It also won the top Double-Gold Medal for outstanding taste 2016.
“Hyde No1 is a very special, 10 Year-Old, pure Single Malt Irish whiskey, finished in a carefully-selected Spanish Oloroso Sherry cask that gives it a subtle yet complex flavour with a very distinctive personality,” explained Conor Hyde of Hibernia Distillers of the background to Hyde Irish Whiskey, a family business run with his brother Alan, “Our whiskey is matured in County Cork on Ireland’s Southern Atlantic Coast. The Cork region is famous for its very temperate climate, creating the ideal temperature conditions for maturing whiskey casks in.
Since its launch in 2000 the San Francisco World Spirits Competition has unofficially become known as the ‘Whisky Oscars’.
A highly-respected panel of 39 judges drawn from all parts of the worldwide spirit industry take part in judging these awards. The judges include:
Anthony Dias Blue – lifestyle writer, editor and publisher
Tony Abou-Ganim – Master Mixologist
Charles Joly – Diageo’s ‘Best Bartender in the World’
David Wondrich – spirits writer
Charlotte Voisey – Director of Brand Advocacy for William Grant & Sons
Dale DeGroff – Master Mixologist
Over 200 Irish whiskey products entered the 2016 competition which featured more than 1,850 entrants altogether representing the crème de la crème of the global sprits industry.
“Hyde No1 Single Malt Irish Whiskey is part of a collection of three very distinctive whiskeys,” explained Conor, “A 10 Year-Old Single Malt, from which we create Hyde No1 aged in Oloroso Sherry Casks and Hyde No2, matured in dark Caribbean rum barrels. These two pure Single Malts have just been joined by Hyde No3, a Six Year-old Single Grain Irish Whiskey matured in a Bourbon cask.
“We’ve carefully selected the very best vintage wooden casks from around the world to create a new Irish whiskey taste that’s rich in character and truly unique in flavour. As we say here, whiskey is all about the wood!”
Hibernia Distillers does not chill filter its whiskey unlike 95% of all other whiskies on the market, he says and it produces in very small limited batches of just 5,000 bottles. Each bottle carries a unique bottle identification number allowing it to be traced right back to its original wooden cask and fill date.
“For at least 10 generations we’ve been vintners selling whiskey in West Cork,” says Conor, “Both Alan and I have been involved in the Irish artisan food sector for most of our careers.”
Hyde Single Malt Irish Whiskey is already available in 15 markets around the world with plans to launch in more countries over the coming year.
“In recent years there’s been a rapid resurgence of Irish whiskey on the global market with the US market seeing huge growth, particularly in the specialist category with super premium Irish Whiskey seeing a 54.5% growth in sales in 2015,” explains Conor, “Americans purchased the equivalent of 3.2 million 9-litre cases of Irish Whiskey during 2015, valued at $664 million.
“The super-premium Irish whiskey segment has seen remarkable growth over the last 14 years with a staggering 3,054% growth from 2002 to 2015!”