Ultimate Spirits Challenge Announces 2019 Winners

By Neat Pour Staff |

Competition Season is nearing a peak which means that you’re going to see lots shelf tags boasting about ‘award winning’ soon. The latest a-list competition to announce their winner is the Ultimate Spirits Challenge (USC).

“This year’s USC was genuinely international, with a dazzling array of quality distillates from 46 countries. Virtually all categories saw substantial gains in entries, especially baijiu, shochu, mezcal, and brandies from around the world,” observed UBC Founder and Judging Director F. Paul Pacult.

USC, part of the Ultimate Beverage Challenge confederacy, was designed as a cocktail facing spirits judging. In fact, the process included tasting the spirits when mixed into drinks. 

The emphasis was also apparent in the bartender heavy judging panel which included Jacques Bezuidenhout, Tim Cooper, Tad Carducci, Dale DeGroff, Meaghan Dorman, Tyler Hudgens, Justin Lavenue, Don Lee, Clay Risen, Joaquin Simó, Charlotte Voisey, and Jillian Vose.

Sean Kenyon and Leo DeGroff prepping the tasting (Courtesy USC)

The spirits were scored on a 100 point scale to winnow down finalists and then winners in each category. Check out the list below.


Lucano Anniversario



Select Aperitivo



TTL Yushan Chiew XO Kaoliang



American: Argonaut Fat Thumb

Armagnac: Marie Duffau Hors d’Age Bas Armagnac

Calvados: Christian Drouin Pays d’Auge 1999

Cognac: Courvoisier Initiale Extra

European Brandy: Asbach 15 Years Old

Pisco: Demonio de los Andes Acholado



American: Junipero

London Dry: Fords

Matured: Tommyrotter Cask Strength Bourbon-Barrel

Navy Strength: Scapegrace Gold

World: Citadelle



Berry/Fruit: Merlet Soeurs Cerises

Citrus/Triple Sec: Grand Marnier Cuvée Louis Alexandre

Cream/Dairy: Carolans Salted Caramel Irish Cream

Herbal/Mint/Spice/Botanical: Becherovka


Real Minero Barril


Aged: Appleton Estate 21 Years Old

Dark/Gold: Banks 7 Golden Age

White Rum: Banks 5 Island



iichiko Reserve Zenwa 2019 Edition



Blanco: Cabeza

Reposado: Partida

Añejo: Azunia

Extra Añejo: El Tesoro



Flavored: Van Gogh Double Expresso

Unflavored: Boyd & Blair Potato

Tad Carducci soaks in the bouquet (Courtesy USC)



Crown Royal XR


Blended: Jameson Bow Street Cask Strength 18 Years Old Batch 1

Single Pot Still: Red Spot

Single Malt: Knappogue Castle 14 Years Old



Kamiki Intense Wood



Blended: Buchanan’s Special Reserve 18 Years Old

Single Malt-Highland: Glenglassaugh 30 Years Old

Single Malt-Island: Highland Park Viking Pride 18 Years Old

Single Malt-Islay: Bowmore 25 Years Old

Single Malt-Speyside: BenRiach Authenticus 30 Years Old



American/Other: Stolen 11 Years Old

Bourbon: George T Stagg

Rye: Peerless 3-Year-Old

Single Malt: Peat Week 5th Annual

Tennessee: Uncle Nearest 1820 Nearest Green Single Barrel Edition US-1


Kavalan Solist ex-Bourbon Single Cask Strength

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