Introducing the medal winners from the debut of the New York International Spirits Competition

The debut of the New York International Spirits Competition saw 187 submissions from 28 countries in 47 categories in its inaugural competition. Yet only 95 were deemed medal worthy.

Medals were bestowed at Brandy Library, the site of the competition which put all 187 spirits in front of a panel of industry judges that included buyers from the top retail stores, restaurant and bar owners, distributors and importers, all of whom donated their time and palates without hesitation or compensation.

With much deliberation, but without hesitation, these unbiased judges awarded 1 Double Gold, 13 Golds, 36 Silver and 45 Bronze Medals as well as recognizing two companies for their contributions to the industry and named them Distillery of The Year and Importer of The Year.

In this competition which doesn’t invite members of the media to judge as many other competitions do, the competition asks judges to evaluate spirits within their categories at pricing parity. So, for instance, a whiskey that retails for $50 will be judged with other whiskeys in that price range and not be put up against whiskies that go for $100.

According to competition founder Adam Levy, “While keeping to the philosophy that ‘like should be compared with like’ when it comes to pricing, the competition also strives to only award the crème de la crème in a category, instead of handing out medals to every entrant. Only the truly stand-out brands end up in the winner’s circle and then, accordingly, find themselves placed up on wine and liquor store shelves and on the city’s best back bars. In addition to considering similarly priced bottles against similarly priced bottles, each spirit was sampled for appearance, aroma, taste, mouth feel, and finish. Each panel conferred on their choices to come to a unanimous decision.”

Spirits landing on these shelves are carrying awards designated as either: Double Gold, Gold, Silver, or Bronze though not every bottle entered received a medal, as is common practice with many other competitions. A Bronze medal indicates it is something a judge would consider carrying; Silver medals designate the spirit that judges really liked; Gold medals are affixed to brands that the judging panel believed was worth promoting to their customers; Gold award winners were re-tasted by all panelists to establish which brands may be eligible to receive a ‘Double Gold’ endorsement in its pricing.

Preiss Imports

Delaware Phoenix Distillery



Blended Irish Whiskey Less Than $40
Slane Castle-Bronze

Blended Scotch Whiskey 10 Year And Younger & Less Than $40
Fort Glenn-Bronze

Blended Scotch Whiskey 11-20 Years Less Than $40
Dewars 12 Year-Bronze

Blended Scotch Whiskey 11-20 Years $40-70
Dewars 18 Year-Silver
Black Bull 12 Year-Bronze

Distillers Single Malt 10 Years And Younger & Less Than $40
Laphroaig 10 Year-Gold
Springbank CV- Gold

Distillers Single Malt 11-20 Years & $40-70
Balvenie Carribean Cask-Gold
Glenlivet Nadurra Cask-Gold
Glendronach 14Yr Virgin Oak Finish-Gold
Benriach 12 Year-Silver
Kilkerran- Silver
Laphroaig Quarter Cask-Silver
Glendronach 12 Year-Bronze

Distillers Single Malt 11-20 Year & $71-100
Benriach 15 Yr Cask 7165-Gold
Laphroaig 18 YR- Silver

Distillers Single Malt 11-20 Year & $101+
Balvenie Peated Cask- Silver
GlenDronach 15 Year 1995 Cask 2045-Bronze

Single Malt Irish Whiskey 10 Year & Younger $40-70
Steve Foy-Bronze

Small Batch Bourbons 10Yr and Younger & $40 Less
Woodford Reserve- Silver
Basil Hayden- Bronze

Straight Bourbon 10 Year and Younger & $40 Less
Old Forrester- Bronze

Aged Craft Distillery Less Than 2 Year & $40 Less
Catoctin Roundstone Rye- Silver
Rogue Dead Guy Whiskey- Silver
Balcones Blue- Bronze
Balcones Rumble- Bronze
Rogue Oregon Single Malt-Bronze

Aged Craft Distillery Less Than 2 Year & $41-70
Balcones True Blue- Bronze

Unaged Craft Distillery Less Than $40
Catoctin Organic Mosby Spirit-Silver

Unaged Craft Distillery $41-70
Rye Dog-Gold


Unflavored Vodka Less Than $25
Finlandia Vodka- Silver
Hudson Feruss- Bronze

Unflavored Vodka $26-40
Bootlegger 21 New York Vodka- Gold
Comb Vodka- Silver
Silver “Chinggis” Mongolian Vodka- Silver
Moses Vodka- Silver
Twenty 2 Vodka- Bronze
666 Voka- Bronze
Bee Vodka- Bronze
Peabody Jones Vodka- Bronze

Unflavored Vodka $41+
42 Below Vodka- Bronze

Flavored Vodka Less Than $25
Finlandia Grapefruit- Silver
Stolichynaya Blueberry- Silver
360 Vodka Cola Double Chocolate- Silver
Stolichynaya Blakberi-Bronze
Stolichynaya Gala Apple- Bronze
Stolichynaya Razberry- Bronze
360 Vodka- Vanilla

Flavored Vodka $26-40
Hangar One Pear- Gold
Hangar One Mandarin- Silver
Hangar One Rasberry- Bronze


Gin $26-40
Cardinal Gin- Silver
Comb Gin- Bronze
Wild Kis Gin- Bronze

Gin $41+
Oxley Gin- Gold

Gin Craft Flavored Gin $26-40
Rogue Pink Gin- Bronze


Rum White $25 Less
Santa Teresa Claro- Silver
Siesta Key- Silver

Rum Dark $25 Less
Bacardi Select- Silver
Bacardi 8- Bronze

Rum Dark $26-40
Rum Dictator 12 YR- Bronze

Rum Dar 41+
Rum Dictator 20yr- Silver

Rum Gold $25 Less
Cruzan 9- Silver
Santa Teresa Gran Reserva- Bronze

Rum Gold $26-40
Santa Teresa 1796- Silver

Rum Spiced $25 Less
Sailor Jerry- Bronze
Rum Liqueur $25 Less
Isla-N- Bronze


Cognac XO $151+
‘Cognac Hors D’age Bache-Gabrielsen- Bronze

Eau-de-Vie $30 Less
Williams Crist- Silver

French Grape Brandy $30 Less
Marquis de Villard- Bronze

Pisco $30 Less
Don Alvaro- Gold

Other Brandies $30 Less
Staldjanska Muscat Matured Rakia- Bronze


Absinthe $41+
Walton Waters- Gold

Coffee Liqueurs $25 Less
Fair Trade Coffee Liqueur-Silver

Cream/Dairy Liqueurs $25 Less
Amarula – Bronze
Molly’s Irish Cream- Bronze

Fruit Liqueurs $25 Less
Pama- Bronze

Fruit Liqueurs $26-40
Crème Yvette- Silver
Ventura Limoncello- Silver

Herbal/Botanicals $25 Less
Sugar Maple Liqueur-Bronze

Herbal/Botanicals $26-40
St. Germain- Silver

Unlisted Spirit $26-40
Jaan Liqueur- Silver


Blanco $30 Less
Ambhar Plata- Silver
Corzo- Bronze

Blanco $31-50
Herradura- Bronze

Reposado $30 Less
El Ultimo- Silver

Reposado $31-50
El Jinador- Silver
Ambhar- Bronze

Reposado $51+
Milagro Select- Gold

Anejo $30 Less
Sauza- Bronze

Anejo $31-50
El Ultimo- Gold
Milagro- Silver

Anejo $51+
Milagro Select-Silver

Judging Panel:
Bek Allen Partner -Hush Cocktails
Miguel Aranda Mixologist – Apotheke
Flavian Desoblin Owner – Brandy Library
Ray Deter Owner – d.b.a
Eben Freeman Beverage Director – Altamarea Group
Courtenay Greenleaf Tequila Librarian of La Biblioteca – Richard Sandoval Restaurants
Chris Hiatt Slope Cellars of Brooklyn
Katherine Ramos Drink Up NY
Raphael Reyes Mixologist – 1534
David Roth Beverage Director- Feng Asian Bistro
Erin-Elizabeth Williams Partner – Hush Cocktails