May 15, 2017; San Francisco, Calif. - The San Francisco World Spirits Competition, the nation’s largest and most important spirits competition, announced today the results of its 17th annual competition, held April 21 through 23 at Hotel Nikko in downtown San Francisco. Out of a record-breaking 2,252 entries from all corners of the world, the 43-member judging panel awarded a total of 256 with the prestigious Double-Gold medal. For a full list of medals and premium awards, please visit www.sfspiritscomp.com.
"Never in history has there been a more exciting time for spirits, and the San Francisco World Spirits Competition is where the industry looks to find the best of the best," says competition Executive Director Anthony Dias Blue.
Continuing its annual trend, this year’s competition experienced an 18% increase in entries over 2016. Some of the most significant growth was seen in the Gin category, which this year brought in 268 entries (up from 197 in 2016, and 136 in 2015), excluding the Flavored and Barrel-Aged Gin categories, which also increased.
Pisco once again proved to be one of the most exciting emerging categories in international spirits. The category was re-classified in 2017 to better reflect the diversity and differences between Chile and Peru, resulting in a 50% increase in entrants. For the second consecutive year La Caravedo Puro Torontel Pisco won Best Pisco as well as Best in Show Unaged White, making 2017 the fourth year in a row that a Pisco has won Best in Show Unaged White.
The competition’s Whiskey categories also continued to see robust growth. Nearly doubling its 2016 presence, Rye Whiskey had 72 entries in 2017 (up from 37 last year) and the Other Whisk(e)y category had 100 entries (up from 57 last year). The Best Other Whisky award went to Paul John Bold Indian Single Malt, making it the first Indian Whisky in the competition’s history to win the honor.
The competition’s top sweepstakes winners were Best in Show Un-Aged White Spirit, La Caravedo Puro Torontel Pisco; Best in Show Aged White Spirit, Ron Cartavio XO Rum; Best in Show Whiskey, WhistlePig Boss Hog: Black Prince Rye Whiskey; Best in Show Brandy, Croizet Extra Cognac; Best in Show Liqueur, Grand Marnier Cordon Rouge Liqueur. Other highlights included Best Gin, Tarquin’s The Sea Dog Navy Strength Gin; Best Bourbon, Barrell Batch 011 Cask Strength Straight Bourbon; Best Vodka, Wodka Vodka; Best Tequila, Nosotros Blanco Tequila.
The annual Tasting Panel Magazine Distillery of the Year was awarded to Jameson Distillery, Ireland. Importer of the Year went to Diageo, Plc, United Kingdom and the Director’s Award of Excellence went to Distell Group, South Africa. In this year's Packaging Competition there were 17 Double Gold medals awarded out of a total of 194 entries. Full results will be available on May 30 at www.sfspiritscomp.com.
Led by Founder and Executive Director Anthony Dias Blue, one of the nation’s most influential wine and spirits personalities and editor-in-chief of The Tasting Panel, The SOMM Journal and The Clever Root magazines, the San Francisco World Spirits Competition judging panel is comprised of 43 of the nation’s top spirits professionals. Overseeing the process as Director of Judging was leading bar professional Tony Abou-Ganim. Other panel members included James Beard Award-winning spirits author David Wondrich, renowned bartender Julie Reiner of New York’s Flatiron Lounge and Clover Club, and Jeffrey Morgenthaler, of Clyde Common at Portland’s Ace Hotel, who was named America’s Bartender of the Year and the country’s Best Cocktail and Spirits Writer at the 2016 Spirited Awards. All entries were blind-tasted under focused conditions, and closely monitored at every stage to ensure integrity. Tastings were conducted using the patented Neat glass.
For a full list of judges, please visit sfspiritscomp.com/about/judges.
Founded in 2000, the San Francisco World Spirits Competition® is America's most respected and influential international spirits event. Products are evaluated in a blind, consensual procedure ensuring the SFWSC maintains its reputation for the highest level of integrity. Winning participants receive the awards of double gold, gold, silver or bronze, marking their product as one of the highest quality in the world.