An international spirits competition bringing wider recognition to fine spirits among top-flight bartenders worldwide.
Tales of the Cocktail Foundation is pleased to be a presenting partner of the New Orleans Spirits Competition – a new global call for evaluating spirits to recognize the best being produced today — craft brands as well as legacy brands.
The New Orleans Spirits Competition is open to all classes of spirits, domestic and international – whiskey, gin, brandy, vodka, rum, agave spirits, liqueurs – as well as the emerging class of non-alcoholic spirits.
An initial round of judging will take place in May with a championship round staged publicly during Tales of the Cocktail® 2023 in July. This second round will determine ten “best-in-class” spirits announced in an award ceremony held during the Meet the Distillers event.
This year the competition will also honor a Distillery of the Year. Brands that enter four or more SKUs are eligible, with the average score of all brands entered determining the winner. Also new in 2023, the judging will be open to a new class: Ready-to-Drink cocktails.
The competition aims to become one of the world’s most prestigious spirits judgings anywhere, proudly representing a city famous for its drinks culture, and an organization synonymous with quality craft cocktails and spirits.
The full slate of 2023 judges will be announced this spring. The 2022 blind judging featured numerous luminaries from the bar and spirits world, including Dale DeGroff, David Wondrich, Tiffanie Barriere, Lynette Marrero, Lauren Mote, Matt Hofmann, Peggy Noe Stevens, Alex Day, Jeff Berry, and Karen Hoskin.
The panels will rate and provide tasting notes for each sample, awarding medals for Silver, Bronze, Gold, and “Best of Class” Category for each class of spirit (i.e. “Whisky of the Year,” “Vodka of the Year,” etc).
MEET THE 2022 JUDGES
Featuring preeminent craft bartenders, distillers, spirits journalists, and more, we were excited to kick off the 2022 inaugural international New Orleans Spirits Competition to determine the best spirits being produced today with a panel of spirits experts with decades of experience in the industry.
Tiffanie Barriere - The Drinking Coach - Cocktail Consultant & Educator
Jeff Berry - Owner, Beachbum Berry's Latitude 29
Laura Cullen - Founder, Liberty Consulting
Paul Clarke - Executive Editor, Imbibe
Alex Day - Chief Operating Officer, Gin & Luck; author, Cocktail Codex, Death & Co Welcome Home, Death & Co
Dale DeGroff - Partner, DDMD Ventures, Bitters Company
Elana Effrat - Director of Marketing, One Eight Distilling
H. Joseph Ehrmann - Proprietor, Elixir
Rhiannon Enlil - Bartender
Touré Folkes - Founder and Executive Director, Turning Tables
Andrew Friedman - Founder, Industry Spirits
Chris Hannah - Bartender
Matthew Hofmann - Co-Founder and Managing Director, Westland Distillery
Karen Hoskin - Owner/Founder
Christian Huber - Master Distiller, Starlight Distillery
Monique Huston - VP Spirits Portfolio
Lynnette Marrero - Co-Founder, Speed Rack
ms. franky marshall - Modern Bartender ~ Educator
Jim Meehan - Beverage Director, Snow Peak USA
Virginia Miller - Food & Drink Writer/Editor/Judge
Lauren Mote - Co-founder Bittered Sling & Nightcap Media
Peggy Noe Stevens - PNSA Founder and President
Lauren Patz - Head Distiller, Redwood Empire Whiskey and Benham's Gin
Brett Pontoni - Specialty Spirits Buyer
Henry Preiss - President, Preiss Imports
Matthew Rowley - Writer
Keli Rivers - Sipsmith Sr Ambassador
Kellie Thorn - Beverage Consultant and Spirits Educator
Michael Vachon - Co-Founder, Maverick Drinks
Geoffrey Wilson - Leadership Staff, Turning Tables NOLA & Bartender, Peychaud's, Cane and Table, Beta
Richard Wolf - Owner, Wolf Consulting LLC