The three separate London Drinks competitions for wine, spirits and beer are all run on the same basis – to judge drinks in the same way that consumers do: by what they taste like; what the bottle or design looks like; and how much it costs. Having introduced the 2021 wine competition last week we turn our attention to the London Spirits Competition with details on how to take advantage of super early day pricing and the standards set in the 2020 awards.
The London Spirits Competition are now into their fourth year and will once again be a showcase for the best international spirits brands trying to get on the back bars of the best outlets of the world – starting in London.
The world is blessed with more than its fair share of spirits competitions with both individual awards covering the separate spirits categories and the ones that bring them all together.
Which is more the approach of the London Spirits Competition. But with a difference. Whilst quality is ultimately the most important judging criteria, those assessing the London Spirits Competition also get chance to peel back the envelope as it were and see what the brand looks like, and analyse and assess its bottle shape, label design and whether that matches the quality of the spirit in the bottle.
Then there is the cost factor. How does the brand in question live up to the price being asked for it? Does it offer good value for money at that price point?
Sid Patel, founder of the London competitions and chief executive of the Beverage Trade Network that organises them, says: “We have spoken and listened to the most influential bar tenders, mixologists and bar owners in the world and asked them what they want to see from a spirits competition.
“Time and again they said they want an event that their customers can truly relate to. One that judges the brands in the same way they do, where packaging, design and cost is part of the process as the quality of the drink.
“That’s what the London competitions are all about and why many of the medal winners in the London Spirits Competitions are appearing on more back bars of the most influential outlets in London and key cities around the word.”
The judging is broken down like this:
Q (Quality Score) + Value Score (V) + Package Score (P) = London Wine Competition Score.
A separate weighted score is given for each of the three parts of the judging process (Quality gets twice the weight. The scores are calculated with other judges for the same product on the team to give a final score from which individual prizes will be awarded.)
Quality score: marked out of 100 Value score: marked out of 100 Packaging score: marked out of 100.
Year on year the fresh approach taken by the London Spirits Competition is attracting more brand owners, distillers, importers and specialist spirits distributors to enter their products. Confident in the knowledge that they are being judged by professional buyers who judge spirits as part of their trade jobs be it working in bars as bar tenders, mixologists, bar managers or from distributors, consultants and experts in their field.
The 2020 competition saw another big rise in the number of entries, with more countries taking part as well. Here are the standout winners from the 2020 competition that were announced in July.
Highlights of 2020 London Spirits Competition
Spirit Of The Year: St. Kilian Signature Edition FOUR by St. Kilian Distillers GmbH (it scored 97 points making it the top score in the event)
Vodka Of The Year: G52 Botanical Vodka – Fresh Citrus by Glasgow Distillery Company
Rum Of The Year: Substation 41 by Pinnacle Drinks
Tequila Of The Year: Cutwater Tequila Reposado by Cutwater Spirits
Gin Of The Year:Barossa Distilling Barrel Aged Gin by Barossa Distilling
Whisky Of The Year: St. Kilian Signature Edition FOUR by Kilian Distillers GmbH
Distillery Of The Year: St. Kilian Distillers GmbH
Country Category Winners:
Australia – Substation 41 by Pinnacle Drinks
Germany – Signature Edition FOUR by St. Kilian Distillers GmbH
Mexico – Cutwater Tequila Reposado by Cutwater Spirits
Denmark – Fary Lochan Single Malt Whisky by Fary Lochan Destilleri A/S
United States – Petoskey Stone Gin by High Five
United Kingdom – The Whisky Baron Glenrothes by The Whisky Baron
Ukraine – The Inked Collection Wild Cranberry by Nemiroff
Canada – Georgian Bay Vodka by Georgian Bay Spirit Co.
Italy – JAMAICA White Pot Still by Rum Nation
France – Courvoisier Napoleon Fine Champagne Cognac by De Kuyper Royal Distillers
Spain – Ron Aldea Familia by Destilerías Aldea, S.L.
By Judging Category:
Best Spirit By Quality: Fary Lochan Danish Single Malt
Best Spirit By Value: St. Kilian Signature Edition FOUR
Best Spirit By Package: St. Kilian Signature Edition FOUR
Key Dates for 2021 competition:
Super Early Bird: Ends September 30, 2020
Registration Ends: February 20, 2021
Warehouse Closes for entries: February 26, 2021
Judging Date: March 17, 2021
Winners Announced: March 30, 2021
£95 Super Early Bird: Now until September 30, 2020
£125 Early Bird: October 1 to November 30, 2020
£170 Regular: December 1 to February 20, 2021.
- Click here for more details on how to enter the 2021 competition.
- 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.