Distell brands have made a clean sweep at the 2016 International Wine and Spirits Competition in London bringing home no less than three trophies for Best Worldwide Brandy, Best Cognac and Best Vodka.

This is the second consecutive IWSC win for Van Ryn’s 12 Year Old and the 5th time since 2004 that this lauded potstill brandy has earned the title of Best Worldwide Brandy, confirming its status as South Africa’s and indeed the world’s most awarded brandy. Overall, as a house of brandies, Van Ryn’s has won this trophy seven times, with the 20 Year Old taking top honours in 2008 and 2011.

The trophy for the World’s Best Cognac was awarded to Richelieu XO, a second IWSC win since 2013 for this Fine Champagne Cognac, securing its place among the greats of Cognac for the House of Richelieu. For a product to be classified as a cognac the distiller needs to adhere to a strict distillation process according to age-old French recipes. Only specific grape varieties grown in the region surrounding the town of Cognac may be used.

Clinching the World’s Best Vodka trophy from other premium international vodka’s is a massive win for Count Pushkin. This is the second time the Premium Imperial Vodka has won this award. Distilled five times, this is a noble, full strength vodka spirit in its purist form.

Distell’s magnificent achievement is a testament to the commitment to quality, craftsmanship and painstaking attention to detail that begins in the orchards, vineyards and fields and echoes through the distilleries, barrel cellars and boardrooms. At Van Ryn’s, the team headed by Master Distiller, Marlene Bester, embraces the handcrafted nature of brandy, ensuring that only the best goes into the bottle.

“It is a huge honour for any brandy distillery to be awarded a trophy at the IWSC. As one of the most respected in the world, it is most definitely also one of the hardest competitions to win. Van Ryn’s has a proud legacy in producing word class brandies, and being awarded the Worldwide Brandy Trophy seven times since 2004 confirms that we are doing something right,” says Bester.

The IWSC sets the international benchmark for quality and is one of the most prestigious competitions in the world. Now in its 47th year with entries from almost 90 countries worldwide, the competition is unique in the crowded world of drinks competitions with dedicated tasting premises, a permanent onsite cellar and over 400 global experts judging products for seven months of the year.

“We could not have asked for a better acknowledgement of our product’s consistent quality,” adds Jeremy Thompson, Richelieu Marketing Manager at Distell.

With its 2016 IWSC trophy hat trick, Distell could be in the running for Distiller of the Year once again after winning the title, the highest accolade for a spirits producer, with two trophies last year. The announcement will be made at the IWSC awards dinner in November.