Massachusetts Beverage Business



THE INAUGURAL American Craft Spirits Association spirits competition was held at Huber’s Plantation Hall in Starlight, Indiana.  Over 3OO spirits were entered. The Judging Board, consisting of Ted Huber and David Pickerell, established five head judges in each of the competition categories: Whiskey, Gin, Rum, Brandy/Liqueur, and Moonshine. Judges included distillers, spirits journalists, mixologists, and consultants to the trade. The judging was conducted “blind”.  None of the judges was allowed to observe the spirits prior to their being brought to them by stewards in flights. In some cases a spirit was submitted twice, to ensure that the determinations remained consistent from flight to flight. A hundred-point numerical system was employed: 2O points for Color (appearance); 3O points for Nose (aroma); 3O points for Taste (flavor); and 2O points for Finish (balance). Points alone were not used to determine the medalists – a subjective element was also considered: Bronze: “Is this a spirit you would buy?”; Silver: “Is this a spirit you would seriously recommend to a friend?”; Gold: “Is this a spirit you would buy for yourself as a special addition to your collection?” The Best in Class determinations were made by re-judging the gold medalists in each category. The Best of Show was chosen by a separate judging of the Best in Class winners.

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