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Josh56
07-22-2010, 14:39
Is anyone here familiar with www.ultimate-beverage.com (http://www.ultimate-beverage.com) It is the website for a tasting and ranking of all kinds of liquor. This tasting challenge took place at the Astor Center in New York back in March. i'll cut and paste the top of the whiskey list-I just want some feed back their winner and how it beat some of the most revered whiskey names on this board.
USA & Canada: Whisky/Whiskey

Accolade ScoreSpirit Name Chairmanís Trophy WinnerExtraordinary, Ultimate Recommendation97George Dickel No. 12 10 yr old Tennessee Whiskey (USA); 45% abv, $17
FinalistExtraordinary, Ultimate Recommendation95Sazerac Kentucky Straight 18 yr old Rye Whiskey (USA); 45% abv, $69.99
FinalistExcellent, Highly Recommended94Woodford Reserve Distiller's Select Bourbon (USA); 45.2% abv, $32.99
FinalistExcellent, Highly Recommended93Crown Royal XR Canadian Blended Whisky (Canada); 40% abv, $165
Excellent, Highly Recommended93Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon (USA); 45% abv, $24.99
Excellent, Highly Recommended93Four Roses Mariage 10 yr old Bourbon (USA); 54.8% abv, $79.99
Excellent, Highly Recommended93Pappy Van Winkle Kentucky Straight Bourbon 20 yr old Bourbon (USA); 45.2% abv, $99.99
Excellent, Highly Recommended93Parker's Heritage Collection Golden Anniversary Bourbon (USA); 50% abv, $150
Excellent, Highly Recommended93William Larue Weller Kentucky Straight 12 yr old Bourbon (USA); 62.7% abv, $69.99
Excellent, Highly Recommended92Bulleit Blue Label Bourbon (USA); 40% abv, $30
Excellent, Highly Recommended92Evan Williams Single Barrel 2000 Vintage 10 yr old Bourbon (USA); 43.3% abv, $24.99
Excellent, Highly Recommended92Four Roses Yellow Label Bourbon (USA); 40% abv, $18.99
Excellent, Highly Recommended92Hirsch Selection Small Batch Reserve 4 yr old Bourbon (USA); 46% abv, $35.99
Excellent, Highly Recommended92Wild Turkey Rare Breed Barrel Proof Bourbon (USA); 50.5% abv, $45

OscarV
07-22-2010, 16:07
Bulleit Blue Label Bourbon (USA); 40% abv, $30


Bulleit Blue Label?
Never heard of it, how long has it been out?

cowdery
07-22-2010, 20:07
I can't imagine a bigger waste of time.

ggilbertva
07-23-2010, 04:36
Not only a bigger waste of time but makes me suspect of the results. Dickel #12 beats out Pappy, WLW, Handy, etc.? I don't think so.

Barrel_Proof
07-23-2010, 19:05
:puke:



Accolade ScoreSpirit Name Chairmanís Trophy WinnerExtraordinary, Ultimate Recommendation97George Dickel No. 12 10 yr old Tennessee Whiskey (USA); 45% abv, $17

:puke:

mrviognier
07-24-2010, 05:03
Having judged at all of the 'prestigious' wine events in this country and the UK, I can tell you that the results of these judgings are pretty much worthless. From an organizational / desire for accuracy standpoint, the best I've participated in were those held by the Beverage Testing Institute, but they also fell short.

Sadly, we live in a society that won't go to a movie unless it gets two thumbs up, won't go to a restaurant that doesn't receive four stars, and won't buy a bottle that doesn't merit 90 points or above. There's only one critic who counts, and that is YOU.

The good news is that the consumer's (and trade's) reliance on awards, scores, etc. seems to be at an all time low. Hope it keeps moving in this direction.

MarkEdwards
07-24-2010, 07:43
Sadly, we live in a society that won't go to a movie unless it gets two thumbs up, won't go to a restaurant that doesn't receive four stars, and won't buy a bottle that doesn't merit 90 points or above. There's only one critic who counts, and that is YOU.

Amen! I used to praise to high heavens the sub sandwiched that K-Mart used to sell, the menu at the Woolworth's lunch counter (showing MY age!), some of the food available at independent gas stations.

What is even sadder is that the people who market and distribute said foods stop making it available if the food DOESN'T win some kind of award(s). It seems to me that actual sales volume has little to do with it - I can't be the ONLY person who likes the foods I like...

Personally, I have NO idea what the critics have to say about the food I eat, the drinks I drink, the car I drive or the lifestyle I live. I just do and consume based on what I like. What my old Marketing professor called a marketer's nightmare (evil grin).

T Comp
07-24-2010, 11:25
Having judged at all of the 'prestigious' wine events in this country and the UK, I can tell you that the results of these judgings are pretty much worthless. From an organizational / desire for accuracy standpoint, the best I've participated in were those held by the Beverage Testing Institute, but they also fell short.


Are you at liberty to elaborate further on this? I quickly learned how irrelevant these competitions were to my tastes (and proved once again by this one) but the reality is they are very relevant to the marketplace. I know Chuck has posted/written about his experiences but another judges perspective would be interesting to hear.

mrviognier
07-24-2010, 11:51
but the reality is they are very relevant to the marketplace.

Really? While my experience is primarily in the wine arena, I can tell you that even the most prestigious competitions mean absolutely squat in the marketplace. If the American (and, increasingly, the international) consumer relies on third-party endorsement of a beverage, it's on the Parkers & Spectators of the world, not awards from a fair, festival, challenge or panel. To put it another way, if given the choice, I'd rather earn an 89 in Wine Spectator than a "Best of Show" or "Double Gold" at the Orange County Fair.

The only countries in which medals/awards really have had an historical impact on the market are Australia, the U.K. and France; however, even these events are weaker now than ever.

In most judging competitions, there is:

1.) An awful lot of unqualified judges sitting on panels. Case in point, I was in charge of a panel of eight judges reviewing Gewurztraminers. Medals were to be awarded by consensus. Every time I came across a truly (IMHO) amazing Gewurz, I was voted down by one of the judges who would find fault with the same wine. I finally asked, "Please give me examples of what you feel is a textbook' Gewurztraminer." The judge replied, "I really don't like Gar-reen-er-miners". Turns out they were friends of the committee, and placed on the panel randomly. Happens a lot more than you'd think.

2.) A predisposition towards giving medals. In a large majority of wine competitions these days, wineries who submit wines for judging understand that they are obliged to provide up to four cases of any of their wines which medal free of charge. A great case in point is the San Diego Wine Festival. Some claim to use the wine for fundraising...more typical is that the wines find their way into the organizer's cellar. Really cheap way to amass a lot of wine.

3.) A predisposition towards judging a wine 'upwards'. You think the wine deserves a bronze? Give it a silver. The wine is worthy of a silver? It's a gold medal-winner. To most wine event organizers, the more golds given out, the more attention wineries pay to the events. If the winery thinks their chances of big-time medals is great, they're more likely to enter more wines. That benefits the organizers, because most charge $100+ per entry. More entries = more profit.

I used to manage a winery which spent over $50,000 per year entering wine competitions. Within a year of my arrival, I had lowered that cost by 4/5ths. The winery owner was sure that sales would slump...in fact they rose by 35%.

Awards and medals are worth very little in the marketplace...again IMHO.

T Comp
07-24-2010, 12:55
Really? While my experience is primarily in the wine arena, I can tell you that even the most prestigious competitions mean absolutely squat in the marketplace. If the American (and, increasingly, the international) consumer relies on third-party endorsement of a beverage, it's on the Parkers & Spectators of the world, not awards from a fair, festival, challenge or panel. To put it another way, if given the choice, I'd rather earn an 89 in Wine Spectator than a "Best of Show" or "Double Gold" at the Orange County Fair.

Awards and medals are worth very little in the marketplace...again IMHO.

Thanks for the insight Mel. My assumption on any importance just comes as a retail customer, who does come across wine and spirit bottle tags and shelf talkers, with things like "double gold" on them. Back in my wine days I experienced many people at tastings and focus groups who put a lot of stock in the BTI ratings too, but that could have just been a Chicago thing. And in my switch to whiskey it is quite impressive how unimpressed SBer's (and BEer's and BDer's) are with any of this.

mrviognier
07-24-2010, 13:36
BTI is/was more of a Chicago thing. They were paired up for a time with Wine Enthusiast, but that didn't last.

Suppliers - mainly larger volume suppliers whose products are sold in the broad market - utilize ANY good press for shelf talkers, case cards and brochures. It draws consumer attention. But, American consumers gravitate more towards a numerical rating rather than medals. It's easier to comprehend...and (if you're into buying your beverage based on rating) easier to compare with other products.

Even the persuasive power of magazines & critics is fading. This is all a good thing in my view. Trust your palate.

BTw, it's Mat...:grin:

T Comp
07-24-2010, 16:04
Originally Posted by T Comp http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/red2black/buttons/viewpost.gif (http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showthread.php?p=212587#post212587)
Thanks for the insight Mel.




BTw, it's Mat...:grin:

Now you know why I'm a buyer and not a seller.....sorry Mat.

edo
07-24-2010, 19:38
Mat, your posts are an example of why I get so much education out of this site. Thanks so much.




2.) A predisposition towards giving medals. In a large majority of wine competitions these days, wineries who submit wines for judging understand that they are obliged to provide up to four cases of any of their wines which medal free of charge. A great case in point is the San Diego Wine Festival. Some claim to use the wine for fundraising...more typical is that the wines find their way into the organizer's cellar. Really cheap way to amass a lot of wine.


This one really got me thinking. Hey Mat, how about me and you organizing a competition right here in Paradise Miyazaki. You have the experience. I have some ideas for medals, awards ...


Super Accolade Paradise MIYAZAKI INTERNATIONAL WHISK(E)Y Ultimate Strato-Competition Name Chairmanís (that'll be me, of course) Trophy WinnerExtraordinary, Ultimate Recommendation 101

Super FinalistExtraordinary, Ultimate Recommendation 100

Super FinalistExcellent, Highly Recommended 99

FinalistExcellent, Highly Recommended93

Excellent, Highly Recommended93

Excellent, Highly Recommended93

Excellent, Highly Recommended93

Excellent, Highly Recommended93

Excellent, Highly Recommended93 Bourbon (USA)

Excellent, Highly Recommended93 Single Malt Whisky (USA)

Excellent, Highly Recommended93 Single Malt Whisky (Scotland)

Excellent, Highly Recommended93 Single Malt Whisky (Ireland)

Excellent, Highly Recommended93 Single Malt Whisky (Japan)

Excellent, Highly Recommended92

Excellent, Highly Recommended92

Excellent, Highly Recommended92

Excellent, Highly Recommended92

Excellent, Highly Recommended92

Coolest Label

Most Durable Box

Greatest Number of Entries by a Single Distiller

Greatest Number of Cases Provided the Judges by a Single Distiller


Whaddya think? :cool:

BBQ+Bourbon
07-24-2010, 20:02
Amen! I used to praise to high heavens the sub sandwiched that K-Mart used to sell, the menu at the Woolworth's lunch counter (showing MY age!), some of the food available at independent gas stations.

What is even sadder is that the people who market and distribute said foods stop making it available if the food DOESN'T win some kind of award(s). It seems to me that actual sales volume has little to do with it - I can't be the ONLY person who likes the foods I like...

Personally, I have NO idea what the critics have to say about the food I eat, the drinks I drink, the car I drive or the lifestyle I live. I just do and consume based on what I like. What my old Marketing professor called a marketer's nightmare (evil grin).

You need to get to KC and check out the food at the gas station at 43Rd and Mission. Oklahoma Joes. Unreal.

mrviognier
07-24-2010, 21:39
T Comp: No need to apologize...just thought I'd point it out.

Edo: Thank you for your kind words. As to your contest, I think you're either onto something or on something.:lol:

BBQ+Bourbon: When you're finished with KC, head down to Mississippi. Some of the best 'cue you'll have in your life is to be found at gas stations.

Josh56
07-26-2010, 08:51
Thanks Matt and everyone, particularly Edo, that was too much. it reminded me of a Simpsons episode where and image of Homer was used on the Super Terrific Fun Time Happy Hour. I think that would be the show for your contest. It's too bad these things are bunk cause newbs like me use them at face value to decide what to pick when standning in front of a wall of whiskey bottles. Not that I could afford to go get Pappy or FRM any old time anyway. On my budget Dickel is always an option, but I thought you'd get a kick out of that list.

CorvallisCracker
07-26-2010, 08:59
....I thought you'd get a kick out of that list.

The winners in the wine categories had me rolling on the floor laughing.