Prestige whisky of Pernod Ricard Korea, Royal Salute, was honored as the double-crown awardee in the whisky category of the ‘2023 Korea Wine & Spirits Awards’. Moreover, with craft bourbon whiskey Rabbit Hole and single pot still Irish whiskey Redbreast, new releases from last year to meet diversified needs of domestic consumers, also winning grand prizes in the whisky category, whisky brands of Pernod Ricard Korea received a total of 4 awards.
Marking its 10th anniversary this year, the ‘2023 Korea Wine & Spirits Awards’ is the iconic liquor awards of Korea hosted by ChosunBiz, created to introduce various liquors into our society and support the establishment of a healthy drinking culture. Korea Wine & Spirits Awards include 8 categories such as traditional liquor, soju, beer, whisky, spirits, baijiu, and sake; among the 8 categories, whisky is further divided into 9 sub-categories, in 4 of which Pernod Ricard Korea was crowned the grand prize winner.
It was a second year of glory for Royal Salute, being selected again as an awardee. This year, ‘Royal Salute 30 Year Old’ and ‘Royal Salute 21 Year Old Blended Grain’ was selected as grand prize winners in the super-premium (aged 17 years or more) blended whisky and blended grain whisky categories, respectively.
Royal Salute 30 Year Old, the winner in the super-premium (17 years or more) blended whisky sub-category, is a true high-end whisky of the finest quality, design, rarity and story; it has been perfected with the know-how, expert technology, and craftsmanship exclusive to Royal Salute. Aside from the blending, the design of the product traces back to inspirations from the Ceremony of the Keys, a time-honored and the oldest ceremony of British Royalty. Sandy Hyslop, Master Blender of Royal Salute, hand-selected rare whiskies aged for a minimum of 30 years across Scotland, and blended them with a modern touch, demonstrating a unique blending of sophistication and classical beauty that aligns with the Ceremony of the Keys.
‘Royal Salute 21 Year Old Blended Grain’ scored high and received a grand prize in the super-premium (17 years or more) blended grain whisky sub-category. The product is a blended grain whisky that previously could not be easily spotted in Korea, and encompasses significant rarity as a product only Royal Salute can offer, with its top-class blending know-how. Only grain whiskies aged at a minimum of 21 years are matured in American oak casks for a distinctive finish, presenting an experience of rich sweetness unique to blended grain whisky. The product carries special significance as the very first permanent blended grain whisky line-up in the history of Royal Salute, using the brand’s very first glass flagon (bottle).
In the American whiskey category, craft bourbon whiskey ‘Rabbit Hole Cavehill’, was named the winner in recognition of its rarity based on its original grain recipe and production methodology. Rabbit Hole is known as the brand that re-set the criteria for American bourbon whiskey with its novel recipes and strict quality control, in an industry that was previously standardized based on a small number of recipes. rewriting the standards of American bourbon whiskey. Available domestically is the signature product, Rabbit Hole Cavehill, which boasts remarkable flavors using corn, malted wheat, malted barley, and honey malted barley, an ingredient only Rabbit Hole Cavehill includes in the commercial market. Moreover, the maturation process in oaks slowly toasted at low temperatures decreases the alcohol proof of undiluted whiskeys, minimizing the bitterness from oak casks and providing an experience with intricate yet soft flavors. In particular, with the exceptional rarity of limited manufacturing of up to 15 oak casks per single production, the product is much loved by bourbon whiskey manias.
The grand prize champion in the Irish whiskey sub-category is the single pot still Irish whiskey, ‘Redbreast 12 Year Old’. Redbreast is a brand that adheres to and preserves the traditional whiskey production style from Ireland in the 1800s, ‘single pot still’, and the product has already gained a reputation for its excellent quality among global whiskey aficionados. The grand prize winner, ‘Redbreast 12 Year Old’, is characteristically soft and simultaneously complex in flavors, with mixed malted and unmalted barley having gone through 3 rounds of distillation processes using a pot still made exclusively of copper. It was then each aged for a minimum of 12 years in bourbon casks and sherry casks, and completed through a marrying process which requires high-level skills, to present the impeccable balance of spicy yet sweet fruity aroma. The product has been celebrated for its quality, having won gold medals in two consecutive years 2018 and 2019 in the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, and having been named the winner of 2019 Ultimate Spirits Challenge.
Miguel Pascual, Marketing Director at Pernod Ricard Korea commented that “I am genuinely grateful that there is positive recognition for the products Pernod Ricard Korea launched last year to satisfy the diversified needs of domestic whisky consumers with refined tastes”, and delivered his message that “as Korean consumers show greater interest whisky, Pernod Ricard Korea will strive further this year, to provide products with outstanding quality throughout different categories”.