The Irish Whiskey Association has announced the recipients of its 2020 Chairmans' Awards.
Drinks Ireland | Irish Whiskey Association's Chairmans' Awards take place biennially and recognise the people, distilleries and industry partners that have made outstanding contributions to the development of the Irish whiskey industry and category.
The six recipient of this year's awards, which were announced at a virtual ceremony on the evening of Thursday November 26, are Powerscourt Distillery master blender Noel Sweeney, Irish Distillers master blender Billy Leighton, Old Bushmills Distillery master blender Helen Mulholland, Great Northern Distillery master blender David Hynes, Pearse Lyons Distillery founder Pearse Lyons and Dingle Distillery founder Oliver Hughes.
Lyons's and Hughes's awards were posthumous accolades as the former passed away in 2018 and the latter passed away in 2016.
"Proud To Be Part Of An Innovative Wave"
Sweeney stated, "Since I started in the industry, Irish whiskey has been turned on its head. As a master distiller, I am proud to be part of an innovative wave that moved Irish whiskey beyond just triple distilled, non-peated expressions. We have since seen a rapid and exciting increase in new releases of interesting, high-quality Irish whiskey, with much more to follow. Our industry is one of great resilience, ingenuity, confidence and creativity, and I look forward to a bright future for Irish whiskey."
"A Talented And Tenacious Group Of People"
Meanwhile, Drinks Ireland | Irish Whiskey Association chairman David Stapleton commented, "I am honoured to present the Chairmans' Awards to such a talented and tenacious group of people who have contributed significantly to the revival of the Irish whiskey industry. The awards represent the dynamism and ingenuity which is central to our industry."
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