Security manager Charlie Hamilton told Convenience Store of the move as he picked up the award for Off-trade Chain of the Year at the Responsible Drinks Retailing Awards 2007, run by Convenience Store's sister titles Off Licence News and the Morning Advertiser.
Hamilton said he was "chuffed to bits" with the recognition, but promised the group wouldn't be resting on its laurels. "We'll be the first in Scotland to ask for proof of age for under-25s, but I think others will follow."
The 24-strong chain impressed the judges with its commitment to training, which included staff having to complete a two-page questionnaire on age-related sales three times a year. Sales assistants are also monitored through a test purchasing system, with refusals rewarded with a £5 voucher.
Lesley Brown of Frankmarsh Stores, Barnstaple, North Devon, won the Independent Retailer category at the event.
The store holds an annual No ID No Sale Day, giving the community the chance to talk about age-restricted sales, and has produced its own restricted sales policy guide which it posts out locally.
Lesley told C-Store: "I'm so pleased, it makes all the hard work worthwhile. Our goal is to take some of our initiatives wider and we're already in talks with Trading Standards."
Lesley and husband Bill scooped the C-Store Zero Tolerance Award in March this year for their efforts to reduce under-age sales.