SA distiller honoured with World Whisky Brand Ambassador of the Year award
Share this article:
Cape Town - Local master distiller Andy Watts has done it again - this time he's been honoured with the World Whisky Brand Ambassador of the Year award at the Icons of Whisky Awards.
The prestigious event took place in London on Wednesday night and Watts says he's elated with the accolade: "The last three years I have been more busy outside of South Africa, looking to promote Bain’s and make it a little more known on the world stage,” he said of his travels.
In 2018, he was fêted as the global winner of the Master Distiller / Master Blender award, while his signature creation, Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky, was named World’s Best Grain Whisky in 2013 and 2018.
Watts the is Head of Whisky Intrinsic Excellence at Distell in Stellenbosch, and in a further coup for the company, its James Sedgwick Distillery (JSD) received the Sustainable Distillery of the Year award.
The awards were for the Rest of the World division – excluding Scotland, Ireland and the United States - and featured entries from strong whisky-producing countries such as Japan, Australia and Taiwan.
The overall global awards and grand dinner takes place in London on March 26, where Watts and Distell will go head-to-head with the winners from the three traditional powerhouses of the whisky world.
Distell said the latest award was “testimony to Andy’s passion, deep knowledge and dogged perseverance, and it is this attitude which has helped define his success”.
Speaking after receiving the latest award, Watts had high praise for the team behind him and said the ambassador award represented “new territory”.
While the 59-year-old is best known for his technical whisky-blending abilities, he said he has spent more and more time outside of South Africa in an ambassadorial role, where his "true passion lies”.