New Orleans Spirits Competition Accepts Submissions for 2023 Awards and Announces New Categories and Judges

Posted on: Apr. 06, 2023 | | By: TOTC Staff

Registration is now open for NOSC’s 2023 Awards, which will be presented at Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans July 23-28, 2023

NEW ORLEANS, LA (April 6, 2023): The second annual New Orleans Spirits Competition (NOSC) presented by Tales of the Cocktail Foundation (TOTCF) is now accepting submissions for the 2023 awards program, which will be celebrated at Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans this July 23-28. Open now through April 21 for international entries and May 5 for domestic entries, distilled spirits producers are invited to submit their spirits – with classes ranging from brandy to baijiu to whisky, non-alcoholic distillations, agave spirits, and more – for consideration in the competition’s illustrious awards categories. 

Founded in 2022, the New Orleans Spirits Competition is an international spirits competition bringing wider recognition to fine spirits from top-flight producers across the globe. Held during TOTC’s 21-year anniversary conference, the competition is open to all classes of spirits, domestic and international, and will be judged by a panel of esteemed industry experts and luminaries. More information on eligibility, awards categories, submission guidelines, and the official registration application may be found on NOSC’s website:

NOSC 2023: New Categories and Judging Updates

This year, NOSC is pleased to introduce two new awards categories, including Distillery of the Year and a new spirits class, Ready-to-Drink (RTD) cocktails. Brands that enter four SKUs or more are eligible for the Distillery of the Year award, with the average score of all brands entered determining the winner. RTD cocktails will be judged according to NOSC’s spirits evaluation criteria, which includes appearance, aromas, flavor, mouthfeel, and finish. 

A preliminary round of judging will be held before Tales of the Cocktail when spirits professionals, including award-winning bartenders and distillers, esteemed beverage writers, industry veterans and more, will be seated in panels of four to make an initial assessment. Flights of similar spirits will be served blindly to each panel to evaluate. The panel will make tasting notes and discuss scores to arrive at a consensus, awarding medals to winning entrants, which will be announced in an official ceremony at TOTC.

The top-scoring spirits in each class will advance to a championship round. This first-of-its-kind public judging will be a blind tasting at Tales of the Cocktail with an audience of industry professionals participating in an educational tasting along with the judges. The judges will openly debate the spirits and determine winners to be designated Spirit of the Year for each class of distilled spirits. 

Winners and medalists will be announced at TOTC’s Meet the Distillers tasting event on Friday, July 28, where they will have the opportunity to sample their products for bartenders, spirits buyers, and journalists in attendance.

New Orleans Spirits Competition Judges 2023

NOSC is pleased to begin unveiling its esteemed panel of 2023 judges, with many more judges to be announced. Headlining this year’s panel is a variety of industry experts from a wide range of backgrounds and diverse experience portfolios. An initial list of 2023 NOSC judges includes: 

  • Andrew Friedman, Owner, Industry Spirits | Seattle, WA
  • Ashley Barnes, Master Blender | Harrodsburg, KY
  • Benjamin Padrón Novoa, Co-founder, Licorería Limantour | Mexico City, MX
  • Geoffrey Wilson, Leadership Team, Turning Tables | New Orleans, LA
  • H. Joseph Ehrmann, Proprietor, Elixir | Boise, ID
  • Jason Heiligenberg, Winemaker & Distiller, Huber Winery & Starlight Distillery | Floyds Knobs, IN
  • Karen Hoskin, Distillery Owner & Founder, Montanya Distillers | Crested Butte, CA
  • Matthew Rowley, Writer | San Diego, CA
  • Molly Wellmann, Owner, Molly Wellmann LLC | Cincinnati, OH
  • ms. franky Marshall, Educator & Consultant, Modern Bartender | New York, NY
  • Neal Bodenheimer, Managing Partner, CureCo. | New Orleans, LA
  • Paul Clarke, Editor in Chief, Imbibe | Seattle, WA
  • Peggy Noe Stevens, Founder & President, PNSA | Louisville, KY
  • Scott Blackwell, Co-Owner, High Wire Distilling | Charleston, SC
  • Tiffanie Barriere, Educator, Bartender & Consultant | Atlanta, GA

Please stay tuned as NOSC announces its full suite of 2023 judges. 

For more information about the New Orleans Spirits Competition, please visit the website, and follow along on social media: @nolaspiritscomp, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn or email [email protected].  



Founded in 2022 by Managing Partner Andrew Faulkner, Head Judge Wayne Curtis, and Director of Operations Matthew Sharpe, the New Orleans Spirits Competition is an international spirits competition bringing wider recognition to fine spirits from top-flight producers across the globe. NOSC was created because New Orleans, a world-class beverage and culinary destination, deserves a world-class spirits competition. The three-day event takes place in partnership with Tales of The Cocktail, with nearly three dozen prominent members of the spirits community serving as judges, determining a suite of awards categories based on a strict set of judging criteria. All spirits are delivered blind to tasting panels, ensuring integrity and honesty. 

For more information on New Orleans Spirits Competition please visit New Orleans Spirits Competition website, email [email protected], and follow along on social media: @nolaspiritscomp, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn


Tales of the Cocktail Foundation is a non-profit organization that aims to advance the global hospitality industry and create a lasting impact in our host communities. Tales of the Cocktail Foundation is the global leader in spirits education and a platform to tackle issues facing the industry. The pillars of the Foundation are to Educate, Advance, and Support the hospitality industry through programs that benefit individuals and organizations in the community and to make a lasting impact in the communities that host our events. 

For more information on Tales of the Cocktail please visit the Tales of the Cocktail Foundation website, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook

Media Inquiries:

Foxglove Communications 

Sydnie Edelman, [email protected], 973.865.0794

Hunter Smith, [email protected], 803.397.8878

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