With so many spirits brands competing for space in any premium back bar, how do you choose one vodka, gin, whisky, or mezcal over another? The medal winners in the fourth annual London Spirits Competition is a great place to look. It is a competition that is not only judged by leading bartenders and managers, but judges products for their quality, what they look like and, vitally, for their value for money.
At the fourth annual London Spirits Competition, which took place in London on March 17, 2021, spirits from all over the world participated. Spirits were judged on the basis of three primary criteria – quality, value, and packaging – and then scored on a 100-point scale. Spirits that scored 90+ points were awarded Gold medals, while spirits that scored 76 to 89 points were awarded Silver medals and spirits between 65 and 75 were awarded Bronze.
The primary reason for using three criteria rather than just one was to focus on the overall drinkability of each spirit. As a result, the judging panel ranked spirits not just by how they taste, but also their overall presentation and appearance in the bottle. In addition, judges assessed spirits on their relative value in relation to their peers, as determined by retail pricing.
The London Spirits Competition is organized by Beverage Trade Network, which organizes alcohol beverage industry events all over the world. The goal of this event was to judge spirits the way consumers judge them.
At the judging session, judges tasted and scored spirits on a blind basis before seeing bottles and marking them for on-shelf appeal as well as value for money. This enabled them to come up with a total score that reflects their overall drinkability.
Here are the highlights of this year’s results:
BY SPIRITS TYPES:
Spirit Of The Year – Ramsbury Single Estate Vodka by Ramsbury Brewing & Distilling Co. Ltd
Vodka Of The Year – Ramsbury Single Estate Vodka by Ramsbury Brewing & Distilling Co. Ltd
Rum Of The Year – Rum Nation by Rum Nation International
Tequila Of The Year – IZO Tequila Extra Anejo Cristalino by Belzmart Group, Llc dba Izo Mezcal.
Gin Of The Year – Botanic Australis Navy Strength Gin by Mt. Uncle Distillery.
Whisky Of The Year – Dingle Distillery Fourth Single Pot Still Release by The Dingle Distillery
Brandy Of The Year – St-Rémy Signature by St-Rémy
Liqueur Of The Year – Muyu Vetiver Gris by De Kuyper Royal Distillers
Cognac Of The Year – A. de Fussigny Grande Champagne VSOP by A. de Fussigny Sas
Distillery Of The Year – De Kuyper Royal Distillers from Netherlands.
COUNTRY CATEGORY WINNERS:
United Kingdom – Ramsbury Single Estate Vodka
Netherlands – Muyu Vetiver Gris
Australia – Botanic Australis Navy Strength Gin
Italy – Rum Nation
Ireland – Dingle Distillery Fourth Single Pot Still Release
France – Eau De Vie De Poire Williams Vrp
Japan – Enso Japanese Blended Whisky
United States – Legent Bourbon
Canada – Georgian Bay Vodka
Germany – Mahiki White Coconut
Mexico – IZO Tequila Extra Anejo Cristalino
BY JUDGING CATEGORY:
Best Spirit By Quality – Ramsbury Single Estate Vodka
Best Spirit By Value – Eau De Vie De Poire Williams
Best Spirit By Package – Muyu Vetiver Gris
What makes the London Spirits Competition distinctive from its peers is that it does not just taste the spirits blind and base its decisions and medals on that, but goes two steps further. First it takes off the cover to reveal the spirit’s label, design and packaging and asks its judges to base a proportion of its scores on what spirits look like, and how successful it is in the story it is trying to tell, and then equally crucially from a consumer’s point of view how the brand looks, feels, tastes and if the quality matches up to its price point. Does it offer the consumer true value for money?
That’s why the London Spirits Competition can lay claim to the fact it is a competition that puts the interests of the consumers first as it is through their eyes the judges are tasked with making their decisions.
For more information on the London Spirits Competition, please see: www.londonspiritscompetition.com
For more information on Beverage Trade Network, please see: www.beveragetradenetwork.com