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Exceptional, Alternative, Trendy and Unusual at the WSA

Exceptional, Alternative, Trendy and Unusual at the WSA – Trends & Tips 2024

Flashes on the horizon

For some years now, a few aperitif drinks or mixed products (premixed or ready-to-drink) have been appearing on the market and at WSA for a rating. These tread a fine line between Campari and alcopops. Bacardi has now also entered this market and sells low-alcohol products in small glass bottles and aluminium cans.

It’s ‘RUMbling’ in the world of spirits

It seems that the rum trend is growing worldwide, not just in traditional rum producing countries. Sometimes, however, you can’t be sure whether you are drinking a liqueur or heavily sweetened rum. An upper limit for sugar content was recently introduced here, although this in turn raises the question of which producing countries it should apply to?

There was an attractive range of rums at WSA – from Canada and Cuba to Trinidad and Tobago and French Polynesia. We are talking here about rums produced from a molasses or sugar cane base.

Ready-mixed rum drinks with a low alcohol content are also still on the rise – the concepts are based on classic models and are sold as long drink ready-to-drink products, such as Spiced & Cola or Mojito.

Gin continues to do the business

At their peak, there were more than 100 gins to taste at WSA, but this number has almost halved in the last two years. From a sensory point of view, London Dry Gins are almost on a par with the ‘modern variant’, New Western Style Gins. Gins with truffles are continuing to gain ground. They are not to everybody’s taste, but have a growing cult following. The classic would be a perfectly aromatic London Dry Gin, but this is now head-to-head with the trendy New Western Style products.

It is not just ‘Grey Panthers’ who like emulsion liqueurs and cream liqueurs.

From Africa to Cyprus, emulsion liqueurs can be found in a wide range of varieties: whether fruity, savoury or simply aromatic in taste, from citrus to chilli to the classic cream liqueur, such as African Cream by KWV.

The base alcohols also vary, from neutral alcohol to brandy and aromatic whisky.

On the rocks or simply neat, whether with vanilla, hazelnut or chocolate flavour: the fan community ranges from young to old.

The sun is now also rising at WSA

Spirits from the Land of the Rising Sun were rated for the first time. Two producers from Japan submitted not only whisky and limoncello but also sake and shōchū, traditional Asian and Japanese spirits respectively. Sake is made from rice, and there are many different variations in terms of production and taste. You have to train yourself in the sensory variety in order to properly enjoy it. Sparkling sake is a fizzy variant. Sake pomace serves as the basis for shōchū, whose aromas can range from pineapple and mushrooms to spices such as cinnamon. The tradition of these classic spirits goes back many centuries.

Aniseed can never be ignored

There is always a selection of aniseed-based spirits at WSA. The dominant aromas are always variants of aniseed, and sometimes in combination with other spices or herbs. Regional traditions write the recipes. In addition, the alcohols used are always different: neutral alcohol, alcohol from grapes, raisins or figs. And of course every distillery also has its own individual characteristics and flavours.

Cooking with Spirit: by Wolfram Ortner

The master at the stove enchants the senses of all friends of fine and noble living culture. With regional products, fine fruits, fresh fish, noble oils and balsamic vinegars. All of this skillfully refined with an "aromatic breath of spirit from the spirits bottle".

The stars in the kitchen are the ingenious ingredients and Wolfram Ortner's guests in the cooking sessions. The bottom line of these cooking videos is easily described: "Treat perfect basic products with the respect they deserve."

From the producer to what they produce: whether vegetables or fruit, all the way to the meat of the animals. Carefully treated and processed, brought to their best on the plate with "spirit and wit".

Wolfram Ortner creates and celebrates a new trend in the kitchen: cooking with "spirit".

This is brought to life by the puristic and authentic preparation of fine dishes. And impresses connoisseurs with a fascinating variety of flavors like an orchard.

Spirits in the kitchen are nothing new, but high-quality distillates are not always being used. This is in complete contrast to this innovative development of special dishes in a puristic presentation. With two main actors: a highly spiritual fruit essence and high-quality, ripe basic products.

Creativity in the kitchen and natural flavors from the distillery merge in these cooking videos. The results are convincing: they provide a completely new taste experience every single time. And to round things off, a glass of "aroma essence" is presented with each course.

True to the motto: "Better test things out rather than study them, because only a direct comparison can ultimately convince you!"

Ortner's cooking videos from 1. September on or YouTube

Two brand new, highly spirited, compact formats: IWS Flash and IWS Fibel

Since 2019, we have been on air with the video formats of ‘Inside World Spirits’ and ‘Inside World Spirits Shots’. We are now introducing two more innovative compact concepts for spirits enthusiasts and interested parties. Questions are answered briefly and succinctly, and interesting facts about technical features, fruits and spirits of the world are conveyed – in two minutes of distilled know-how.

IWS Flash: Multifaceted aroma profile

Compact sensory description of fruit distillates, botanical spirits and signature products from around the world – from Armagnac to citrus spirits.

IWS Fibel: Compact sensory knowledge

The spirits technology video compendium answers questions about spirits – from errors in distillates and legal regulations to chemical ingredients and their sensory effects.

Witty, crisp analysis and background information on the spirits of the world with Wolfram Ortner on or – simply stream and subscribe.

The Sound of World Spirits Music

That Spirits can have a sound is certainly a new experience or even a new approach to many friends of noble Spirits. WSA and the Carinthian cult band "HUMUS" have jointly developed the concept of sounding spirits to catch this magical phenomenon. Six episodes of "The Sound of ..." were produced as short music videos with much sensitivity and effort: "The Sound of Rum, ... Vodka, ... Gin, ... Bourbon, ... Tequila and ... Alpine Schnapps."

From the very first rhythms onwards, the Spirits theme is instantly recognizable. The perfect musical enjoyment is complemented by the respective exquisite noble spirit.

Start right away with a London Dry Gin to the "Sound of Gin" - a moment worth experiencing for Spirits enthusiasts.

The music videos can be watched and enjoyed on and

World Spirits Shots

Wolfram Ortner’s flagship concerning spirits is the TV format “Inside World Spirits”. Now he has created a lighter version, the “Inside World Spirits Shots”.

The title says it all: it includes short video clips – “shots”, which are naturally published exclusively on the internet whenever they deal with spirits.

The “Spirits Shots” are presented in a professionally competent, informative and entertaining manner to the viewers: the protagonists are spirits from the whole world and everything else surrounding this highly “spiritual” subject.

Here are some subjects to get a for it:

  • The difference between white, red and black currants
  • The wine grape: from grape via lees to brandy
  • Multi-variant aniseed spirits from around the world
  • Properly tasting and enjoying spirits
  • Testing spirit glasses
  • Pairings of spirits and cheese, tea, chocolate, cigars ...
  • Spirits: ageing ability and drinking temperature

The shots are short and snappy, lasting only 5 minutes, and communicate expert knowledge in an entertaining manner. They are not only for interested people or as training instruments, but also serve as advanced training for professionals or those people who wish to be such experts.

The “Inside World Spirits Shots” reach spirit enthusiasts at or directly at and can also be streamed with English subtitles.

Inside World Spirits© with Wolfram Ortner

Mastermind Wolfram Ortner is working carefully on the implementation of the concept “World Spirits Tasting Video” with its centre stage directly in the WOB distillery in the Nock-Land. TV stands for “Tasting Videos” as well as for “Television”: The videos are both offered to TV stations and published on the platform YouTube as trailers. In the secure area at, registered users can watch new episodes of “Inside World Spirits© with Wolfram Ortner” every 3 weeks. Specials round off the programme and are also disseminated on the internet and the website. The beginning was “How to taste spirits correctly”, with humorous and ironic instructions!

“Inside World Spirits”, a witty mixture of entertaining talk and information about the subject “Spirits of the World”, is set to become our flagship. Ortner’s interviewees are a distiller, an audience representative and celebrity, as well as the Swiss landscape architect and botanical specialist Patrick Altermatt.

In 2019 the first series with 15 episodes was shot. In the form of a relaxed conversation (15 minutes) the videos encompass knowledge on the chosen themes as well as technical information on production which are completed with a presentation and sensory analysis of three products consistent with the theme of the programme. Of course, the producers of the individual products are presented orally and in pictures.

Nor is music neglected: the group “Humus” has composed and presented live the soundtrack for six episodes consistent with the subject.

The predominant language is German, and the individual takes are dubbed into English or vice versa. Example: In a Gin episode, we talk about the production of the premium spirits, discuss different styles such as London Dry Gin, New Western Style Gin or Sloe Gin and then sensorially break down three products. In addition, a botanical, such as herbs and spices, is presented in each episode and analysed for its suitability in cooking or as an ingredient in a spirit.

Per episode we invite a viewer who can answer professional questions in depth (e.g. What is “astringency”?). Interested? You can find a form for at least five questions to the editors at Please fill it in and send it off with your address!

The target group for World Spirits TV are those who are interested in spirits, including distillers, journalists and all those to work in industries related to spirits and gastronomy.

The individual episodes of the World Spirits Tasting Videos “Inside World Spirits® with Wolfram Ortner” can be watched exclusively on the website of and (in the secure user area) until they are broadcast by TV stations.

15 episodes of Inside World Spirits with English subtitles can be streamed

In the past years we have shot 15 exciting episodes of Inside World Spirits. Now they are available for streaming in the protected area at  Just register on the website and click on the requested episodes!

In each episode more than 15 exciting minutes await you:

  • Specialised information about fruits and spirits
  • Entertainment on a “spiritual” basis
  • Celebrity and distiller talk
  • Tour around the botanical gardens of the earth
  • Sensory assessment of the world’s best spirits

The concentrated expertise of the contents is a perfect learning and advanced training aid. Moreover, it broadens the horizon for distillers, sommeliers and spirit enthusiasts.

Ready to go:
register, log in and stream at

WSA Spirits Finder, in the Apple Store and Google Play: search app for spirit lovers and professionals

The World Spirits Award is known amongst experts as being the highest quality spirits award in the world. You now have the possibility to access the results directly, all the way back to 2008, using the WSA Spirits Finder. The WSA app (in German and English) has the following functions, which are available free of charge:

  • WSA Spirits Finder
  • WSA Spirits Calculator
  • WSA Website

Detailed information on the approx. 4,000 spirits – from A for Asbach Uralt to Z for Zwack Unicum: producers around the globe, from manufacture to industry (with direct links to the websites), products ranging from absinthe, Armagnac and Moutai to tequila and plum distillates (some with photos). You can select distilleries, restrict your search to medals or WSA years, choose a special brand or a special product, and much more. This comprehensive data pool is based on the results of the professional jury at the annual World Spirits Award. The app also includes verbal descriptions of brand-name products and the exact number of points they received (maximum 100 WOB points), meaning that it offers in-depth information on the price/performance ratio.

The Spirits Calculator is primarily designed for the catering and hotel sector, but can also be used by private individuals and professionals to calculate prices. It is basically a pocket calculator with modern technology and functions, which, in just a few steps, enables you to calculate spirits per portion – at a bar, restaurant, café or wherever else you might be. It doesn’t matter in which country you want to calculate your spirits – this service tool includes all the important variables. The core function is the absolute calculation and not the percentage calculation of spirits. You can also enter the net income per portion, as well as the costs such as service charges and VAT, and you can also receive a customer-friendly price, which you can print.

In addition, as a registered user you will have access to the secure area on the World Spirits website, where you can find information from the spirits world which is hidden from non-users.

The WSA motto is “Simply the Best in Spirits!” And, with the new WSA app, you will become part of the community and can benefit from our lifetime work in spirits, always a “spiritual” step ahead.

The WSA Spirits Finder at

The official “World Spirits” website is equipped with helpful features – besides the Online Guide and the Spirits Calculator, another highlight is the Spirits Finder, a database with the results of all the annual WSA products that have been tasted. The tool makes searching for producers or products simple, and also shows comparisons of the results of each product at different tastings. All functions are identical to those in the app.




World Spirits. Barbara Ortner
Untertscherner Weg 3. 9546 Bad Kleinkirchheim. Austria
Tel. 0043-4240-760. Fax: 0043-4240-760-50., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Press contact & press texts and images for download (free of charge)

“World Spirits Press Centre”:

World Spirits. Wolfram Ortner. Untertscherner Weg 3. 9546 Bad Kleinkirchheim. Austria
Tel. 0043-4240-760. Fax 0043-4240-760-50. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

At the Press Centre, journalists will find information on the participants and all results (rating and description) as well as rankings and country statistics for the 2024 Award (available from 23 March)!

 © Wolfram Ortner, World Spirits,

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