Gin expert Stephen Kennard dies
Stephen Kennard, consultant at SMJK Consulting and member of The Gin Guild, has died at the age of 56.
The Gin Guild released a statement yesterday (29 January) announcing that Kennard passed away at the end of 2023.
Kennard was a regular judge of The Gin Masters and lent his extensive expertise to other gin competitions including the World Gin Awards and the IWSC.
The Gin Guild’s statement reads: “As a judge, he had cross-category expertise and was known for his ability to quickly and concisely appraise a product. As a chair judge, he was superb at gaining a consensus and preventing judges from getting stuck in circular debate (an absolutely essential quality) all with a trademark style of gentle grace and humour.”
A memorial will be held at 12.15pm on Monday 5 February at Croydon Crematorium. Donations to the British Heart Foundation will be welcomed.
David T Smith, a fellow Gin Masters judge and co-founder of the Craft Distilling Expo, commented: “As a judge, Stephen was a true master of flavour appreciation and could always be relied on to bring an unbiased opinion to pretty much anything, as well as help reconcile any disagreement among the panel – a great asset to any spirits competition. He had a passion for sharing his knowledge of spirits and did so with good grace and humour. As both a colleague and a friend, he will be missed by many.”