The Tasting Alliance has just announced the results of The New York World Spirits Competition (NYWSC) 2022 judging. A total of eight spirits won Best of Class Awards. The winners were an eclectic mix that ranged from well-known industry stalwarts to a surprising number of craft distillers, several from outside the US.
The NYWSC is part of the family of wine and spirit competitions sponsored by the Tasting Alliance. It includes the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, the San Francisco International Wine Competition, the New York World Wine Competition, and the Singapore World Spirits Competition. The NYWSC is an annual spirit judging held in New York in late summer.
The top prize for The Best in Show Aged White Spirit was Caribu, Selection Solera Rum. This is a Venezuelan, molasses-based rum that is column distilled and aged in red wine barrels of French and American oak. The rum also took the award for Best of Class Dark/Gold Rum as well as the Best Overall Rum.
The official tasting notes described the rum as being:
Creamy on the nose, with distinctive vanilla, caramel, and brown sugar notes. Smooth and creamy, slightly drying, with noticeable vanilla/crème brûlée and molasses notes on the palate. Long, sweet vanilla notes on the finish, with a bit of lingering pepperiness
The Best of Class White Rum was Mission Spirits, American White Rum. Produced in New Jersey and bottled at 45% ABV, the Judging Panel described the rum as showing:
Herbal and slightly vegetative on the nose, with a hint of brown sugar. Smooth and creamy on the palate, with a distinctive mouth weight and more pronounced molasses. Long, sweet, lingering molasses notes on the finish.
The Best of Class Flavored Vodka and the Best Overall Vodka was Crop Cucumber Vodka. This Minnesota-produced vodka is bottled at 35% ABV. The Judging Panel, not surprisingly, described it as showing:
Pronounced cucumber aroma on the nose and palate, accompanied by a hint of sweetness. Long, lingering finish, with distinctive cucumber notes. Perfect for a Bloody Mary or a Dirty Martini.
The Best of Class Vodka was Blackleaf Organic Vodka. This is a wheat-based vodka produced in the Cognac region of France. The official tasting notes described it as
Very clean on the nose, with a hint of citric notes. Smooth and creamy on the palate. Relatively neutral flavor, with just a hint of pepperiness. Long, clean finish, with slight, lingering citrus notes.
Wheat-based vodkas are typically light, crisp, and slightly sweet with subtle citric notes. They are usually the best choice for vodkas that exhibit neutral flavors. On the other hand, Rye-based vodkas tend to have more pronounced spice notes, while corn-based vodkas typically show a more noticeable sweetness and often have a creamy, buttery quality.
The Best of Class Gin and Best Overall Gin was Archie Rose Distilling Company, Bone Dry Gin. Bottled at 44% ABV, this is an Australian gin from Sydney. Archie Rose also won a Double Gold medal for its Distiller’s Strength Gin, 52.4% ABV.
Both gins use 16 different botanicals, including some uniquely Australian. Each botanical is individually distilled in a copper pot vacuum still. The individually infused spirits are then blended to create the gin expression.
The Judging Panel described the Bone Dry Gin as showing:
Slight juniper notes on the nose, with a hint of wet stone minerality. A touch of sweetness on the palate. Smooth and creamy, with a distinctive herbal note, along with juniper and lemon-lime flavors. Slightly peppery, with a long, lingering finish.
Other top gins included Beachtree Distilling Company, Organic Native Skippy Gin, another Australian gin, Mcqueen and the Violet Fog, a Gin from Brazil, and Isle of Harris Gin from Scotland. Batch Zero, Monterey Pine Gin from California, was the top US gin.
The Best of Class Barrel Aged Gin was The Family Jones, Earl Grey Juniper Jones Gin from Colorado. The Judging Panel described it as having:
Juniper on the nose, with a touch of wood. Sweet on the palate, with a distinctive tea flavor. Long, sweet finish, with a lingering tea note.
The Best of Class Cognac and Best in Show Brandy was Kelt Cognac, XO Cognac. The official tasting notes described the Cognac as showing:
Dried fruit and caramel on the nose. Very smooth, though slightly drying, peppery, with dried fruit notes on the palate. Long, sweet, caramel, and dried fruit finish.
Also winning a Double Gold was Camus Cognac, Intensely Aromatic XO. As the name suggests, it is a highly floral and aromatic Cognac. The Judging Panel described it as being:
Extraordinarily floral and aromatic, wax, leather, and some distinctive tea notes on the nose. Sweet on the palate, fruity and smooth. Long, sweet, dried fruit finish, with a lingering tea note.
The Best of Class Other Brandy was BHAKTA, 27-07. The brandy is an unusual blend of Armagnac and Calvados, the apple brandy from Normandy. The official tasting notes described it as showing:
Pronounced apple notes on the nose. Smooth, fresh apple notes on the palate, accompanied by a hint of bitterness. Long, slightly sweet finish, with pronounced apple notes and a touch of cinnamon spice.
For a complete list of all the 2022 spirit medalists, visit the Tasting Alliance website.