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San Francisco World Spirits Competition Announces 2018 Best in Class Winners

World-Renowned Blind Judging Reveals Top Spirit in Each Category
by Press Release
May 15, 2018

World-Renowned Blind Judging Reveals Top Spirit in Each Category

SAN FRANCISCO (May 15, 2018) —The San Francisco World Spirits Competition (SFWSC), founded by James Beard Award-winning Anthony Dias Blue and internationally recognized as the most influential event of its kind, releases full results from its 18th annual blind judging, which took place April 13-15 at Hotel Nikko in downtown San Francisco.

A panel of 47 judges (full list here) with the most respected palates in the industry, led by SFWSC Director of Judging Tony Abou-Ganim, blind tasted a record-breaking 2,450 entries from over 65 countries across hundreds of spirit categories. Other respected names on the judging panel include cocktail historian David Wondrich, and Ivy Mix, Best American Bartender of the Year winner and Speed Rack co-founder. 2018 Best in Class medals are awarded to:

Best Añejo Tequila: Tequila Siete Leguas Añejo Tequila
Best Apéritif: Lillet Rosé Apéritif
Best Armagnac: Cyrano Armagnac X.O.
Best Baijiu: Yushan Yuan Jiao 8 Year Old Kaoliang Liquor
Best Blended Malt Scotch Whisky: The Scotch Malt Whisky Society Cask No. Blended Batch 01 Blended Malt Scotch Exotic Cargo
Best Blended Scotch – 16 Years and Older: Dewar's The Signature 25 Year Old Scotch
Best Blended Scotch & Blended Scotch – No Age Statement: Cutty Sark Prohibition Blended Scotch
Best Bourbon & Best Single Barrel Bourbon: Henry McKenna Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon
Best Cachaça: Avua Cachaca Prata Cachaça
Best Canadian Whisky: Crown Royal 13 Year Old Blenders' Mash Whisky
Best Cognac VSOP: GAUTIER Cognac VSOP
Best Cognac XO: Maxime Trijol XO Grande Champagne Cognac
Best Corn Whisk(e)y: David James Straight American Whiskey
Best Craft Distiller Whiskey: Balcones '1' Texas Single Malt Whiskey
Best Dark/Gold Rum: Arizona Craft Distillery Regalo de Vida Gran Rum
Best Distillers’ Single Malt Scotch – 13 to 19 Years: Highland Park The Dark 17 Year Old Single Malt Scotch
Best Distillers’ Single Malt Scotch – 20 Years and Older: Glencadam 25 Year Old Single Malt Scotch
Best Distillers’ Single Malt Scotch – No Age Statement: Ardbeg Corryvreckan Single Malt Scotch
Best Distillers’ Single Malt Scotch – Up to 12 Years: Talisker 10 Year Old Single Malt Scotch
Best Extra Añejo Tequila: El Tesoro Paradiso Extra Añejo Tequila
Best Flavored Gin: Watershed Distillery Chamomile Flavored Guild Series Gin
Best Flavored Rum: Ableforth's XO 15 Year Old Rumbullion!
Best Flavored Whisk(e)y: Uncle Bob's Root Beer Whiskey
Best Genever: Old Duff Genever
Best Gin: Batch Industrial Strength Gin
Best in Show Aged White Spirit, Best Rum, Best Extra-Aged Rum – 5 Years and Older: Plantation Jamaica 2002 Vintage Rum
Best In Show Brandy, Best Cognac & Best Cognac Extra-Aged/Vintage: GAUTIER Cognac 1755 Extra
Best in Show Liqueur & Best Herbal/Botanicals Liqueur: Montenegro Amaro
Best In Show Unaged White Spirit, Best Tequila & Best Blanco Tequila: Cazcanes Blanco Tequila
Best in Show Whisky, Best Scotch, Best Single Malt Whisky, Best Independent Merchant Single Malt: The Scotch Malt Whisky Society Cask No. 29.224 Single Malt Scotch, We arrived!
Best Irish Whiskey & Best Pure Pot Still Irish Whiskey: Powers 12 Year Old John's Lane Irish Whiskey
Best Mezcal: Mezcal Nacional 1938
Best Other Single Malt Whisk(e)y: King Car Conductor Single Malt Whisky
Best Other Whisk(e)y: Jos. A. Magnus & Co. Murray Hill Club Blended Bourbon
Best Pisco: Pisco La Caravedo Puro Torontel Pisco
Best Reposado Tequila: Azuñia Organic Reposado Tequila
Best Rye Whisk(e)y: Knob Creek Cask Strength Rye Whiskey
Best Shochu: iichiko Special Shochu
Best Single Malt Irish Whiskey: The Tyrconnell 10 Year Old Madeira Cask Finish Single Malt Irish Whiskey
Best Small Batch Bourbon: Elijah Craig Small Batch Kentucky Straight Bourbon
Best Spanish Grape Brandy & Brandy de Jerez: Torres 20 Hors d'Age Superior Brandy
Best Special Barrel-Finished Bourbon: One Eight Distilling Untitled Whiskey No. 10
Best Straight Bourbon: Bulleit Barrel Strength Kentucky Straight Bourbon
Best Vodka: NEFT Vodka
Best White Rum: Tanduay Asian Rum Silver

Reflecting the latest industry trends, this year’s entry categories were expanded to include Single Grain Whisk[e]y, Other Single Malt Whisk[e]y, Irish Poitin, Genever, Old Tom Gin, Barrel-Aged Gin, Bitters and Non-Alcoholic Syrups. Full results for this year’s SFWSC Bronze, Silver, Gold and Double Gold medal winners available upon request.
About the San Francisco World Spirits Competition:

The San Francisco World Spirits Competition was founded in 2000.
The SFWSC is the world’s most respected and influential international spirits competition, and the largest event of its kind in the U.S.

More than 2,450 entries in 2018 were judged in more than 100 spirits categories.
Products are evaluated in a blind, consensual procedure ensuring the SFWSC maintains its reputation for the highest level of integrity.

The first ever “Cocktail of the Year” competition took place on Thursday, April 12. San Francisco’s H. Joseph Ehrmann won with his Pamplemousse au Poivre, featuring a base of Mezcal Banhez.
The 2018 Spirits Competition took place over three days, April 13-15.

Winning participants receive the awards of Double Gold, Gold, Silver, or Bronze, marking their product as one of the highest quality in the world.

In addition to bestowing medallions, the Competition provides a variety of post-event support programs to help winners turn awards into effective sales tools. The SFWSC sponsors nationwide tasting events throughout the year where trade professionals can sample the Competition’s top winners; Competition winners enjoy discounts on point-of-sale and other printed materials through SFWSC’s strategic partners; and winners are eligible to purchase medallion bottle stickers and to reproduce medallion imagery in their print and online promotions.

For more information, including a roster and bios of the Competition’s 2018 judges, please visit the SFWSC website:

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