Ultimate Spirits Challenge Spirits competition heats up with the Ultimate Spirits Challenge winners announced!
Ultimate Spirits Challenge
posted on 18 Mar 2011
posted By rick

It's a post for Friday, Friday!

It seems that every bottle of spirit has won some sort of award.  From spirits competitions to state fairs to a spelling bee, you're sure to find some sort of medal on a company's website or bottle. 

Only a few of these competitions are truly taken seriously by the industry and even then, they're taken with a grain of salt.  However, if you put he judges were led by Judging Chairman F. Paul Pacult and Assistant Judging Chairman Sean Ludford and included Eric Alperin, Jacques Bezuidenhout, Tad Carducci, James Conley, Dale DeGroff, Doug Frost, Jim Meehan, Robert Plotkin, Julie Reiner, Jack Robertiello, Steve Olson, Andy Seymour, Aisha Sharpe, Willy Shine, Jennifer Simonetti-Bryan and David Wondrich in one room and tell them to try stuff, people are going to listen to the results.  

Not only did they try a huge sampling of many spirits types but they rated them all and let us know how things turned out.  Some results will surprise you while others will look like the fix is in.  Some of the more interesting results include:

  • Finlandia Vodka won for best vodka (and it's cheap at $18.99)
  • Old reliable Beefeater gin won for best gin (and it's cheap at $19.99!)
  • The best Rum was from...Spain?? Dos Maderas PX 5+5 Rum took it all.
  • Forget  about that $125 bottle of Don Julio 1942.  Calle 23 Anejo kicked its butt and at $32.99 and won the category
  • I'm sensing a trend here
  • At 94 points, Yamazaki Japanese whisky is scoring with the best of them
  • The top 3 Scotch single malts tied for first and one was $70 while the other 2 were $100+
  • Liqueur's are all over the map

The lesson here?  The industry is starting to get smart and realizing that people don't necessarily want to pay a ton of money for premium brands.  You can make a killer product, not charge a boatload, and still make plenty of money for yourself. 

No reason to listen to that pundit who's telling you to only drink Grey Goose or the Grand Mayan extra anejo, plenty of deals are to be had without a single sacrifice.

Up next is the San Francisco Cocktail Competition's results (taking place this weekend), so stay tuned!

Check out all the results on the Ultimate Spirits Challenge site.

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