The overall winning spirit in the 2022 London Spirits Competition scored 98 points – for Bareksten Navy Strength Gin, produced by the Oss Craft Distillery in Norway. If you think your spirit brand is the best, or can at least hold it its own in its category, then the entry process for the 2023 London Spirits Competition is now open and anyone entering before the end of August. Here’s what you need to know.
To find our more about the London Spirits Competition then click here and its entry process here.
The 2022 London Spirits Competition saw a record number of entries with around 2,500 spirits brands from over 80 countries taking part in the event.
The organisers are expecting an even bigger response this year as it builds the competition and raises its profile around the world and hopes to break through the 3,000 barrier this time around.
Of all the countries taking part in the London Spirits Competition the majority come from the UK (447 in 2022), followed by 323 products from Australia and 160 from the United States. The most popular category was gins with over 770 products entered, followed by whisky and rum.
Here are the key facts you need to know about what the London Spirits Competition and what makes it different from the other spirits events.
The judges for the 2022 London Spirits Competition come from a wide range of businesses that reflect the diversity of the products they are judging. Crucially they all have direct spirits buying experience and are tasked with making the decisions about which brands end up on drinks lists, back bars and retail shelves.
Some of the judges taking part work at the most prestigious bars, hotels and restaurants in the UK including the Dukes Bar, The American Bar at the Savoy, Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, the NoMad Hotel, Claridge’s and Annabel’s.
Fabio Spinetti, head of bars at Carlton Tower Jumeirah, said of last year’s competition: “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.”
The Judging Process
The London Spirits Competition is different from most other major international awards in that its judges are asked to:
- First taste the products blind to determine if they have the right quality to go forward in the competition.
- The judges are then shown what the spirits brands look like so that they can assess their packaging, design and also how much they cost to determine whether they offer true value for money at that price point.
Individual scores are given for each category and then tallied together to come up with the final results.
Here is a breakdown of how the scoring system works.
Quality Score: marked out of 100 Value Score: marked out of 100 Package Score: marked out of 100
Cocktail recipe opportunity
An added feature that was included in the competition for the first time in 2022 is that brands, drinks producers and distributors can also include a cocktail recipe to go with the product they are entering that best showcases how the spirit could be served in a bar.
The cocktail recipes are then featured on the London Drinks Guide, the dedicated consumer website set up by the Beverage Trade Network, organisers of the London Drinks Competitions, to help promote drinks, producers, and suppliers that take part in its events.
All you have to do is upload the recipe and any pictures pictures while registering the spirits brand in the entry zone.
Sid Patel, chief executive of the Beverage Trade Network and founder of the awards says: “The competition prides itself on being one step ahead by thinking like the consumers who, after all, are the potential buyers for any of the top awarded spirits in the event. By allowing drinks producers to enter a bespoke cocktail for each of the products they enter it is effectively creating a bridge to connect brands with consumers through the bars they are visiting. As organisers are are constantly listening and adapting our offer to give producers, suppliers and importers clear and added benefits to enter their spirits.”
It is part of The London Spirits Competition’s commitment to try and promote the products that do well in the event to spirits lovers to look out for when they are going out for a drink or a night out.
Registration opens – May 2, 2022
Registration Ends – February 22, 2023
Warehouse Closes: March 2, 2023
Judging Date: March 22, 23 & 24
2023 Winners Announced: April 12, 2023
£95 Super Early Bird – May 2 to August 31, 2022
£105 Special – September 1 to October 16, 2022
£125 Early Bird – October 17 to Dec 9, 2022
£170 Regular – December 10 to Feb 22, 2023
New: Quantity Discount Now Available
3 to 8 entries: 10% discount
9 to 13 entries: 15% discount
14 or more entries: 20% discount