Master of World-Spirits 2018 - deadline 1st March

The "Master of World Spirits" will be offered this year again. Take advantage of this rare opportunity as it only takes place every three years. Of course, the "Basic Class" as well as the "Master Class" and the "Sniff Class" will be hosted in June as well. Please note that the deadline for registration is 1 March and the participation fee must be paid by then, participation is unfortunately otherwise not possible.

Shot 4: The superstars meet up for the award ceremony

It is not until the Award-giving Ceremony that WSA participants learn about the complete results and be surprised with a possible win of the bonus title "Distillery of the Year" or even the "World-Spirits Award".

Award-Celebration 22. März 2018, 16.00 Uhr:

Brennerei Hubertus Vallendar GmbH & Co KG
Hubertus Vallendar
Hauptstraße 11
56829 Kail, Germany
Tel.: +49-2672-913552, Fax: +49-2672-913554

Shot 2: The tasting team at work

8x8 is our formula for magic. Eight tasters will taste about 450 samples over the course of eight days. We often receive inquiries from top tasters whether they can work with us. However, regardless of credential, all our jury have to undergo the WSA trainings. Just as an airline trains its pilots, we also train our tasters. Each year, a 3-day fine-tuning session is held in June as part of the WSA Academy to ensure our jury stay up-to-date and competent in performing the best possible assessment for products we receive from around the world.

Shot 1: Sugar Content Analysis

In order for the judge panel of eight to be "served" in a way that they can work alongside the important assessment parameters most accurately possible, all products must be analyzed for its added sugar content. It is important to know whether a product is made with or without added sugar. This does not affect the product, but the information is important for the overall assessment. Dr. Robert Leubolt and his assistant Sissy have been the team of specialists that we rely on for many years.



World-Spirits Guide 2018 - E-Book and Print Version

The “World Spirits Guide 2018” has been published – indispensable for friends of spirits from all around the world. The main focus of the content is:
• Hit list of all award-winning products of the WSA 2017
• Distillery classifications
• 95 distillery portraits of the best spirits worldwide
• Tips and trends



WSA 2017 Award Celebration Photo Galerie

Photos from the Award Celebration 2017 in Asbach Distillery at Rüdesheim am Rhein (Germany). Distillers win 14 x Awards, 15 x Spirits of the Year and 10 x Distilleries of the Year worldwide.


Destillerie Krauss

The corners of the World Spirits Award 2017 triangle are Styria, St. Lucia and Switzerland: Distillers win 14 x Awards, 15 x Spirits of the Year and 10 x Distilleries of the Year worldwide

Following on from their success in 2016, the Styrian master distillers are still in a class of their own. Carmen and Werner Krauss from the Krauss Distillery are the superstars of 2017: Their three Awards, two Spirits of the Year and the titles of "Distillery of the Year" in gold and bronze are signs of their outstanding quality. Hot on their heel for the second time is the Zweiger Distillery with two Awards and one Spirit of the Year, rounded off with the title of "Distillery of the Year" in gold. The Caribbean rum distillery St. Lucia had the same result.

The World Spirits Award Celebration in the visitor's centre at the Asbach Distillery in Rüdesheim am Rhein/Germany was both a highlight and a Who's Who of the worldwide distilling scene. Around half of the total 2017 Award participants came from all over the world to receive ten World Spirits Awards - a performance which they can be proud of.

The superstars of 2017 are:

-    In a league of their own - the Styrian Feindestillerie Krauss (Distillery of the Year Gold, Distillery of the Year Bronze, 3 x World Spirits Award 2017 & 2 x Spirit of the Year)
-    The liqueur specialist - Destillerie Zweiger (Distillery of the Year Gold, 2 x World Spirits Award 2017 & Spirit of the Year)
-    The Caribbean rum distillery - St. Lucia Distillers (Distillery of the Year Gold, 2 x World Spirits Award 2017 & Spirit of the Year)
-    The Swiss Kirsch Distillery Dettling (Distillery of the Year Silver, World Spirits Award 2017 & Spirit of the Year)
-    Small but awesome - the Bernhard Leitner Distillery (2 x World Spirits Award 2017 & Spirit of the Year)
-    The Tyrolean master distiller - Maass (Distillery of the Year Gold, 1 x Award)
-    The rum distillery - Serralles, USA (Distillery of the Year Silver)
-    The Bavarian Spezialitäten-Brennerei & Whisky Destillerie Liebl GmbH (Distillery of the Year Silver)
-    Wachauer Privatdestillerie Hellerschmid (Distillery of the Year Bronze)
-    Grenada Distillers Limited (Distillery of the Year Bronze)


Sniffing around the clock

After 10 days hard work in Basic-Class, Master-Class and Sniffing courses, we close the „World-Spirits Academy“ doors untill next June. It’s great for us to see, that every year so many people are coming to improve their skills or make a „dive in the cold water“ joining us. All our classes have a participant limit, that’s why you already have the chance to register online all courses for 2017.

Read more about the World-Spirits Academy classes

Shot 3: preliminary results for the participants

After the tasting weekends in January, the participants will be notified of their results and they may order medal stickers for their products or conclude license agreements with us, which are primarily for direct advertise on the bottle or as part of the packaging. Participants are welcome to advertise with our brand on all media platforms for free to promote their products with their participation in the WSA.

Behind the WSA scenes-the WSA Photo Story

It is often a mystery to most people exactly what goes on behind the scenes at the "World-Spirits award," but take a peek backstage, and you'd see Wolfram, Barbara and Joanne work continuously throughout the year on the organization and execution of the World-Spirits Award as well as the "World-Spirits Academy" sensory training courses. And that doesn't even include the massive collaboration with the jury, chemist, writer, graphic designer, translators, consultant, production companies for medals, classification boards, medal stickers, diplomas, shipping companies, freight forwarders, import and customs duties, and four IT companies that work around the clock for the maintenance of database, the website and the presentation on the Internet. All in all: an unbelievable amount of labor, creativity and unfortunately, cost as well.


Making “High Wines” in action- a live workshop of brandy prodcution with Wolfram Ortner


On Wednesday, October 4, for those keen to learn a thing or two about distilling can look over the shoulders of Wolfram Ortner during the process of a "Spirit Still" (the making of a higher and purer alcohol also referred to as High Wines) from a Sauvignon Blanc distillation. From 7.00 (GMT +2 summertime) to 8.00 PM, you get to be a part of the production process -- cutting the head, heart and tail. The highlight will be the master introducing his brand-new electronic control panel. Ask questions via live chat in German or English, and get an answer right away. In the future, further topics on "distilling" and "sensoric training" with master distiller Wolfram Ortner will be available at and Details (content and dates) can be found on the websites mentioned.


WSA Spirits Finder, now in the Apple Store: 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. 3,500 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. The basis for this high quality data pool are 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), and thus offers profound 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 the calculation of spirits per portion - at the bar, in the restaurant, in the 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 parameters. The core function is the absolute calculation and not the percentage calculation of spirits. You can also enter the net income per portion and in doing so, as well as the costs such as service charges and VAT, you can also receive a customer-friendly price, which you can also print.

In addition, as a registered user you will also have access to the protected 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, who are sure to benefit from our life's work in "spirits" and be a "spiritual" step ahead.

Have fun on your journey through the world of spirits!
Wolfram Ortner



app store


Exceptional, alternative, trendy and striking products at the WSA 2017 - Trends & Tips

Gin "the third"

It is amazing - for the third year running there was nothing new on the "gin front". Gin distilleries are popping up like proverbial mushrooms. There is another proverb that says: "Many a mickle makes a muckle." As the number of small gin producers rises so strongly every year, their existence is already being felt by the "big boys". The gin market is sure to change and be shaken up in the coming years.

The New Western Style gins are clearly gaining ground on the classic juniper gins. Somewhere the question will be answered of where the limit is for this new kind of gin. Gin has always been about juniper!

Peat is conquering the world

The epicentre of the "peaty whiskies" is Scotland. While the iodinous whiskies were once only used for blending, in the last few years they have developed into a new trend. Whether in the lowlands or in the mountains - peat can be found everywhere these days even with producers in geographical locations where you would not expect it - the best example being the Tyrolean distiller Gerhard Maass.


Cognac, French aristocracy with esprit and elegance

Cognac, French aristocracy with esprit and elegance (2)

History/Fascinating Facts

The first attempts to distil cognac are recorded in documentation in the area of the same name, dating from the 15th century. Cognac was a commercial metropolis for salt and wine and had ties with England, Scandinavia and the Netherlands. Given the high demand, a large quantity of wine was produced in the 16th century, although admittedly of a low quality. These wines could not survive transportation by ship and therefore people turned to distillation. Storing the distillates in wooden barrels gave them a more refined flavour, triggering the development of some big brands: Martell was founded in 1715 and Hennessy in 1765. To prevent any copies being produced, the borders of the region were defined by law in 1909.


Working Zone for Masters

14 participants were working in "World-Spirits Academy" Master-Class courses - together with the WSA judges they were making new definitiions for products and new groups - like Vodka Eastern and Western Style. We congratulate Patrick Altermatt from Switzerland for his "Master of World-Spirits".

Read more about the World-Spirits Academy classes

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World Spirits Award registration - step by step

  • Step 1: Timetable & registration
    Start of the WSA registration is 1st August 2017. The "World Spirits Award" is limited to 450 samples - so please register early enough!

Our offices/contact


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Spirits Finder search app now in the Apple Store