ULTIMATE BEVERAGE CHALLENGE 2016 CHAIRMAN’S TROPHY WINNERS


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ULTIMATE BEVERAGE CHALLENGE

2016

ULTIMATE SPIRITS CHALLENGE

W hat characteristics constitute a spirit as being the “best of the best” in their category? What attributes make a whiskey, brandy, gin, vodka, tequila, liqueur, grappa, mezcal or rum worthy of the world’s most coveted award in distilled spirits competitions, the Ultimate Spirits Challenge (USC) Chairman’s Trophy? Each year, the quality rankings for every category for spirits are determined with uncommon skill, precision, and authority by the all-star Ultimate Spirits Challenge judging panels convened by USC Judging Director F. Paul Pacult.
USC takes place in the pristine and conducive environment of the Ultimate Beverage Challenge Evaluation Center located north of Manhattan in Hawthorne, NY. There, Pacult and his luminary judges, including Jeff Bell, Jacques Bezuidenhout, Tad Carducci, Gregg Glaser, Don Lee, Francis Schott, Andy Seymour, Joaquin Simo, Paul Tanguay, and David Wondrich, evaluate hundreds of spirits in multiple sessions over the course of several weeks. Some days are devoted to painstaking assessment of spirits tasted neat and other days are dedicated to sampling spirits in category-appropriate cocktails.
Says Pacult of USC’s revolutionary two-pronged analytical approach, “To properly assess most distilled spirits in 2016 I believe that it’s mandatory to evaluate them both neat and in the cocktail arena. In the neat phase two-person judging panels are assigned small flights of like-with-like spirits to determine their quality. Small flights of from

two to seven spirits assure that the judges remain fresh and engaged. All spirits are tasted blind by multiple panels, which is the only way to maintain a level playing field. At USC, retail price is immaterial. Quality is what counts.”
Next comes USC’s groundbreaking cocktail phase. Continues Pacult, “USC’s cocktail element affords our judges the chance to gauge the mixability of appropriate spirits. We feel strongly that it’s just as vital to know how gin brands, for example, work in a Tom Collins as how they rank neat within their category. Or, how Scotch whiskies come across in a Rusty Nail. Or, how bourbons show in a Ward Eight. The cocktail data is an added value factor for producers who enter USC. Why wouldn’t they want to have this addition information about their brand?”
The Chairman’s Trophy winners and Finalists identify the best spirits in the world by category, coming from many nations. USC Tried & True Awards recognize consistent quality while the USC Great Value citations point out spirits with excellent price/value ratios. At USC, every entry receives the most thorough and even-handed professional analysis possible. It’s just how UBC does things. No compromise. No shortcuts. No fooling.

Ultimate SPIRITS Challenge…Challenging Since 2010.

VODKA
Unflavored Vodka Purus Organic
Flavored Vodka Hanson of Sonoma Organic Habanero
GIN
The West Winds Gin “The Cutlass”
RUM
Unflavored Rum Privateer “The Queen’s Share”
Rhum Agricole Damoiseau XO
Flavored Rum Koloa Kauai Coconut
Spiced Rum Chic Choc
TEQUILA
Blanco, 100% Agave Siete Leguas
Reposado, 100% Agave Blue Nectar Extra Blend
Anejo, 100% Agave El Tesoro

2016 Chairman’s TROPHY WINNERS

Extra Anejo, 100% Agave Herradura Seleccion
MEZCAL
Mezcales de Leyenda Murcielago Durango 2015
WHISKEY
American Whiskey Clyde May’s Special Reserve
Bourbon Blade and Bow Limited Release 22 Years Old
Rye Whiskey Jim Beam Pre-Prohibition Style
American Single Malt Whiskey Westland
Blended Irish Whiskey Midleton Very Rare 2015
Single Malt Irish Whiskey Egan’s 10 Years Old
Single Grain Irish Whiskey Teeling Single Grain
Pot Still Irish Whiskey Redbreast 21 Years Old
Canadian Whisky J.P. Wiser’s Red Letter 2015 Edition

Blended Scotch Whisky Buchanan’s Deluxe 12 Years Old
Blended Malt Scotch Whisky Johnnie Walker Green Label 15 Years Old
Single Malt Scotch Whisky Highland Park Ice Edition 17 Years Old
World Whiskey Kavalan ex Bourbon Oak Single Malt
Flavored Whiskey Knob Creek Smoked Maple
BRANDY
American Brandy Christian Brothers Sacred Bond
Armagnac Chateau de Laubade Intemporel 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 Carta Real Solera Gran Reserva
ABSINTHE
Vieux Pontarlier
LIQUEUR
Cointreau
BITTER/AMARO/ APERITIF
Tempus Fugit Spirits Gran Classico Bitter
VERMOUTH
Dry Vermouth Martini Riserva Speciale Ambrato
Sweet Vermouth La Quintinye Royal Rouge
BAIJIU
HKB Hong Kong
SHOCHU
Wapirits Tumugi

The Ultimate Spirits Challenge 2016 Team

For a complete list of 2016 results, go to ultimate-beverage.com/usc2016results For Ultimate Spirits Challenge cocktail recommendations go to ultimate-beverage.com/2016cocktails

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ULTIMATE BEVERAGE CHALLENGE 2016 CHAIRMAN’S TROPHY WINNERS