Spirited magazine event partner Wine Competitions Management & Productions recently concluded its second annual spirits competition. According to WCM&P founder and President Debra Del Fiorentino, the contest attracted twice as many entries as last year, and the quality of entries was outstanding. “Like the wine industry, spirits are getting better and better,” she says. “It was tough to pick a winner from so many wonderfully made craft distilled spirits.”

Best of Class designations went to Great Women Spirits, Maria Gaetana Agnessi 1799 Brandy (Brandy); New Alchemy Distilling, Fleurette Vermilion Gin (Flavored/Infused Gin); The Heart Distillery (Gin); Moylan’s Distilling Co., American Cask Strength Single Malt (American Craft Whiskey, Ultra Premium); Stillwater Spirits, Raspberry Eau de Vie (Brandies); Stillwater Spirits, Bartlett Pear Brandy (Fruit Brandy, Non-Grape); Satellite Spirits, South Fork Vodka (Vodka, Corn); Sonoma Coast Spirits, Espresso Vodka (Vodka Flavored/Infused, Neutral Grain); Spirit Works Distillery, Sloe Gin (Fruit Liqueur); The Splinter Group, Straight Edge Bourbon Whiskey (Straight Bourbon); Tower 56 Distilling, Tower 56 Almondretto (Nut Liqueur); Tower 56 Distilling, Tower 56 Coffee Spirit (Coffee Liqueur); and Erste Maennerhobbby GmbH & Co. KG, Kaland Aquavit (Other White Spirits). The big winner was Three Chord Blended Bourbon, which was awarded Best in Show for its Twelve Bar Reserve (the same release was named Best of Class for small batch bourbon 11 years or older).

Three Chord is a new brand, released in 2018, from Grammy-winning artist Neil Giraldo. “In music, every instrument by itself is dormant until it gets in the hands of the player,” explains Giraldo. “Bourbon is no different. Every blend and complex structure is dormant until it gets into the hands of the creator. We’ve developed a process that harmonizes the bourbon and creates a taste profile that’s unique to Three Chord.” Hit me with your best shot, indeed.

Like Spirited, WCM&P continues to grow and look toward the future. The company recently announced an agreement to take control of the Sunset Magazine International Wine Competition. The contest has been dormant since 2016, but look for a strong relaunch later this spring.

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