Tastes vary from palate to palate, but that has never stopped us from trying to crown one expression as the best in its category. Much debate generally ensues. Fortunately, the good folks over at the New York World Wine & Spirits Competition (NYWSC) just sacrificed their livers for the greater good of crowning the best spirits and wines.
A team of nine judges blind tasted some 395 entries across 60 categories to mine out the gems.
“Today, we are seeing a real ‘hero’s welcome’ for the tried and true producers who have been honing their craft for generations beside a wave of under-celebrated spirits making traditions being pulled into vogue for the first time in the U.S. It is a privilege to get to taste and review these efforts side by side,” said spirits judge Leslie Merinoff in a statement. “I suspect there has never been such an exciting time to be in this industry or judging such a competition.”
The event marks the first time that NYWSC fell under the umbrella of The Tasting Alliance. The new group was formed when Anthony Dias Blue’s respected San Francisco World Spirits Competition (SFWSC) and San Francisco International Wine Competition (SFIWC) acquired full ownership of the NYWSC.
The three events are still staged annually, but the partnership allows for standardization of judging methods as well as increased opportunities for cross-pollination on the PR end of things.
The list of top winners follows:
Best in Show Whisky and Best Single Malt Scotch : Laphroaig, Lore Single Malt Scotch
Best in Show Aged White and Best Rum : Parce, 12-Year-Old Rum
Best in Show Brandy and Best Cognac : Richard Delisle Club Cigare XO Grande Champagne Cognac
Best in Show Un-Aged White and Best Mezcal : Noble Coyote, Mezcal Capon
Best Blended Scotch : Dewar’s, The Signature 25-Year-Old Scotch
Best Bourbon and Best Small Batch Bourbon: Pappy Van Winkle, Family Reserve 20-Year-Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon
Best Canadian Whisky : Pike Creek, Canadian
Best Flavored Whiskey : Skrewball, Peanut Butter Whiskey
Best Other Single Malt Whisky : Teerenpeli, Kasaki Single Malt Whisky
Best Rye Whiskey: Old Pepper, Finest Kentucky Oak Straight Rye Whiskey
Best Single Barrel Bourbon : Blanton’s Straight from the Barrel Bourbon
Best Straight Bourbon : W.L. Weller 12-Year-Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon
Best Gin : The Revivalist Botanical Gins, Equinox Expression
Best Vodka : Monkey In Paradise
Best in Show Sparkling: Domaine Carneros 2014, Carneros
Best Pinot Noir: Invivo Wines 2016, Central Otago
Best in Show Red and Best Italian Blend: Fattoria La Vialla 2015, Toscana IGT
Best Cabernet Sauvignon: Rodney Strong Vineyards2016, Sonoma County
Best Chardonnay: Westwood Estate Wine 2016, Sonoma Coast
Best Syrah: Westwood Estate Wine 2016, Sonoma Valley
Best in Show White: Maggie Malick Wine Caves 2017, Loudoun County
Best Spanish/Portuguese/Argentine White Varietal: Maggie Malick Wine Caves 2017, Loudoun County
Best Late Harvest: Cellardoor Winery 2017, Maine
Best Petite Sirah: J. Lohr 2015, Paso Robles
Best Merlot: Columbia 2016, Columbia Valley
Best Dessert Wine and Best Port: Mazuran’s NV