Ultimate Spirits Challenge Announces 2016 Results, Top-Scoring Spirits

The Ultimate Spirits Challenge (USC), a globally recognized standard for spirits competitions, has announced winners and full results for the just-completed 2016 Challenge.

Now in its seventh year, USC celebrates 40 Chairman’s Trophy winners, USC’s highest award of excellence, along with 157 Finalists. This year’s challenge was held at the event’s specially designed Evaluation Center in Hawthorne, NY.

All products are rated on the 100-point scale by members of the spirits industry (pictured above), including authors, buyers, journalists, educators and bar owners. The judges for USC 2016 included: Founder/Judging Chairman F. Paul Pacult, Jeff Bell, Jacques Bezuidenhout, Tad Carducci, Gregg Glaser, Don Lee, Francis Schott, Joaquin Simo, Andy Seymour, Paul Tanguay and David Wondrich.

USC also provides an additional component to the competition with its inclusion of a cocktail evaluation. The judges are able to taste and assess a spirit’s “mixability factor” in several classic cocktail recipes in suitable spirits categories. This allows even deeper evaluation of spirits.

Recommendations for cocktails, along with complete results, can be found on ultimate-beverage.com

USC 2016 – Chairman’s Trophy Winners

Absinthe
Vieux Pontarlier

Baijiu
HKB Hong Kong

Bitter/Amaro/Aperitif
Bitter: Tempus Fugit Spirits Gran Classico

Brandy
American: Christian Brothers Sacred Bond
Armagnac: Chateau de Laubade Intemporel N5 25 Years Old
Calvados: Christian Drouin XO
Cognac: Cognac Frapin Extra
Grappa: Nonino Cru Monovitigno Picolit
Pisco: La Caravedo Puro Quebranta
Spanish Brandy: Cardenal Mendoza Solera Gran Reserva Carta Real Brandy de Jerez

Gin
The West Winds Gin “The Cutlass”

Liqueur
Cointreau

Mezcal
Mezcales de Leyenda Murcielago Durango 2015

Rum
Flavored Rum: Kōloa Kauai Coconut
Rhum Agricole: Damoiseau XO
Spiced Rum: Chic Choc
Unflavored Rum: Privateer “The Queen’s Share”

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Troy Clarke measuring precisely in making the cocktails so that all come out the same.

Tequila 100% Agave
Blanco: Siete Leguas
Reposado: Blue Nectar Extra Blend
Añejo: El Tesoro
Extra Añejo: Herradura Seleccion Suprema

Whisky – Canada
J.P. Wiser’s Red Letter 2015 Edition

Whiskey – Ireland
Blended: Midleton Very Rare 2015
Irish Pot Still: Redbreast 21 Years Old
Single Grain: Teeling Single Grain
Single Malt: Egan’s 10 Years Old

Whisky – Scotland
Blended Malt: Johnnie Walker Green Label 15 Years Old
Blended: Buchanan’s Deluxe 12 Years Old
Single Malt: Highland Park Ice Edition 17 Years Old

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A look at just some of the spirits tasted during USC 2016.

Whiskey – USA
American: Clyde May’s Special Reserve
Bourbon: Blade and Bow Limited Release 22 Years Old Kentucky Straight
Rye: Jim Beam Pre-Prohibition Style
Single Malt: Westland

Whiskey – World
Kavalan ex-Bourbon Oak Single Malt

Whiskey – World – Flavored
Knob Creek Smoked Maple

Shochu
Wapirits Tumugi

Vermouth
Dry: Martini Riserva Speciale Ambrato
Sweet: La Quintinye Vermouth Royal Rouge

Vodka
Flavored: Hanson of Sonoma Organic Vodka – Habanero Flavored
Unflavored: Purus Organic

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