kremlin Gold
SPI Group Stoli Night Edition Gold

 

GIN
Company Product Name Medal
International Beverage Holdings Caorunn Small Batch Scottish Gin Master
William Grant & Sons Hendrick’s Gold
TEQUILA
Company Product Name Medal
Fraternity Spirits Corralejo Blanco Master
Fraternity Spirits Corralejo Reposado Master

 

RUM
Company Product Name Medal
Edrington Brugal XV Gran Reserva Gold
Edrington Brugal Anejo Gold

 

COGNAC
Company Product Name Medal
Hawkins Distribution R.Delisle XO Cognac Gold
Hawkins Distribution R.Delisle XO Grand Champagne Cognac Silver

 

LIQUEURS
Company Product Name Medal
Zamora International SA Licor 43 Master
Hardenberg-Wilthen AG Schwartzhog Master
Mozart Distillerie GMBH Mozart RG Chocolate Cream Master
Mozart Distillerie GBMH Mozart Gold Chocolate Cream Master
Fraternity Spirits Tequila & Coffee 35% Gold
Fraternity Spirits Tequila & Coffee 20% Gold

 

ABSINTHE
Company Product Name Medal
La Feé Absinthe La Feé Absinthe Master

 

TRAVEL RETAIL EXCLUSIVE SCOTCH SINGLE MALT
Company Product Name Medal
William Grant & Sons Balvenie Triple Oak Cask Master
William Grant & Sons Glenfiddich Cask Collection Reserve Master
William Grant & Sons Glenfiddich Cask Collection Select Gold

 

TRAVEL RETAIL EXCLUSIVE BLENDED SCOTCH
Company Product Name Medal
Edrington The Famous Grouse 40yo Gold

 

TRAVEL RETAIL EXCLUSIVE COGNAC
Company Product Name Medal
Beam Inc Courvoisier Le Voyage de Napoleon Gold
DESIGN & PACKAGING
Company Product Name Medal
William Grant & Sons Glenfiddich Age of Discovery Bourbon Cask Reserve Master
Mozart Distillerie GMBH Mozart RG Chocolate Cream Master
La Feé Absinthe La Feé Absinthe Master
Soyuzprodesport Legend of Kremlin Master
Purity Purity Vodka Master
Berry Bros & Rudd The Glenrothes Manse Brae Gold
Tovaritch & Spirits Int Tovaritch! Premium Russian Vodka Gold
Hawkins Distribution R. Deslise XO Gold
Hawkins Distribution R. Deslise XO Grand Champagne Gold
SPI Group Stoli Night Edition Gold
Morrison Bowmore Distillers Auchentoshan Springwood Silver
Morrison Bowmore Distillers Auchentoshan Heartwood Silver
Angus Dundee Distillers Tomintoul Speyside Glenlivet Vintage Single Cask Sherrywood 1977 Silver
International Beverage Holdings AnCnoc Peter Arkle Edition Silver
William Grant & Sons Glenfiddich Cask Collection Silver

 

MARKETING CAMPAIGN
Company Product Name Medal
Beam Inc Courvoisier Le Voyage de Napoleon Master

 

NEW LAUNCH
Company Product Name Medal
Bacardi Ltd Glen Deveron Royal Burgh Collection Master
Beam Inc Jim Beam Honey Gold

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