Judging Process

Setting the Double Gold Standard



Ensuring equal consideration

Throughout two days of highly controlled blind tastings, our experienced judging panels taste every product to decide if it is medal-worthy. Judges do not receive any information on producer or price point, ensuring each spirit is judged fairly, equally, and without bias.


Judging each entry on its own merit

While tasting, judges evaluate each product on an individual basis—not compared to other entries in the flight. During this stage, judges determine which entries are worthy of a Gold, Silver, or Bronze medal. Entries that receive a Gold medal from all judges on a panel earn a Double Gold award.


Recognizing the best of the best

On the final day of the Competition, select Double Gold spirits advance to the Sweepstakes round. Here, all Competition judges deliberate to determine the Best of Class and Best in Show Premium Award winners.

What does each medal mean?

Platinum: Awarded to the very few entries that receive a Double Gold medal for three consecutive years.


Double Gold: Awarded to the very few entries that receive a Gold medal rating by all members of the judging panel; these are among the finest products in the world.


Gold: Exceptional wines and spirits that are near the pinnacle of achievement; these products set the standard for their categories.


Silver: Outstanding wines and spirits that show refinement, finesse, and complexity; these winners are among the best examples of their categories.


Bronze: Well-crafted wines or spirits spirits that are commercially sound, modestly attractive, and free from significant flaws; these winners are excellent examples of their categories.


  • Best of Class: The best example of each wine or spirit type
  • Best in Show (the Competition’s highest honors): Chosen from the Best of Class winners, these awards highlight the best spirit in each of these five categories: Unaged White Spirit, Aged White Spirit, Whisky/Whiskey, Brandy, and Liqueur