Ultimate Spirits Challenge® names 2015 winners

Hawthorne, NY – Ultimate Spirits Challenge®, said to be the world’s platinum standard for spirits competitions, announces the winners and full results for the 2015 Challenge. Now in its sixth year, it celebrates 33 Chairman Trophy winners, the highest award, along with 162 Finalists and the Tried & True Awards and Great Values. The Challenge, which grew by 14% from 2014, was held in its specially designed evaluation center in Hawthorne, NY.

“For 2015 we have moved Ultimate Spirits Challenge into our new state-of-the-art evaluation center and also moved to a new rolling judging schedule,” says USC founder F. Paul Pacult. “We broke up the Challenges into smaller categories so we are able to give each grouping of spirits greater in-depth attention, with the inclusion of cocktail evaluations. All our judges agree that this hyper-focus allows USC to provide the most trusted and sought after testimonials that help companies build their brands.”

USC 2015 – CHAIRMAN’S TROPHY WINNER
Tried & True Award (T&TA): Spirit brands are eligible for the Tried & True Award if they have scored 85 points or above in at least two Ultimate Spirits Challenges since 2010.
Great Values (GV): is awarded to products with a favorable relationship between their price and final USC score. They are the finest spirits within their respective price points.

VODKA
Unflavored: Russian Standard Original (GV)
Flavored: Van Gogh Dutch Caramel (GV)

GIN
Cold River (GV, T&TA)

RUM
Opthimus Finished in Port Casks 25 Years Old

TEQUILA 100% AGAVE
Blanco: El Tesoro Platinum (T&TA)
Reposado: Blue Nectar (GV)
Añejo: Siete Leguas (GV, T&TA) HAWTHORNE, NY – The Ultimate Spirits Challenge® named the winners in the annual competition, now six years old.
USC 2015 – CHAIRMAN’S TROPHY WINNER
Tried & True Award (T&TA): Spirit brands are eligible for the Tried & True Award if they have scored 85 points or above in at least two Ultimate Spirits Challenges since 2010.
Great Values (GV): is awarded to products with a favorable relationship between their price and final USC score. They are the finest spirits within their respective price points.

VODKA
Unflavored: Russian Standard Original (GV)
Flavored: Van Gogh Dutch Caramel (GV)

GIN
Cold River (GV, T&TA)

RUM
Opthimus Finished in Port Casks 25 Years Old

TEQUILA 100% AGAVE
Blanco: El Tesoro Platinum (T&TA)
Reposado: Blue Nectar (GV)
Añejo: Siete Leguas (GV, T&TA)
Extra Añejo: Malinalli (T&TA)

MEZCAL
Amaras (GV)

WHISKEY – USA
American: Lone Elm Texas Wheat
Kentucky Straight Bourbon: Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve 20 Years Old (T&TA)
Rye: Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Straight 6 Years Old (T&TA)
Tennessee: George Dickel No. 12 (GV, T&TA)

WHISKEY – IRELAND
Blended: Jameson 18 Years Old (T&TA)
Irish Pot Still: Redbreast 15 Years Old (T&TA)
Single Malt: Bushmills 16 Years Old (T&TA)

WHISKY – SCOTLAND
Blended Malt: Sheep Dip (T&TA)
Blended: Dewar’s 18 Years Old (T&TA)
Single Malt: Aberlour A’bunadh Single Malt (GV, T&TA)

WHISKY – CANADA
Tap Rye Sherry Finished 8 Years Old (GV)

WHISKY – FRANCE
Armorik Single Malt Sherry Finish (T&TA)

WHISKY – WALES
Penderyn Single Malt (T&TA)

BRANDY
Armagnac: Chateau de Laubade Cask Strength 1989 25 Years Old Bas-Armagnac
Calvados: Boulard XO Auguste
Cognac: ABK6 XO Family Reserve (GV)
Grappa: Candolini Bianca (GV)
Pisco: Pisco Porton Mosto Verde Italia
Spanish Brandy: Cardenal Mendoza Solera Gran Reserva (T&TA)
Grape Brandy:Asbach Gothe Vintage Reserve 1952 Cask No. 1777

LIQUEUR
Grand Marnier Cuvee du Centenaire
LIQUEUR
Grand Marnier Cuvee du Centenaire

VERMOUTH
Noilly Prat Rouge (GV)

SHOCHU
iichiko BLŪ

BITTERS/AMARO
Foro Amaro (GV)

All products are rated on the 100-point scale by the spirits industry’s most renowned judges including award-winning authors, buyers, journalists, educators and bar owners. The judges for USC 2015: Founder/Judging Chairman F. Paul Pacult, James Conley, Tad Carducci, Dale DeGroff, Gregg Glaser, Geoffrey Kleinman, Douglass Miller, Dan Nicolaescu, Steve Olson, Will Shine, Francis Schott, Andy Seymour and Jennifer Simonetti-Bryan, MW.

All spirits rated 80 points and higher have a “FULL RESULTS” page which provides downloadable marketing materials and a bottle image for easy consumer identification. Spirits rated 85 points and higher also receive a “FULL RESULTS” page plus tasting notes, downloadable certificates and shelf-talkers. New for 2015 — cocktail evaluation for suitable spirits categories has been added and results will be released in April.

USC results are promoted globally via email and web publication to both trade buyers and consumers. In addition, high scoring products are featured in the Ultimate Beverage Challenge Guide published each year in the October issue of Beverage Media reaching more than 70,000 on- and off-premise spirits buyers.

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