Introducing the Winners of the First-Ever New York International Spirits Competition!

This is the year that the face of beverage competitions changes!

The NYISC Took Place on November 22, 2010 in New York City

The New York International Spirits Competition, which welcomed 187 submissions from 28 countries in 47 categories had only 1 Double Gold, 13 Golds, 36 Silver and 45 Bronze Medals. The NYISC also awarded a “Distillery of The Year” and “Importer of The Year” This is the first major international spirits competition to be judged solely by members of the trade who have purchasing power through their stores, bars, distribution networks and their resulting ability to make a direct impact on brand sales.

Held at the Brandy Library earlier this month this year’s judging panel included buyers from the top retail stores, restaurant and bar owners, distributors and importers who all donated their time and palates without hesitation or compensation.

Additionally, what sets this competition apart from others where members of the media are included in the judging process is the fact that the New York International Spirits Competition judges evaluate spirits within their categories at pricing parity. So, for instance, a whiskey that retails for $50 will be judged with other whiskeys in that price range and not be put up against whiskies that go for $100.

While keeping to the philosophy that “like should be compared with like” when it comes to pricing, the competition also strives to only award the crème de la crème in a category, instead of handing out medals to every entrant. Only the truly stand-out brands end up in the winner’s circle and then, accordingly, find themselves placed up on wine and liquor store shelves and on the city’s best back bars. In addition to considering similarly priced bottles against similarly priced bottles, each spirit was sampled for appearance, aroma, taste, mouth feel, and finish. Each panel conferred on their choices to come to a unanimous decision.

Spirits landing on these shelves are carrying awards designated as either: Double Gold, Gold, Silver, or Bronze though not every bottle entered received a medal, as is common practice with many other competitions. A Bronze medal indicates it is something a judge would consider carrying; Silver medals designate the spirit that judges really liked; Gold medals are affixed to brands that the judging panel believed was worth promoting to their customers; Gold award winners were re-tasted by all panelists to establish which brands may be eligible to receive a ‘Double Gold’ endorsement in its pricing.


Importer Of The Year

Preiss Imports

Distillery of the Year

Delaware Phoenix Distillery

Bek Allen – Partner – Hush Cocktails

Miguel Aranda – Mixologist – Apotheke

Flavian Desoblin – Owner – Brandy Library

Ray Deter – Owner – d.b.a

Eben Freeman – Beverage Director – Altamarea Group

Courtenay Greenleaf – Tequila Librarian of La Biblioteca – Richard Sandoval Restaurants

Chris Hiatt – Slope Cellars of Brooklyn

Katherine Ramos – Drink Up NY

Raphael Reyes – Mixologist – 1534

David Roth – Beverage Director- Feng Asian Bistro

Erin-Elizabeth Williams – Partner – Hush Cocktails