April 30th, 2014 by Dipsomaniac

Fifth Annual Ultimate Spirits Challenge Results Are In!


We taste a lot of spirits here at Drink Music City headquarters, but we hardly ever spit. So after about 5-6 samples, we tend to like everything! At the Ultimate Spirits Challenge, they take their jobs a little more seriously than we do. Founded by master liquor taster, F. Paul Pacult, the panel samples and scores hundreds of spirits over the course of a few days, and there is no chance that they swallow all of that.

All products entered are rated on the 100-point scale by the judges that include award-winning authors, spirits buyers, journalists, educators, bar owners and consultants. This year’s judges were: Judging Chairman F. Paul Pacult, Judging Co-Chairman Sean Ludford, Jacques Bezuidenhout, Tad Carducci, James Conley, Dale DeGroff, Jim Meehan, Dan Nicolaescu, Steve Olson, Andy Seymour, Jennifer Simonetti-Bryan, MW and David Wondrich.

“Interest in Ultimate Spirits Challenge has never been greater,” says Pacult. “Companies enter because they want brands to be evaluated against their peers by the world’s best judges. USC provides the most trusted, sought after testimonials that help distillers and importers build their brands.”

This year, the panel awarded 37 Chairman Trophy winners, the highest award, along with 218 Finalists, 171 “Tried & True” Awards and 89 Great Values. For the second consecutive year, a perfect 100 point score was given by multiple panels to a whiskey. This year’s 100-point recipient is Redbreast 21 Years Old Pure Pot Still Irish Whiskey.

The “Tried and True” Award goes to brands that can be relied on to provide unfailing quality and superb taste to consumers year after year. To be eligible, brands that entered USC 2014 must have scored 85 points or higher in this year’s Challenge as well as in at least two previous Challenges.

Here is just a sampling of the highest-scoring winners to add to your shopping list for your next trip to the liquor store:

Luxardo Aperitivo

Unflavored: Absolut
Flavored: Belvedere Lemon Tea

Linie Aquavit (Tried & True Award)

Tanqueray No.Ten (Tried & True Award)

Rum: Don Q Gran Añejo (Tried & True Award)
Rhum Agricole: Clement Canne Bleue
Flavored Rum: Selvarey Cacao Flavored
Spiced Rum: Lemon Hart Navy Spiced

Sagatiba Velha

Blanco: Siete Leguas (Tried & True Award)
Reposado: Blue Nectar
Añejo: Siete Leguas (Tried & True Award)
Extra Añejo: Herradura Seleccion Suprema (Tried & True Award)

Del Maguey Iberico

American: Wild Turkey Forgiven
Kentucky Straight Bourbon: George T. Stagg
Rye: Bulleit 95 Small Batch

Blended: Tullamore D.E.W. Special Reserve 12 Years Old (Tried & True Award)
Irish Pot Still: Redbreast 21 Years Old
Single Malt: Bushmills 16 Years Old (Tried & True Award)

Blended Malt: Big Peat
Blended: Ballantine’s 17 Years Old
Single Malt: Glenmorangie Quarter Century 25 Years Old

Armagnac: Chateau de Laubade 1959 Bas-Armagnac
Calvados: Pere Magloire 20 Years Old
Cognac: Delamain Pale & Dry
Grappa: Bocchino Riserva Carlo Bocchino
Pisco: KAPPA (Tried & True Award)
Spanish Brandy: Cardenal Mendoza Carta Real Brandy de Jerez
American Brandy: Osocalis Heritage
Pineau des Charentes: Jean Fillioux Vieux

Cointreau (Tried & True Award)

Maurin Dry

For a complete list of results visit



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