Great Taste Awards 2021: Which Irish products make the grade?

Coffee companies dominate, with four earning prestigious three-star status

The Great Taste Awards are judged by a panel of food critics, chefs, restaurateurs, retail buyers, cooks, producers, food writers, journalists and social media influencers. Photograph: Sam Pelly

Irish food and drink producers earned a total of 21 three-star ratings, the highest accolade in the competition, at the prestigious Great Taste Awards, announced today. This is an increase on the 19 awarded to Irish food businesses in this competition last year, and 18 in 2019.

The annual awards scheme, administered by the Guild of Fine Food in the UK and judged blind by a panel of 355 judges, attracted more than 14,000 entries and less than 2 per cent of those were awarded the top, three-star rating. Awards were also made at two-star level to 1,138 products, and 4,027 attained a one-star rating.

Peter Hannan of Hannan Meats, recently awarded an MBE for his contribution to economic development in Northern Ireland, is among the three-star award winners.

Coffee companies were predominant among those attaining three-star status in Ireland, with four successful at that level: Velo Coffee’s Velo Morning Fixie, a 100 per cent Arabica espresso blend; Pure Roast Coffee’s Valentia, a Brazilian bean; Greenbean Coffee Roasters’ Torero, an Arabica blend from Mexico, Ethiopia, Brazil and Honduras, and Java The Hut’s Spezial, a Colombian natural process coffee.

Musgrave Retail Partners’ winning lamb rump.

Meat products fared well too, with seven three-star winners in this category. Peter Hannan of Hannan Meats, a former winner of the supreme championship at these awards, and recently awarded an MBE for his contribution to economic development in Northern Ireland, was awarded three stars for his Sugar Pit Bacon Rack. Another pork product, an easy carve Hampshire breed ham fillet from the SuperValu Signature Taste range, also received three star status.


James Whelan Butchers, also a former supreme champion, took three stars for the Slow Braised Shortrib from the company’s new Dine at Home range, and ABP Cahir’s Angus Bone-in Rib was also awaded three stars. Two lamb products from Irish companies were included in the top level, Lisdergan Butchery’s Murley Mountain Rack of Lamb, and Musgrave Retail Partners’ Signature Tastes Hill Lamb Rump Roast. Musgrave in Northern Ireland also made the three-star rankings for its Signature Tastes Riojan Chorizo Cular, a dried cured sausage from Iberian pigs.

Rooney Fish three-star winning oysters.

In the fish and shellfish category there was a strong performance from the Carlingford Oyster company which won three-star awards for its own label oysters as well at its Louet Feisser Select Carlingford Oysters, grown in A-classified waters in Carlingford Lough. Rooney Fish’s Millbay Oysters were also awarded three stars. Smoked salmon, usually a strong area for Irish producers, produced only one three-star, Serendipity Smokehouse’s Hot Smoked Salmon, with dill and black pepper.

Two apple producers are included among the Irish three-star winners, Attyflin Estate for its Rosette apple juice, and Ballyhoura Apple Farm for its glazing syrup. Just one cheese made it into this category in Ireland, Inagh Farmhouse Cheese for its St Tola in Ash. Crawfords Rock Seaweed Salt, along withWexford Home Preserves’ Seville Marmalade and Morelli Ice Cream’s Caramelised Hazelnut variety, both previous winners at these awards, also earned three-star status.

The 14,113 products entered for the awards were assessed at 86 socially judging sessions at four venues. The three-star products will be re-judged to determine the winner of the regional awards and the supreme champion, which will be announced on October 17th. The complete list of one-, two- and three-star winners is available here.

Three-star Irish Great Taste winners

  • Attyflin Estate: Rosette Apple Juice
  • Velo Coffee: Velo Morning Fixie
  • Pure Roast Coffee: Valentia
  • Greenbean Coffee Roasters: Torero
  • Java The Hut: Spezial
  • Wexford Home Preserves: Seville Marmalade
  • SuperValu: Signature Taste Irish Hampshire Easy Carve Ham Fillet
  • ABP Cahir: Certified Angus Bone-In Rib
  • Musgrave Retail Partners: Signature Tastes Hill Lamb Rump Roast
  • Serendipity Smokehouse: Hot Smoked Salmon
  • Carlingford Oyster Co: Carlingford Oysters
  • Carlingford Oyster Co: Louet Feisser Select Carlingford Oysters
  • Inagh Farmhouse Cheese: St Tola in Ash
  • Ballyhoura Apple Farm: Glazing Syrup
  • James Whelan Butchers: Slow Braised Shortrib
  • Crawfords Rock Seaweed Co: Seaweed Salt
  • Hannan Meats: Sugar Pit Bacon Rack
  • Musgraves Retail Partners NI: Signature Tastes Riojan Chorizo Cular
  • Lisdergan Butchery: Murley Mountain Rack of Lamb
  • Rooney Fish: Millbay Oysters
  • Morelli Ice Cream: Morelli's Cramelised Hazelnut