Updated: Dec 16, 2021
Here at Taste, we want to celebrate all things food and drink and promote Scottish produce at its best – what better way than to highlight all that has been achieved this year. Despite the challenges we faced in the last years, Scotland has continued to create and supply wonderful food and drink items from the sea and the land for our larder, our plates and our eyes.
Many of these products have won awards across Scotland and the UK and we here have a small sample of the fantastic achievements Scotland has collected in 2021. Our Scottish products continue to be the best for our tastes, the land and the people behind them. We are proud to showcase and celebrate all that Scotland has won.
Great Taste Awards: The Golden Fork Trophy
The Great Taste Awards are highly acclaimed for the variety of products awarded and the rigorous taste rounds the Judges go through. The highly coveted award is the ‘3-star’ which is given to the best of the best, so consumers know when they buy the products proudly wearing the ‘3-star’ badge, they are about to taste something unique and wonderful.
This year, 13 Scottish products won this high honour. Piggery Smokery based in Aberdeenshire with their back bacon ‘Dark Dubhloch’; Rora Dairy Traditional Greek-Style Yogurt; e Gin Bothy with their beautiful Rum Bothy; Loch Fyne Oysters with their delicate and fresh Morecambe Bay Oysters; Innis and Gunn Brewing Company with their Innis and Gunn – Irish Whiskey Cask in the beer category. The varied categories Scotland won include the Other Sweet Sauces as the Very Lovely Sauce Company achieved 3-stars with their Gingerbread Caramel Sauce; the Fife region was represented by Tayport Distillery with the Scots Pine Gin. The Shortbread House of Edinburgh and Pea Green Boat proved they can do savoury as they won with their Cheese Sablés Fennel and Chilli biscuits; Humes Quality Artisan Foods in Orkney won with their Hot Oak Smoked Organic Orkney Salmon; and finally Chapter 7 Monologue Blended Scotch Whisky from Chapter 7 Whisky.
Three products excelled further as they won the 3-star and were nominated for a prestigious ‘Golden Fork Trophy’. Macleod & Macleod in Stornoway, Western Isles were nominated for their Stornoway Black Pudding; J. Lawrie & Sons based in Mallaig, Highland were nominated for their Jaffy’s Mallaig Kippers; and the Scottish Salmon Company in Edinburgh have been nominated for their Harris and Lewis Smoked Scottish Salmon.
On Sunday 17th October, the Golden Fork Trophy Ceremony was held, and the Golden Fork from Scotland was awarded to J. Lawrie & Sons for their Jaffy Mallaig Kipper. Macleod & Macleod walked away with an award too as they were given the Nigel Barden Heritage Award, which is presented to a producer who uses historic production methods.
Scotland continues to impress as it builds its reputation for excellent food and drink across all products. Congratulations to all those who won at the Great Taste Awards and the Golden Trophy Awards.
Scottish Beer Awards
Scotland has some of the best breweries and independent beer companies, so the Scottish Beer Awards have intense competition. The variety of beers created with different flavours in mind means there is something for everyone and the awards aim to highlight the best that Scotland has to offer that year across all categories.
The 2021 awards were announced on Friday 8th October and many were lucky to win a coveted prize. Cold Town House won Best Beer Bar and the Best Specialty beer was awarded to William Bros Brewing Co. for their Ginger Beer. A fun award was the Best Session Bar which was scooped up by Loch Lomond Brewery for their aptly named Zoom Time Beer.
However Fierce Beer stole everyone’s breath away. They won Gold across six categories which was this year’s biggest sweep of awards including Best Fruit Forward with their Cranachan Killer. Fierce Beer was also able to win the top award of 2021: Scottish Brewery of the Year.
World Championship Scotch Pie Awards
The World Championship Scotch Pie Awards work hard to bring together the best of butchers and bakers to provide the tastiest pies. Launched in 1999 by Alan Stuart, the competition has grown to include other categories such as Macaroni pie, Bridie, Steak pie and a Haggis savoury so all the best that Scotland can offer is showcased for tasting.
The 2021 winner of the Champion of Champions Scotch Pie Awards was James Pirie and Son: a butcher who use local, high quality meats to create each perfect batch. They have won the competition previously in 2020 and 2018 and will no doubt be there again this year.
The finalists of the 2022 World Championship were announced on Wednesday 10th November and you can read all about them here!
Scottish Street Food Awards
June this year featured one of the yummiest awards at the Scottish Street Food Awards 2021. Food traders and food trucks gathered at The Pitt, Edinburgh to celebrate the delicious street food and chefs who bring their talent to Scotland.
The winner of 2021 with the People’s Choice Award was Barnacles and Bones; they like to serve shellfish and unusual cuts of meat to the hungry people of Scotland. The reigning champion is Antojitos with their spicy and delicious Mexican vegan street food.
Judges this year included Ailidh Forlan who is the author of Street Food Scotland and Stuart Ralston who is the chef and owner of Aizle Edinburgh. The winners went on to compete in the British Street Food Awards in September with their distinctive delights.
Scottish Gin Awards
Another drink with increasingly strong Scottish associations is Gin. Scotland has created some of the best gins and is acclaimed around the world for the flavours brought forth and new varieties produced as well as classics such as the London Dry Gin. The Scottish Gin Awards are held at the end of the month and celebrate the best gins Scotland has to offer. Categories include Pink Gin of the Year, Gin Liqueur of the Year, Citrus Flavoured Gin of the Year and many more.
One particular brand that stands out is a new addition to the gin scene: Sky Garden Gin from Dark Art Distillery. They were nominated for London Dry Gin of the Year, Best Newcomer and Excellence in Branding and won Best Newcomer.
What was eagerly anticipated was the Scottish Gin Distillery of the Year and the incredible lucky four nominees are Isle of Barra Distillers, Isle of Harris Distillers, Isle of Skye Distillers and North Uist Distillery Co.
A huge round of applause for all nominees who have worked incredibly hard to produce something unique which only builds and increases Scotland’s reputation as the best.
Scottish Bar and Pub Awards
September 2021 marks the 26th year of the longest running licensed trade awards. Celebrating the fantastic array of bars and pubs in Scotland, these awards promote not just companies but the people who work in them.
With categories spanning Whisky Guru of the Year and New Bar of the Year, the awards encompass everything under hospitality and drinks, praising those who have worked hard, especially under the challenges of the last year.
The Gordan & MacPhail Connoisseurs Choice Whisky Bar of the Year goes to the Malt Room in Inverness; Restaurant of the Year was awarded to The Fox & Willow based in Ayr; while the Lifetime Achievement was given to Sandy Fraser at the Oak Tree Inn in Balmaha. Derby Lane in Glasgow received the honourable Stolichnaya Award for Sustainability.
These awards celebrate all that Scotland has to offer in the food and drink industry, raising Scotland’s recognition in the wider world for our excellence in hospitality.
Spirit of Speyside Whisky Awards
Of course, where is Scotland without our renowned whisky? The Spirit of Speyside Awards was part of the Spirit of Speyside whisky festival earlier this year and celebrates the greatest concentration of malt whisky producers across the 50 distilleries in the region.
There were gold and silver prizes for several categories including 12 years and under and 21 years and older. The Overall Favourite of 2021 was none other than the fantastic Glenfarcas single malt 25 YO, which is delicately sherried after resting in 100% Oloroso sherry casks.
Scottish Retail Food and Drink Awards 2021
Earlier this year was the renowned Scottish Retail Food and Drink Awards 2021 which focuses specifically on Scottish producers to recognise the high standard of varied products Scotland offers. With the intention to continue to push for more Scottish products on our shelves, these awards recognise the wonderful variety of excellent Scottish retail products.
Over 60 expert judges spent three intense weeks carefully tasting and judging over hundreds of products. Categories across the awards include Biscuits, Cheese and Innovation Award. The Fish, Hot Beverages and Salt categories are always interesting in the variety of companies who win.
The acclaimed prize of the night is the Platinum Food and Drink which is divided into Small Producer and Large Producer to truly encompass all of Scotland’s excellent products. The Platinum Small Food Producer of 2021 was Thule Ventus with their Salt Cod Paté while the Large Food Producer was none other than Mackie’s Of Scotland with their Traditional Real Dairy Ice Cream. The Platinum Small Drink Producer of 2021 was Lunun Gin and the Large Drink Producer was Edinburgh Rum from Gleann Mór Spirits.
Federation of Chefs Competition: Young Scottish Chef of the Year
Chef Fraser Cameron at The Globe Inn, Dumfries has amazed and inspired chefs with his culinary talents and walked away this year with not one, but two awards celebrating his incredible achievements.
In June, Chef Cameron was awarded the CIS Excellence for Young Chef of the Year and on October 12th, he received the Federation of Chefs Young Scottish Chef of the Year 2021.
The Federation of Chefs competition was fierce this year and the final took place on October 12th. Chef Cameron was tasked with cooking a fine dining meal in timed conditions under the scrutiny of superb and expert judges including President of Scottish Chefs Kevin MacGillivray and Executive Chef Joe Queen.
Fraser’s first course was a surprising hit with Millbank Venison Tartare, hazelnuts, dark chocolate and parmesan cheese, which was followed a sumptuous main of rack and loin of Scotch lamb, carrot and ginger purée, Boudin Noir, soy, honey and Yuzu juice. For his dessert, he kept it classy and simple, allowing the best of the flavours to tickle the fancy of the judges with Cream Cheese Espuma, Scottish strawberries and pistachios.
Chef Fraser Cameron cooked an unbelievably incredible meal and his culinary skills were aptly recognised with the Young Scottish Chef of the Year 2021. The two awards he collected this year are an incredible accomplishment for a young chef and his career looks promising as we watch him step forward.
Scotland continues to persevere and demonstrate the excellent quality of our products across our food and drink in award ceremonies and it is a pleasure to promote and celebrate all that Scotland has to offer. As we push forward in rewarding excellence, we better Scotland’s reputation for food and drink amongst our country and beyond in the world: congratulations to every nominee and winner of Scotland. Be sure to check out our Spring edition for results from the Gin Awards, the Scotch Pie Awards and many more.