Close Menu
Top 10

Diageo Reserve World Class 2014 in pictures

All 48 finalists traveled to Glengeals, Scotland, from their homes across the globe for the start of the Diageo Reserve World Class 2014 final, preparing themselves for the five days of challenges that lay ahead.

The competition got underway with the Blends Challenge, where participants were tested on their knowledge of blended whiskies.

Bartenders then took part in a sensory challenge, where they were required to create a mix that delivered on sight, smell, taste, touch and sounds to stimulate the judges. The UK finalist James Fowler impressed with his experimental offering.

On day two of the final, contestants travelled from Scotland to London on The Orient Express to take part in the next round of the competition, arriving at St Pancras Station.

Here, amid bustling commuters, bartenders were required to create two Martinis, a classic serve and a modern variation as part of the Tales of Two Martinis challenge. 

Day three of the competition final saw the bartenders be tested behind one of five different leading hotel bars in London, including the Savoy and the Langham, where they created two classic cocktails.

After the round was the largest cull in the entire competition, with 30 participants eliminated, leaving just 16 hopefuls.

Reeling from the hefty elimination, the remaining contestants then took part in the Cocktails and the Written Word challenge, where they were required to create a drink inspired by one of their literary heroes. They were required to incorporate theatre into their performances.

In a surprising turn of events, Diageo made a shock elimination of a further four contestants, bringing the number of finalists down to 12.

A further three challenges then took place on day four of the final, the first of which was the Market Challenge and Gastronomy Challenge. Let loose on London’s Borough Market, the bartenders went in search of fresh produce to make a Ketel One market cocktail. 

They then headed 31 floors up iconic London landmark The Shard to create cocktails which perfectly matched dishes made by revered chefs as part of the Gastronomy Challenge. The elimination of a further four contestants after this round took the number of remaining finalists down to eight. 

Industry luminaries Dale Degroffe and Salvatore Calabrese enjoy a laugh at the challenge. They joined a number of other drinks stalwarts in judging the competition rounds, including , Peter Dorelli, Daniel Estremadoyro, Steve Olson, gaz regan, Julie Reiner and Hidetsugu Ueno.

The final challenge of day four was Cocktails Against the Clock, where the remaining bartenders were tested on their speed, control and creativity by creating eight different cocktails for eight judges, in eight minutes.

After an intense round, Jeffrey Chang from Taiwan and Giacomo Gianotti from Spain were eliminated, leaving six finalists. Grant Sceney from Canada, Charlie Ainsbury from Australia, Ahmed Yahi “Mido” from France, Claudio Perinelli from Italy, Peter Chua from Singapore, and Charles Joly from the USA were sent through to the final round. 

And finally, the winner of Diageo Reserve World Class 2014 was revealed to be the USA’s Charles Joly, from The Aviary in Chicago. While Joly impressed throughout the competition, judges were blown away by his signature serve, called Above the Clouds.

It looks like you're in Asia, would you like to be redirected to the Drinks Business Asia edition?

Yes, take me to the Asia edition No