Whisky Magazine Issue 22
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The inaugural annual Whisky Magazine award for those individuals who have excelled in their contribution to the whisky industry
Is whisky about the product or the people that make it? The answer is, of course, both. The stuff in the bottle would not have the same allure were it not for those behind it. Of all the spirits only whisky has enough history, heritage, mythology and anecdote to have its own magazine. Vodka is distilled today and drunk tomorrow. It lacks the nuance of whisky. Also vodka is distilled in an enormous industrial operation far removed from the scale of a malt distillery.
Of course, you can overemphasise the people bit. The industry must never forget it is only as good as the reputation of the product. Whisky Magazine champions the product. Our tastings are all about putting the product first. However, we like to strike a balance, as the intention is not to create a product catalogue.
Hence the creation of the Whisky Academy or, in effect, the Whisky Magazine Awards. The Awards are about individuals. The only exception is the Reader's Award, which is given to the best new release.
And the winners are …
Lifetime Achievement Award (selected by Whisky Magazine) Iain Henderson of Laphroaig and Turnbull Hutton formerly of UDV
It's easy to forget that, in these days of brand ambassadors and celebrity managers, there's a hidden army of whisky-makers working behind the scenes to ensure you don't only get your favourite bottle, but that when you crack the cap it tastes the way you expect it to. You probably won't have heard of Turnbull Hutton, but he was one of that...