"There are only really three things that are important in the whisky business -- people, product and place. When you blend these things together you get the passion, craft and history behind every drop of the good stuff."
So say the editors at Whisky, the UK magazine that for six years has sponsored the "Icons of Whisky" awards, an international judging in various categories. This year, the judging process was changed to encompass regional heats in the United States, Japan, Ireland and Scotland, with only industry members of the respective countries voting in their heats. Regional winners then went into the field against the rest of the world.
The main award winners:
• Distiller of the Year: Buffalo Trace, a family owned company in Franklin County, KY.
• Lifetime Achievement Award: Jimmy Bedford, master distiller, Jack Daniel's, Lynchburg, TN.
The full list of winners in every category, with explanations, is available on the Whisky magazine Web site.
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