American Distilling Institute 2010 Conference Update – American Whiskey News

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American Distilling Institute

313 People Attend 2010  Conference at Huber’s  Starlight Distillery

Two teams of five judges evaluated 65 whiskeys in a blind tasting

… and the Winners are:

Single Malt or Malt Category:

    1. Chatoe Rogue Single Malt Oregon Whiskey
    2. Prichard’s Distillery Single Malt Whiskey
    3. New Holland Artisan Spirits Zeppelin Blend

Bourbon Category:

    1. Great Lakes Distillery Test Batch
    2. Tuthilltown Spirits Four Grain Bourbon whiskey
    3. Woodstone Creek Straight Bourbon whisky

Rye Category:

    1. High West Rendezvous Whiskey
    2. Tuthilltown Spirits’ Hudson Manhattan Rye Whiskey
    Tie for 3rd place:
    3. Finger Lakes Distilling McKenzie Rye
    3. Corsair Artisan Distillers 100% Rye

Wheat Category:

    1. Dry Fly Washington Wheat
    2. New Holland Artisan Spirits Brewers Straight Wheat Whiskey

Corn Whiskey Category:

    1. Balcones Distillery Baby Blue
    2. Copper Run Distillery Ozark Mountain Moonshine
    3. Colorado Gold Distillery Colorados’ Own Corn Whiskey

Un-aged Whiskey:

    Tie for first place:
    1. Koval Organic Rye Chicago Whiskey
    1. High West Silver Whiskey Western Oat
    2. Corsair Artisan Distillers Wry Moon
    3. Catoctin Creek Mosby’s Spirit

Whiskey Idiosyncratic:

    1. Ballast Point Spirits Devils Share Whiskey
    2. Prichards’ Distillery Tennessee Whiskey
    3. Corsair Artisan Distillers Rasputin Hopped

Moonshine:

    1. West Virginia Distilling Company Mountain Moonshine Old Oak Recipe
    2. Copper Run Ozark Mountain Moonshine
    3. West Virginia Distilling Company Mountain Moonshine

Cask Strength:

    1. Corsair Artisan Distillers Wormwood Wit Barrel Strength
    2. Roughstock Black Label Montana Whiskey
    3. Corsair Artisan Distillers Triple Smoke

Flavored Whiskeys and Whiskey-based Liqueurs:

    1. Prichards’ Distillery Sweet Lucy
    2. Square One Vermont Night
    3. New Holland Artisan Spirits Hatter Royale Hopquila

Blended Whiskey:

    High West Distillery Bourye

Best of Craft American Whiskey:

    High West Distillery Bourye

Packaging Award:

    Tuthilltown Spirits Manhattan Rye Whiskey

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After the judging had been completed …

After the judging had been completed, and the judges were able to view the entries, Chuck Cowdery noted a serious problem: High West, the Best of Show winner, had not personally distilled their whiskey. Several whiskies that were submitted were actually blends of whiskies purchased from outside producers. A discussion immediately ensued as to how to resolve this problem.
 
The choices were two-fold: (a) disqualify all of the those entries, or (b) allow them on a one-time basis. Alan Dikty spoke up and observed that no prohibition had been placed on such whiskies in the entry forms, that the entries had been made in good faith, and that the judges had made their decisions in good faith and to the best of their abilities.
 
It was therefore unanimously decided to allow the awards to High West to stand but to make it clear in all ensuing competitions the rules would have to be changed.
 
Subsequently, Jay Erisman noted that, among very high-end and respected wine merchants, a special class of producer is allowed, the négociant[1]. It was therefore decided that a special category for négociant whiskies would be created to accommodate these specialty whiskey producers.
 
Quite simply, the winners did nothing wrong, and they qualify under the published definition of craft producers, less than 40,000 proof gallons a year. Producers and judges alike played by the rules. To re-write the rules on the spot after the fact would be unfair. Blending is also an art in and of itself and should not be discounted.
 
When contacted, High West Distilleries also agreed that the rules changes would create a necessary distinction.
 
ADI will find a way to separate, recognize and reward DSPs who produce their products from grain to bottle without discounting craft producers who finish products. Future judging rules will be changed to reflect varying levels of hands-on production by the DSP.

[1] A négociant is the French term for a wine merchant who assembles the produce of smaller growers and winemakers and sells the result under its own name.

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