Simon Difford and Paloma Alos from Difford's Guide will be chairing the Awards.
Simon Difford, Editor and Founder, Difford's Guide
The foreman of the panel is Simon Difford, Editor-in-Chief of Difford's Guide. He will be working with the judges and helping to ensure consistency and objectivity in their selection process. He doesn't have a vote, unless there is a tie-break in which case he carries the casting vote.
Just like our judges, Simon is a serial entrepreneur. He has been involved in nearly every aspect of the drinks industry, from running his own off-license and wholesale company to importing spirits and brand creation.
Best known as a drinks writer and publisher, Simon publishes cocktail and spirit books and is the editor-in-chief of this very website. He has also contributed to the launch of numerous drinks brands, most notably St-Germain elderflower liqueur, and is behind the creation of London Cocktail Week.
Paloma Alos, Managing Director, Difford's Guide
Paloma joined Difford's Guide six years ago and works alongside Simon Difford to run most aspects of the business. Previously a Marketing & Communications Director she enjoys working closely with drinks brands, small and large all over the world, to help them tell the stories which make the drinks industry so vibrant and exciting. Sharing her name with the tequila-based cocktail, it was perhaps an inevitable career move.
Paloma has judged numerous cocktail competitions and visited distilleries around the world to further her drinks knowledge. She was one of the first people worldwide to achieve the WSET Level 3 Award in Spirts. She has also led the roll-out of Difford's Guide local editions, including Difford's Guide Greece, Brazil and Australia, working with trusted local partners to deliver tailored content in local languages.
Paloma's passion for cocktails, travel and meeting interesting people combine perfectly in her role. In her spare time she can often be found accompanying Simon on bar tours and helping him experiment with new cocktails in their private bar.
Havana Club 7 Year Old
This Cuban rum, aged for a minimum of seven years in ex-bourbon casks, is produced by a joint-venture between Pernod and state-owned Cuba Ron.
Havana Club 3 Year Old
The best-known expression of the leading Cuban rum brand, this light rum is aged for three years in ex-bourbon casks giving it a light straw yellow hue.
Havana Club Anejo Especial Rum
A blend of rums made from the fermented molasses of sugar cane harvested in Cuba, distilled using column stills and aged for up to five years. The blend
Havana Club Professional Edición A
El Floridita is one of Havana’s, and indeed the world’s, most legendary bars. Pouring some 90 cases of rum per week, it’s also one of Havana Club’s
Havana Club Professional Edición B
Bottled in July 2018, this rum is the brilliant result of a mistake and a bartender, Nick Strangeway, working with a Cuban Maestro del Ron Cabano, Asbel
Havana Club Professional Edición C
Havana Club Professional Edition C is a rich and raw gold rum blended from young aromatic aguardiente with older rum bases aged in San José distillery's
Havana Club Professional Edición D
Havana Club Professional Edition D is a fresh aromatic white rum made from a blend of fresh destilado de caña with full-bodied and aromatic extra-aged
Havana Club Tributo 2017 (2nd Edition)
Launched in March 2017, Tributo 2017 is the second release in Havana Club's Tributo collection and comprises 2,500 bottles. The press release which accompanied
Havana Club Seleccion de Maestros Rum
Launched in 2011, the liquid inside Selección de Maestros is believed to be the same as the former Cuban Barrel Proof. Exceptional casks of aged rum are
Havana Club Maximo Extra Anejo Rum
Máximo is an ultra-premium rum created by Don José Navarro, Primer Maestro Ronero, by blending a selection of rums from the ageing cellars of Havana