09 July 2015

KWV took the coveted title of Best Brandy & Cognac Producer in the World at the 2015 International Spirit Challenge (ISC) function in London last night – the first time in the ISC’s 20-year history that a brandy not a cognac has won. KWV’s 20 year old brandy, also received the Best Brandy in the World Trophy and the prestigious ‘Grand Champion’ accolade, outscoring Cognac and international brandies, after being judged the favourite of the 9 Gold medal winners by the tasting judges. 

Trophies for the world’s winning spirits, best distilleries and producers were awarded at a function, held at the Honourable Artillery Company (HAC), London.

The ISC is recognised as the most respected and influential spirits competition in the world promoting outstanding quality spirits from around the globe. The competition, which this year saw more than 1,000 entries from nearly 70 countries worldwide is founded on a rigorous and independent judging process. 

The ISC Tasting Awards involve a highly controlled operation held over seven days of intense blind tastings by panels of more than 50 respected and experienced industry professionals who assess products according to their age, region and variety. Each product is blind tasted and awarded a score for its aroma, appearance, taste and finish.

On receiving these accolades, KWV Master Distiller Pieter de Bod, says that winning an ISC medal is an outstanding achievement and underlines KWV’s commitment to quality and innovation. “Winning World’s Best Producer is a historical moment for KWV and the greatest accolade we could achieve as a South African producer, beating international brandy and cognac producers.” 

He continues: “We are also very proud of the Global Grand Champion Award. Producing an award winning brandy like this is a real team effort. Each team member knows how important quality and innovation are in our process and it is this that has enabled us to create an extraordinary blend,” he explains.  “This Potstill brandy was blended last year and we started off with about 30 different batches of brandy between the age of 20 and 32 year olds. The final blend of six special selected different batches was matured for an extra 3 months to marry and mellow to its full character.”

KWV 20 is a soft & smooth brandy with dried apricot and strong oak wood, citrus aromas & hints of honey, fruit cake & spices. “The taste is full bodied, mellow and complex with an explosion of dried fruit, citrus, honey, Cedar wood and subtle sweetness with a rich, long, satin aftertaste,” de Bod adds.

The KWV 20 YO has achieved other prestigious awards including gold (World Spirit Awards 2014); Gold Outstanding (2014 (IWSC) International Wine and Spirit Competition); SA Brandy of the Year – Platinum and Trophy – (South African Wine Index 2014); and Gold award (Veritas 2014).

According to the latest Nielsen figures, while brandy volumes shrunk by 7% in the past year, KWV has grown its share to almost 14%. “We are particularly proud of this achievement and we are seeing good growth across the KWV Brandy range,” says Peadar Hegarty, Head of Strategy at KWV. 

“Winning Best Brandy Producer is another Finish Great moment for KWV and illustrates our proud pioneering heritage and the ultimate testament to Pieter de Bod and his team,” Hegarty adds. 

KWV also received 3 silvers for its 15, 12 and 10 YO brandies in the 2015 ISC awards.

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