Great Taste Stars for the Angels

Great Taste, the stamp of excellence for food and drink in the UK, has announced its stars of 2020. Out of over 12000 entries from more than 100 different countries, we have been awarded a 2-star Great Taste award, for our Angels’ Nectar Islay Edition, the criteria for which is ‘above and beyond delicious’.

Launched last year the Angels’ Nectar Islay Edition is our Islay Single Malt bottled at 47% and at natural colour. Reviewing the Angels’ Nectar Islay Edition, the Great Taste judges commented:

‘We love the very pale, lemon-gold colour. Fantastic smokey-bacon, dry woodsmoke, subtle caramel aroma, with pine and leather notes. The palate is bright and energetic, the nose follows well - that woodsmoke lingers long. Subtly medicinal finish, all brilliantly in balance with a malty, cereal note. Citrus peel on the finish. There is a level of complexity and balance here that deserves an award.’

Judged by 144 of the most discerning palates, belonging to food critics, chefs, cooks, restaurateurs, buyers, retailers and producers, as well as food writers and journalists, Great Taste is the most coveted of awards for the speciality food and drink sector. As well as a badge of honour, the unmistakeable black and gold Great Taste label is a signpost to an outstanding product, which has been discovered through hours and hours of blind tasting.

Our intention with Angels’ Nectar is to showcase different styles of Scotch Whisky, with a series of small batch releases. It’s wonderful that our Islay Edition has received this recognition, based on taste alone, from the most important awards scheme for the speciality food and drink sector.

Great Taste values taste above all else, with no regard for branding and packaging. Whether it is waffles, whitebait or whisky being judged, all are removed from their packaging before being tasted blind. The judges then savour, confer and re-taste to decide which products are worthy of a 1-, 2- or 3-Star Great Taste award. Despite the additional logistical challenges imposed this year due to lockdown, Great Taste adapted their processes to remote and socially distanced judging sessions, whilst ensuring that their robust judging standards were maintained.

There were 12,777 entries into Great Taste this year and of those products, 205 have been awarded a 3-star, 1,294 received a 2-star and 3,818 were awarded a 1-star accolade. The panel of judges this year included; cook, writer and champion of sustainable food, Melissa Hemsley, cook, writer, stylist and voice of modern vegetarian cooking, Anna Jones, celebrated Spanish chef, José Pizarro, Kavi Thakrar from Dishoom, food writer and cook, Xanthe Clay, and baker and author, Martha Collison, as well as food buyers from Selfridges, Fortnum & Mason and Waitrose.

Time for a dram!

Robert Ransom

PS. Amongst others available from Balliefurth Farm Shop, Master of Malt, The Scottish Gantry, The Speyside Centre, The Whisky Exchange, WoodWinters and our own on-line store.