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Apart from the package, judges were impressed by the quality and price as well. Here’s what they had to say:
One of my favorite New Western styles gins out right now. A beautiful balance of juniper, lemon zest, orange zest, with light notes of mint & chamomile. Wonderful to sip on and I can only imagine equally as enjoyable in a variety of cocktails. Well done! - Adam Boots Brogan, Judge at USA Spirits Ratings.
This is an ethereal nose. Every smell has layers of citrus peel, heather, and an authenticity that is profound. - Dan O’brien, Judge at USA Spirits Ratings.
Complex notes of citrus, herb, and juniper on the nose. The palate is surprisingly soft and generous, making it a pleasure to drink. Complex and delicious. - Bruce Abbott, judge at USA Spirits Ratings.
More than 49 countries participated in the 2021 competition making it the most diverse competition so far for USA Spirits Ratings. The top countries to enter were the United States, France, Mexico, United Kingdom, and the top categories were Whiskey, Tequila, Gin, Vodka, and Rum.
Here are the highlights:
Spirit of the year: Barr Hill Gin, United States
Distillery of the year: Caledonia Spirits, United States
Best Spirit by Quality: Barr Hill Gin, United States
Best Spirit by Value: Emperor Heritage Rum, Mauritius
Best Spirit by Package: The Botanist Islay Dry Gin, United Kingdom
Vodka of the year: Hangar 1 Buddha's Hand Citron, United States
Rum of the year: Puerto Angel Anejo, Mexico
Tequila of the year: Teremana Tequila Reposado, Mexico
Gin of the year: Barr Hill Gin, United States
Whiskey of the year: Uncle Nearest 1820 Premium Single Barrel Whiskey - US-53, United States
Absinthe of the year: La Fée Parisienne Absinthe Supérieurem, France
Cognac of the year: COGNAC MAXIME TRIJOL XO GRANDE CHAMPAGNE, France
Brandy of the year: Brandy Sainte Louise, France
Liqueur of the year: Muyu Vetiver Gris, Netherlands
View full results here.
The USA Spirits Ratings looks to recognize, reward, and help promote spirits brands that have successfully been created to identify with and target a specific spirits drinker. For any spirits brand to earn its place on a retailer’s shelf or a restaurant’s spirits list - and then vitally stay there - they need to be marketable and consumer-driven and not just produced in the general hope it can find enough people willing to sell and buy it.
The Botanist also got the third highest score at the 2021 USA Spirits Ratings Winners
That is why the USA Spirits Ratings are different. It singles out and shines the spotlight on those spirits brands that consumers really want to buy and have a clear market value for trade buyers.
A Competition that judges spirits in three key areas:
- Their quality
- Their value for money
- What they look like
To be an award winner you will need to have top-quality spirits that offer both the trade and the consumer great value for money, and you will need to look good and truly stand out on the shelf and on the back bar.
To win a USA Spirits Ratings award you will need to score highly in all three areas of our judging criteria. That is why the USA spirits Ratings will be decided based on the following judging formula: Q (Quality Score) + Value Score (V) + Package Score (P) = USA Spirits Ratings Score.
Quality Score: will be marked out of 100
Value Score: will be marked out of 100
Package Score: will be marked out of 100
A separate weighted score will be given for each of the three parts of the judging process (Quality gets twice the weight).
Gold: to receive a Gold medal you need to score 90 or over.
Silver: you need to score between 80-89.
Bronze: you need to score between 70-79.
The USA Spirits Ratings was assessed and judged by a leading panel of top-level spirits buyers with current direct commercial buying responsibility.
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Hangar 1 Buddha's Hand Citron got the top score in all vodka brands submitted at the 2021 USA Spirits Ratings.