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.



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.


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

award celebration 2016

Program WSA Award-Celebration & Distillery Tour 2016

Thursday 17th of March - 04.00 pm Award-Celebration - Destillerie Hochstrasser
Startin 06.00 pm eating, drinking, party ...

Departure 10.00 - return at about 13:00
10.15 Zweiger - Mooskirchen
13.00: Hochstrasser - Mooskirchen

Airport Graz (via)

Urdlwirt - HOTEL REIF KG
Hauptstraße 85
8141 Premstätten
+43 (0) 3136/53185
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Award Celebration Location:
Distillery Hochstrasser GmbH & CO KG
Gerald Hochstrasser
Marktplatz 12
A-8562 Mooskirchen
Tel .: + 43-3137-2232
Fax: + 43-3137-2232-6
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World-Spirits Guide 2016

World-Spirits Guide 2016 - E-Book and Print-Version

The ultimate Guide to the World of Fine Spirits and traditional Spirits – Superstars and Insider Tips, Restaurant and Hotel Tips, Flavour Varieties and Trends – It can already be called up with more than 15000 addresses at

The World Spirits Guide 2016 in the printed version

The World Spirits Guide is an indispensable reference book for all those interested in fine spirits, for collectors of spirits and buyers. All the fine spirits and traditional spirits awarded with the World Spirits Award, the title „Spirit of the Year“ or with World Spirits Medals were rated and described by an international jury. More than 30 distilleries were also classified and received the title „Distillery of the Year“, the best in each category are „World-Class Distilleries“.


Hit lists of WSA 2015 and download

Hit lists of WSA 2015 and download

Results 2015 - Once you have registered for free, you will find all results of the “World Spirits Award” events (since 2008) shown in the top navigation bar. Simply search for the year, category, group, original name or manufacturer.


World Spirits Award goes on a world tour

World Spirits Award goes on a world tour

To do even more justice to the title of "World Spirits", in 2015 Wolfram Ortner will expand the concept of the successful spirits competition and will go out into the world. This way, we can keep up with the ever-increasing internationalisation of the WSA. The previous "World Spirits Festival" with the "Award Celebration" will no longer take place in its usual form, but will be replaced by the new award presentation in the country of the winner - one of all countries and islands in the world, which are represented by their distilleries at the World Spirits Award.


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)


World-Spirits Guide 2017

2016 was a successful WSA year for us. There is nothing better than receiving recognition and praise from the participants following an Award Celebration. It was the right decision to change the concept – in the ambience of the Hochstrasser Distillery, in Mooskirchen in Styria, everything was simply perfect. Everyone made a huge effort and the winners received the recognition and respect that was due to them.
The WSA quality screw is continuously being tightened, whether in terms of the training of the jury or the framework conditions for optimal results. For example, we have already introduced the “New Western Style” in the “Gin” group, and for 2017 we will also differentiate between the vodkas in the “Old Eastern Style” and “Western Style” groups, where it will be all about the accepted aroma.


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


WSA 2016 Award Celebration Photo Galerie

Photos from the Award Celebration 2016 in Distillery Hochstrasser at Mooskirchen (Styria - Austria). 30 distilleries were classified in different categories (from fruit brandy via whisky and grappa to rum). 17 of them can enjoy the award "World Class Distillery", 10 with "Master Class Distillery" and 3 with "First Class Distillery".


World-Spirits New Generation

World Spirits „New Generation“

In 2015 the „World Spirits Award“ started its World Tour – for the first time ever the Award Celebration was not celebrated in Klagenfurt. The Prize Giving Ceremony took place at one of the Superstars of the competition – for this purpose the Braunstein Distillery in Danish Køge was chosen. More than 30 winners – from Mauritius via Europe to Canada – travelled to the family-like award presentation ceremony and „danced away“ the successful participation in the WSA on a small but elegant scale.

The subsequent Distillery Tour with all the participants was a complete success – thereby the young and aspiring Danish distillery scene presented itself from its best side. Braunstein and the distillery ??? were great hosts. In this context we would like to take the opportunity to thank them once again cordially for the perfect cooperation and hospitality.

The „World Spirits Academy“ in June 2015 also went fabulously. For the first time the courses were bilingual (English and German) since participants even from California and Trinidad & Tobago had come to Carinthia. The atmosphere was „spiritual“ so that a „family-like“ friendship from the Basic Class to the Tasting Trainings within the Master Class developed among the participants.

„The New Generation of World Spirits“ is doing the WSA visibly good. The internationality regarding the Award as well as the Academy works like a „turbo“.

Dear World of Spirits, we’re coming! One can already look forward to which spot on earth we will present the World Spirits Award in 2016.

Cheers and ‚to your Health’

Wolfram Ortner

Masters of World-Spirits bei der Arbeit

Masters of World-Spirits at work

Until the end of June one could sniff, test, assess, describe and above all undertake a precise tour around the World of Spirits - daily checks during the two weeks of training intensify what one has learned. The best may call themselves "Master of World Spirits" after a written thesis. It is damn difficult to pass this training!

More information about Master of World Spirits

NSC - brand new programme for "neat storage and process conditions"

OLV Start-1Who does not know them, the smaller and larger problems with storage. Who has not been more or less annoyed about the error-proneness of standard programmes such as Excel and Co. Wolfram Ortner - himself a distiller for many years - has now developed a tailor-made programme together with the pro's of Jawa Management Software which takes care of the order in a distillery. And saves time for the conception, marketing, presentation or promotion.

The programme NSC is a true "chief of protocol" and in this matter an absolute world first. It can be used in small as well as in big companies and provides a perfect overview of the alcohol storage including the loss and head which arise during the production, storage and bottling - always regarding the legal tax on spirits. Furthermore the stock of filled bottles as well as confections for the entire bottle design can be conveniently administered with the programme. All necessary processes are retraceable at any time: distillation recipes, distillation records, water calculation for diluting a spirit, the monthly tax on spirits or the current balance sheets can be quickly determined and brought to paper clearly.



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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!

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