The New Orleans Spirits Competition (NOSC) “Spirits of the Year” winners announced at Tales of the Cocktail

Posted on: Jul. 29, 2022 | | By: Gia Vecchio

NEW ORLEANS, LA (July 29, 2022): The New Orleans Spirits Competition (NOSC) presented by Tales of the Cocktail Foundation (TOTCF) is pleased to announce the “Spirits of the Year” winners. 

The New Orleans Spirits Competition (NOSC) is an international spirits competition bringing wider recognition to fine spirits among top-flight bartenders worldwide, NOSC was founded in 2022, to recognize and celebrate the most distinguished spirits being produced around the world today. Held this year during Tales of the Cocktail’s 20-year anniversary, the inaugural competition was open to all classes of spirits, domestic and international — whiskey, gin, brandy, baijiu, vodka, rum, agave spirits, liqueurs – as well as the emerging class of non-alcoholic spirits. More than 500 entrants sent samples for evaluation.

The New Orleans Spirits Competition’s Top Awards Ceremony was held today at Meet the Distillers at the Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans. A culmination of the three-day judging process selected by this year’s judges, the Top Awards Ceremony included announcing the “Best of Class” for Whiskey, Rum, Gin, Vodka, Brandy, and many others; recognizing the best spirits on the shelves today. 

In celebrating the Spirits of the Year, the NOSC is pleased to announce the winners of the best in each class:

2022 NOSC Spirits of the Year Winners

Whiskey of the Year: Teeling Blackpitts Peated Single Malt Irish Whiskey, Teeling Whiskey

Rum & Cane Spirit of the Year: Plantation Under the Sea Fiji 2009, Maison Ferrand

Liqueur/Aromatized Spirit of the Year: Amaricano Bianca, Fast Penny Spirits

Gin of the Year: Bimini Coconut Gin, Round Turn Distilling

Agave Spirits of the Year: Raicilla Malpaso, Raicilla Malpaso

Specialty Spirit of the Year: Batch 22 Classic Gold: New American Aquavit, Downtime Cocktails

Vodka of the Year: Mendel, 3BR Distillery

Brandy of the Year: Ferrand S.D.A. Selection Des Anges, Maison Ferrand

Non-alcoholic Spirit of the Year: Novara Bitter Aperitivo, Bark and Bitter

Also below is the list of the “Best of Category” winners, which were announced yesterday. These recognize the top spirit entered in each category, such as Best New American Gin, Best American Single Malt, and Best Overproof Rum. Many of these spirits, plus other top medalists, were among the finalists in determining the “Best of Class” awards.   

2022 NOSC “Spirits of the Year” Winners

Winners for the “Spirits of the Year” can be viewed on

2022 NOSC “Best of Category” Winners

Winners for the “Best of Category” can be viewed on

2022 NOSC Packaging Award Winners

Packaging Excellence Awards for the New Orleans Spirits Competition can be viewed on

2022 NOSC Final Medalists

Medalists for the New Orleans Spirits Competition can be viewed on

About The Judging Process

Judges were seated in four-person panels and served flights of spirits without identifying information other than the class of spirit and proof. Spirits were then rated individually by each judge, with a top score of 100. Scores from each panel were then averaged, and judges conferred. Spirits earning an average of 90 to 94 were awarded a gold medal; those that rated 95 or above earned double gold. After the medals were decided, the top finishers across each class were ranked relative to one another, with judges marking their top three in order. These votes determine the best-of-class awards listed above. 

The winners were selected following a three-day judging session held at The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans prior to the start of Tales of the Cocktail 2022. See the below list for a full roster of 2022 judges. 

New Orleans Spirits Competition Judges 2022

Dale DeGroff, Author, Educator, Consultant, NYC 

Tiffanie Barriere, Consultant and Spirits Educator DC

David Wondrich, Author and Spirits History Authority, NYC

ms franky marshall, Modern Bartender, Spirits Educator, NYC

Chris Hannah, James Beard Award-Winning Bar Owner, LA

Lynnette Marrero, Co-founder, Speed Rack, NYC

Jeff Berry, Author & Owner of Latitude 29, LA

Matt Hofmann,  Co-founder and Managing Partner, Westland Distilling, WA

Lauren Mote, Global Manager of Program Excellence, Patron Tequila, Amsterdam

Kellie Thorne, Spirits and Cocktail Educator & Consultant, GA

Karen Hoskin, Owner/Distiller, Montanya Rum, CO

Peggy Noe Stevens, Whiskey Authority and Educator, KY

Paul Clarke, Executive Editor, Imbibe Magazine, WA

Scott Blackwell, High Wire Distilling, SC

Touré Foulkes, Founder, Turning Tables, LA

Keli Rivers, Senior Ambassador, Sipsmith Gin

Geoffrey Wilson, Bartender, LA

Alex Day, Co-founder, Death and Co., ME

Richard Wolf, Spirits Consultant

H. Joseph Ehrmann, Elixir Bar & Consultant, CA

Andrew Friedman, Spirits Entrepreneur WA

Lauren Patz, Distiller, Redwood Empire, CA

Elana Effrat, Director of Marketing, One-Eight Distillery

Rhiannon Enlil, Bartender, LA

Brett Pontoni, Spirits Buyer, Benny’s, IL

Christian Huber, Distiller, Huber Starlight, IN

Michael Vachon, Spirits Importer/Exporter, London

Matt Rowley, Spirits Author, CA

Monique Houston, Distributor/Buyer Winebow, IL

Virginia Miller, Spirits Writer, CA

Laura Cullen, Spirits Consultant, FL

Henry Preiss, President, Preiss Imports, 

Ashley Barnes, Co-founder and Master Blender, Spirits Group, KY



The New Orleans Spirits Competition was founded in 2022 because a world-class culinary destination deserves a world-class spirits competition. The three-day event takes place in New Orleans, with nearly three dozen prominent members of the spirits community serving as judges – bartenders, distillers, liquor wholesalers, and spirits writers. 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 call or text 504.322.4664. 


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 

Gia Vecchio, [email protected], 917.280.5043

Hunter Smith, [email protected], 803.397.8878

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