Great Taste awards for local products

Neil and Katie Sime of Blackford Craft Distillery Ltd
Neil and Katie Sime of Blackford Craft Distillery Ltd

Six local firms have been awarded with Great Taste stars for a number of their products.

Great Taste, the world’s most coveted food awards, which celebrates the very best in food and drink, announced the Great Taste stars of 2018 last week.

North east firms given star awards were Beer Story, JG Ross (Bakers) Ltd, Blackford Craft Distillery Ltd, Barra Bronze Turkeys, Mackie’s of Scotland and Donald Russell.

The Great Taste awards are judged by over 500 of the most demanding palates, belonging to food critics, chefs, cooks, restaurateurs and producers, as well as a whole host of food writers and journalists.

Great Taste is widely acknowledged as the most respected food accreditation scheme for artisan and speciality food producers.

As well as a badge of honour, the unmistakeable black and gold Great Taste label is a signpost to a wonderful tasting product, which has been discovered through hours and hours of blind-tasting by hundreds of judges.

Blackford Craft Distillery, based in Rothienorman, was awarded a 2-star Great Taste award, which means judges dubbed it above and beyond for its Vesperis Pictish Vodka.

Managing director of the distillery, Neil Sime, said: “Winning one star at the Great Taste Awards is an incredible achievement, but to win two stars is overwhelming, it means that Vesperis Pictish Vodka is in the top 10% of all entries this year.

“We received some wonderful feedback from the judges who said it had a “refreshing lightness of complexity ... and a warmth at the finish like a well-received heather hug”.

“It’s great to hear that our wee craft distillery is producing products which are being acknowledged among the best in the country, especially as Great Taste is so well regarded amongst the general public and within the industry.

“Katie and I will be celebrating this evening with a Vodka Martini or two and toasting our multi-award winning Vodka.

Great Taste 2018 will reach its exciting finale on Sunday, September 2, when the world of fine food will gather at the InterContinental Park Lane Hotel in London to find out the Great Taste Golden Fork trophy winners for each region.

The final applause will be reserved for the Great Taste Supreme Champion 2018.