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Ultimate Beverage Challenge’s Ultimate Spirits Challenge

was held in New York in March. Founded by award-winning journalist, author, educator, and critic F. Paul Pacult, wine and spirits publishing industry veteran David Talbot, and spirit journal managing editor Sue Woodley, The first annual Ultimate Beverage Challenge was designed to provide both the industry and consumers with a clear and unassailable indication of beverage alcohol quality, in terms that are readily accessible. More than 52O entries from scores of companies and nations were entered, but only a dozen distillates were awarded the USC Chairman’s Trophy as the highest scoring spirits of their category. Following four stages of competitive judging over the course of three days, Ultimate Spirits Challenge Chairman’s Trophy winners were arrived at based on their aggregate score on the 1OO-point scale.
Panels of spirits authorities, such as Assistant Judging Chairman Sean Ludford, Dale DeGroff, Andy Seymour, and Jacques Bezuidenhout, educators like Steve Olson and Doug Frost, buyers James Conley, Ethan Kelley, and Audrey Saunders, and author-journalists David Wondrich and gaz regan, employed UBC’s multi-stage scoring system that determined the best of the best entries.

Winners & Semifinalists 2O1O
Vodka & Aquavit
Chairman’s Trophy Winner Orzel Vodka, Poland
Semifinalists Skyy Vodka, US
                   Vermont White Vodka, US
                   Finlandia Grapefruit Vodka, Finland

Gin & Genever
Chairman’s Trophy Winner Broker’s London Dry Gin, England
Semifinalists Beefeater 24 Gin, England
                   Citadelle 2OO9 Reserve Gin, France
                   Tanqueray London Dry Gin, England

Tequila & Mezcal
Chairman’s Trophy Winner Tres Agaves Anejo Tequila, Mexico
Semifinalists Sambra Mezcal, Mexico
                   Don Pilar Anejo Tequila, Mexico
                   Del Maguey Tobala Single Village Mezcal, Mexico

Rum & Cachaça
Chairman’s Trophy Winner Mount Gay Rum 17O3, Barbados
Semifinalists Zafra 21 Year Old Rum, Panama
                   J. Wray & Nephew Overproof Rum, Jamaica
                   Bacardi 8 Years Old Rum, Puerto Rico

Whiskey-Ireland & Wales
Chairman’s Trophy Winner Midleton Very Rare 2OO8 Blended Irish Whiskey, Ireland
Semifinalists Connemara 12 Year Old Peated Single Malt Whiskey, Ireland
                   Bushmills 16O8 Single Malt Whiskey, Ireland
                   Redbreast 12 Years Old Pure Pot Still Whiskey, Ireland

Chairman’s Trophy Winner The Macallan Fine Oak 21 Year Old Malt Whisky, Scotland
Semifinalists Johnnie Walker Gold 18 Year Old Blended Whisky, Scotland
                  Royal Salute 21 Year Old Blended Whisky, Scotland
                  Glenmorangie Signet Single Malt Whisky, Scotland

Whiskey-US & Canada
Chairman’s Trophy Winner George Dickel No. 12 Tennessee Sour Mash Whiskey, US
Semifinalists Sazerac 18 Year Old Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey, US
                   Crown Royal XR Blended Canadian Whisky, Canada
                   Woodford Reserve Distiller’s Select Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, US

World Brandy, Grappa & Eau-de-Vie
Chairman’s Trophy Winner Nonino Grappa Il Merlot, Italy
Semifinalists Macchu Pisco, Peru
                   Bartlett Spirits of Maine Apple Brandy, US
                   Giovi Clear Brandy of Cactus Pear, Italy

Chairman’s Trophy Winner Frapin Chateau Fontpinot XO Grande Champagne, France
Semifinalists Landy XO, France
                   Pierre Ferrand Selection des Anges Grande Champagne, France
                   Hennessy XO, France

Chairman’s Trophy Winner Chateau du Busca-Maniban Hors d’Age Tenareze, France
Semifinalists Chateau de Laubade 196O Bas, France
                   Marie Duffau Hors d’Age Bas, France
                   Cles des Ducs VSOP, France

Chairman’s Trophy Winner Boulard Grand Solage Pays d’Auge, France
Semifinalists Coeur de Lion Hors d’Age Pays d’Auge, France
                   Roger Groult 8 Year Old Pays d’Auge France

World Liqueurs, Absinthes & Other
Chairman’s Trophy Winner St Germain Elderflower Liqueur, France
Semifinalists Herbsaint Original Liqueur d’Anis, France
                   Bauchant Orange Liqueur, France
                   Mathilde Raspberry Frambroise, France

for a complete list of all results and scores go to