It has been a record year for the London Spirits Competition in terms of both the number of entries, but also the countries taking part in what is now the fifth year the competition has been running. The London Spirits Competition is one of the rare events that judges products for their quality, but also for their value for money at that price point and what they look like on the back bar with their packaging and design. Here are the highlights from the 2022 awards.
To find out all the winners in the 2022 London Spirits Competition, including who won Gold, Silver and Bronze medals, then click here.
There was also a record number of entrants in the London Spirits Competition with around 2,500 spirits brands from over 80 countries vying for Gold, Silver and Bronze medals. This is about 50% more compared to the number of entries from last year. It included 447 entries from the United Kingdom, followed by 323 products from Australia and 160 from the United States. There were 771 gins entered making gin the top category entrant followed by whisky and rum.
Judges included leading bartenders and mixologists from some of the most prominent venues in the UK including The Ritz, Le Manoir, Gleneagles, The Goring, the Connaught, and Claridges. Judging for the 2022 competition took place at St Mary’s Church in London’s Marylebone.
Fabio Spinetti, head of bars at Carlton Tower Jumeirah, said it was interesting to take part in an awards that has quality, value and design as its three key criteria: “I like the fact the spirits are not only judged on their flavour profile, but also on the packaging, which is a crucial factor, as well as the all-important saleability. Considering the brand as a whole, rather than simply the taste, is a really good way to assess a brand.”
Oliver Eardley, bartender at the Savoy Hotel agrees (in picture above), and says when it comes to buying spirits for the Savoy, value is always a key consideration: “First and foremost, with spirits buying, we have to look at the cost versus the actual product quality. So it’s a case of what is going into your speed rails for your day-to-day cocktails versus what is going to sit on your top shelf. It all depends on what happens in the deal and most of that is around quality vs price. The value aspect is always a serious consideration, but at the end of the day if we can get a deal where it makes a premium product more affordable we can put it into a cocktail, heightening the quality of that drink, so rather than using a baseline gin, we can upgrade to Tanqueray, for example.”
Highlights from London Spirits Competition 2022
Best Spirits of The Year 2022: Bareksten Navy Strength Gin, Oss Craft Distillery, Norway
Distillery of the Year 2022: Lookout Beverages Group, Mauritius.
Best Spirits of The Year (by Quality): Bareksten Navy Strength Gin, Norway
Best Spirits of The Year (by Value): Samuel Gelston’s Single Malt Irish Whiskey, Ireland (Halewood Artisanal Spirits)
Best Spirits of The Year (by Package): Bareksten Navy Strength Gin, Oss Craft Distillery, Norway
Best Vodka of The Year 2022: Vestal Vodka, Poland (Halewood Artisanal Spirits)
Best Rum of The Year 2022: Rum Nation Panama 21 Aged Years, Rum Nation International. Panama
Best Tequila of The Year 2022: Tequila Don Fulano Imperial, DF Desarrollo Global, Mexico
Best Gin of The Year 2022: Bareksten Navy Strength Gin, Oss Craft Distillery. Norway
Best Whisky of The Year 2022: Spirit Hound Straight Malt Whiskey, Spirit Hound Distillers, United States
Best Brandy of The Year 2022: Grappa Riserva Invecchiata in Botti da Whiskey, Distilleria Sibona Spa Italy
Best Liqueur of The Year 2022: Amaro San Marco,Sarandrea Marco & c srl, Italy
Best Cognac of The Year 2022: Ferrand Cognac 1840 Original Formula, Maison Ferrand, France.
Best in Show by Country
King’s Inch Glasgow Single Malt Whisky
Couraegous Spirits Ltd
Country: United Kingdom
Amaro San Marco
Sarandrea Marco & c srl
Big Dry Gin
Samuel Gelston’s Single Malt Irish Whiskey
Halewood Artisanal Spirits
Distillerie 3 Lacs
Category: Ready to drink (RTD)
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FlowersN Gin winter
The National Distillery Company
Country: New Zealand