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10th Annual SIP Awards Maintains Decade-Long Record-Breaking Trend

The 2018 SIP Awards celebrates its tenth annual competition with new award categories, medal designs, and record-high participation

NEWPORT BEACH, CA, May 19, 2018 – From its humble beginnings, the Spirit International Prestige (SIP) Awards has grown into a movement that is gaining traction across the spirits industry at lightning speed. As the only international spirits competition with only consumers as judges, the SIP Awards provides small and big brands a rare opportunity to receive unbiased consumer feedback. Following the growth trend across the last decade, the 2018 competition saw a new record of 783 spirit brand entries and 122 consumer judges.

In addition to the large number of new spirit brand entries, the 2018 SIP Awards also brought about a spike in returning brands vying for the coveted Consumer Choice Award (CCA). The CCA is an exclusive medal reserved for spirit brands that manage to secure a SIP Award for two or more consecutive years.

“In 2018, we saw a 14% increase in the number of eligible entries for the Consumer Choice Award. This surge of interest in the Consumer Choice Award reflects the brands’ desires to demonstrate quality, consistency, and ongoing dedication to high standards with evidence from a third party,” says Paul Hashemi, founder of the SIP Awards.

However, the 2018 SIP Awards was not only marked by a dramatic increase in engagement with the spirit industry and consumers. In commemoration of the 10th annual competition, the SIP Awards also refreshed medal designs and created a new category, the Double Gold medal, to accommodate a greater spectrum of the top winners. The Double Gold medal corresponds to an outstanding rank of spirits and mixers which consumers judged to qualify for the top percentile of their given categories and justify strong recommendations.

“In line with our commitment to honest and unbiased feedback from consumers, we listen to our participants’ feedback to improve the value of our competition every year,” Hashemi says. “For our 10th anniversary, we updated the design of our medals to bolster the spirit brands’ marketing efforts and introduced an additional award category to further nuance the different levels of quality distinction.”

The SIP Awards takes a number of measures to ensure the objectivity of the consumer evaluation. First, all judges are screened to make sure they are not affiliated with spirit brands or the spirit industry. Additionally, the SIP Awards accounts for demographic diversity when selecting judges, as shown in our online infographic. Moreover, all spirits are served chilled and undiluted for blind tasting in a scientifically designed Neat Glass to enhance the tasting experience. Lastly, the SIP Awards uses a proprietary algorithm to gauge the judges’ palate consistency. Scores from judges with less palate variability are weighed heavier than those who have shown more palate fluctuations.

Each spirit across the various categories was graded on aroma, taste, and finish. The 2018 Platinum Best of Class honorees include:


Tequila Terraneo Organico

100% Agave Tequila Silver/Blanco


Hotel California Tequila Reposado CCA

100% Agave Tequila Reposado


Suerte Tequila Anejo CCA

100% Agave Tequila Anejo


El Fogonero Tequila

100% Agave Tequila Extra Anejo


Rosso Vermouth



D’Usse XO

Armagnac XO or Equivalent


36 Short Original Gin



Western Son Texas Gin



Sacred Spring Barrel Aged Gin

Gin Aged


Seesucker Southern Style Lemonade

Flavored/Infused Gin


Appalachian Sippin’ Cream Dark Chocolate Coffee

Cream/Dairy/Egg Liqueur


Five Saints Blood Orange Liqueur

Fruit/Berry Liqueur


Bols Ginger

Herbal/Botanicals Liqueur


Maggie’s Farm Falernum

Other Liqueur


Cutwater Fugu Vodka Soda Lime

Pre-Mixed Cocktail (RTD) – Max of 25% AbV


1934 Bloody Mary Mix

Bloody Mary Mixer


Sunder Mixer

Carbonated Mixer


Stirrings Authentic Grenadine



The Naked Turtle White Rum

White Rum


Ron de Jeremy Reserva

Gold/Dark Rum


Santa Teresa 1796 Solera Rum

Extra-Aged Rum


Twenty Boat Spiced Rum CCA

Spiced Rum


Club Caribe Mango Rum CCA

Flavored/Infused Rum


Guillotine Vodka Originale



Cathead Vodka



Western Son Hill Country Peach Vodka

Flavored/Infused Vodka


Evan Williams Bottled-In-Bond

Straight Bourbon Whiskey


Bernheim Original Small Batch Kentucky Straight

Small Batch Bourbon


Bower HIll, Single Barrel Bourbon

Single Barrel American Whiskey


Oregon Rye Malt Whiskey

American Straight Rye Whiskey


Golden State Corn Whiskey

Other American Whiskey


Kamiki Intense

International Whisky (non-Ireland/non-Scotland)


Dewars 12 Yr The Ancestor CCA

Blended Scotch


The Singleton of Glendullan 12 Year Old

Distillers’ Single Malt Scotch


Ole Smoky Blue Flame Moonshine CCA

Unaged Whiskey/Moonshine


William Wolf Coffee

Flavored/Infused Whiskey/Moonshine


Five Farms

Individual Bottle Design


Revel Avila Series

Series Bottle Design


For a complete list of the categories, winners, and photos from the event visit:

About the SIP Awards

The SIP Awards provides a unique judging competition for spirit brands to gain exposure, feedback, and recognition from unbiased consumers. As the only blind tasting competition of its kind, the SIP Awards offers a fair platform for top brands to showcase their products to their most discerning audience. To learn more about the SIP Awards beverage competition, venue partnerships, or for a complete list of this year’s winners, visit

Press releases are generated outside of Spirited magazine and the information contained does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Spirited or its parent company, Sonoma Media Investments.