Submission Guidelines

How to Enter   –   Protocols   –   Judges   –   Sponsors   –   FAQ   –   Award Winners


 The purpose of this judging is to help promote the craft spirits industry and the people who are  producing the finest quality artisan spirits, bitters, aperitif and fortified wines and to give participants valuable, unbiased, third-party feedback on the quality and process of their spirits.

Who Can Enter?

ADI accepts entries in all classes and categories of craft spirits from US and International distillers, blenders, bitters makers, and producers of aperitif & fortified wines who are:

  • Independently Owned: Less than 25% of the producer is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by alcoholic beverage industry members who are not themselves a craft distiller, blender, bitters maker, or producer of aperitif & fortified wines.
  • Small-Scale: Producer has maximum annual sales of 100,000 proof gallons (about 473,000 liters/52,500 9-liter cases).

What do I get for entering?

Double-gold, gold, silver, and bronze medals will be awarded with certificates for spirits judged worthy of recognition. All entrants will receive tasting notes with comments from the spirits judges. All entrants will also be considered for our Packaging Awards and be evaluated to see if they if they meet the standards for ADI’s Certification of Craft Spirits at no additional cost or paperwork. Award winners will receive a physical awards as well as a digital renderings of all applicable medals, awards and certifications. Judges reserve the right to not award medals when, in their opinion, no spirits in that category merit an award.

Medals and Packaging Awards will be announced at the American Distilling Institute’s Annual Conference & Vendor Expo, March 26-29, 2018 in Portland Oregon.

Optional Add-Ons

During registration entrants can choose to purchase professional bottle image(s) of any of the spirits entered and entrants can submit one or more of their registered spirits for testing and receive a certificate of chemical analysis which is valid for all major retailers, most countries import/export and tender purposes. A $700 value offered to judging entrants for $150 per spirit. For more details check out our submission guidelines. Download and example certificate here to get an idea of what information is included.

Deadlines

Deadline for International Spirits Registration: January 5, 2018
Deadline for US Spirits Registration: January 19, 2018
Deadline for Receiving Entries: January 25, 2018

Entry Fees:

Early Bird Registration
Up through December 24, 2017

ADI Members
$200 per spirit for US entries
$250 per spirit for international entries
Bulk discount for members who enter more than 10 spirits

Non-Members
$300 per spirit for US entries
$350 per spirit for international entries

Standard Registration
After December 25, 2017

ADI Members
$250 per spirit for US entries
$300 per spirit for international entries
Bulk discount for members who enter more than 10 spirits

Non-Members
$350 per spirit for US entries
$400 per spirit for international entries

Discount for Affiliate Associations

Members of the following Affiliate Associations:
The Gin Guild
Ontario Distillers Association
Australian Distillers Association

may enter their spirits at the ADI Member price even if they are not current members of ADI.

To enter your spirits, click the link to

register today

Spirits Classes & Categories

Spirits should be entered in the class and category in which the registrant intends it to be judges. While ADI reserves to right to reclassify a spirit it will only do so if there is a compelling reason. Spirits incorrectly classified during registration may receive lower marks. The prospective categories for entry are:

Whiskey
White Whiskey
Blended Whiskey (includes blended bourbon, blended straight whiskeys etc.)
Bourbon
Corn Whiskey
Malt Whiskey
Rye Whiskey
Wheat Whiskey
Flavored Whiskey
Hopped Whiskey
Non-typical Whiskey (mixed/other grains)
Smoked Whiskey
Irish Blended Whiskey^
Irish Grain Whiskey^
Irish Single Malt Whiskey^
Irish Single Pot-Still Whiskey^
Blended Scotch^
Scotch Grain Whisky^
Single Malt Scotch^

Moonshine
Aged Moonshine
Flavored Moonshine
Moonshine
Sugarshine

Rum/Cachaça
Pot Still Rum
Column Still Rum
Pot-Column Blended Rum
Flavored Rum
Navy-Style Rum
Overproof Rum
Spiced Rum
AOC Martinique Rhum Agricole^
Pot Still Cachaça^
Column Still Cachaça^
Pot-Column Blended Cachaça^
Sweet Cachaça^

Liqueur
Citrus Liqueur
Coffee Liqueur
Cream Liqueur
Fruit Liqueur
Herbal/Botanical/Spiced Liqueur
Nut Liqueur
Other Liqueur

Vodka
Vodka (unflavored)
Starka/Aged Vodka
Flavored vodka

Gin
Aged Gin
Classic Gin
Contemporary Gin (including New Western and American Dry)
Compound Gin
Cordial Gin
Genever
Navy-Strength Gin
Old Tom Gin

Brandy
Apple Brandy
Applejack
Pear Eau de Vie
Eau de Vie Other Fruit
Aged Fruit Brandy (Other than grape or apple)
Grappa/Pomace/Marc Brandy
Unaged Grape Brandy
Aged Grape Brandy
Armagnac^
Calvados^
Cognac^

Agave
Aged Agave Spirits
Unaged Agave Spirit
Aged Mezcal^
Unaged Mezcal^
Aged Tequila^
Unaged Tequila^

Specialty
Absinthe
Aquavit
Bier Schnapps
Soju/Shochu
Aperitif Wine
Fortified Wine
Ready-to-Drink Cocktails
Non-potable Bitters
Other Specialty Spirits

Moonshine will loosely be defined as spirits marketed as moonshine. ADI will accept spirits distilled from sugar or grain (or hybrids of either) that the TTB has designated as Distilled Spirits Specialty. Also, any clear whiskey or whiskey, on which the words moon or shine, or which contains clear references toward moonshine on the label, will be allowed in this category provided it is designated at the time of registration.If and international distillery so chooses, they may submit a grain spirit to be judged as a whiskey, as defined in the US Standards of Identity, even if the spirit cannot be labeled whiskey in its country of origin. However, ADI will not judge international grain spirits as a bourbon or Tennessee whisky.^Must comply with US, EU or other relevant international regulation.

Information needed for Registration

This is a list of information that might be helpful to collect before beginning the online registration. This is not an exhaustive list but covers some of the basic. If you are not sure where to find some of this information, check our online FAQ. Please be aware that you cannot save and return to an incomplete registration. You must complete the registration and pay for at least one spirit before you can return and add more spirits. Download a copy of this list here: Registration Check List

  • DSP#: DSP followed by State abbreviation and a number i.e. DSP-ST-12345. For bitters and vermouth producers who do not have a DSP or for International distillers, you will enter 0000.
  • Spirit Brand Name: What is the name of your spirit as you would like it to appear in print. This is not the legal fanciful name. ex. Colkegan Single Malt Whiskey.
  • 14-digit TTB ID#: This is a unique number for each approved COLA. It can be found through the TTBs Public COLA Registry or in Box 1 of your printed COLA. If you do not have a COLA you will enter 0000.
  • 3-digit TTB Class/Type#: These three digit numbers correspond to the class and type of spirit. It can be found through the TTBs Public COLA Registry or in Box 1 of your printed COLA. If you do not have a COLA you will enter 0000.
  • Production Statement: You will need the production statement as it is listed on you TTB approved label (e.g. distilled, produced, bottled etc.) If you do not have a COLA pick the statement the best applies.
  • Spirit ABV: What is the percentage of alcohol per unit of volume? Please do not list proof.

 

SUBMISSION TERMS & CONDITIONS

Please review the terms & conditions as some have changed from last year.

For All Spirits Entered:

  • Samples must be received at Preiss Imports by Thursday, January 25th 2018.
  • Payment by check must be received by ADI prior to commencement of judging, February 12, 2018.
  • All spirits must have received a COLA or a COLA waiver by February 12, 2018 or they will disqualified from receiving any awards and will be ineligible for a refund.
  • If your membership is expired and you answered “Yes” to “Are you a current ADI Member in good standing?” a $500 full member renewal fee will be charged to the card on file to bring your membership up to date.
  • You agree to follow all of the applicable shipping instructions.
  • Products not properly packed or arriving with broken content will be charged a $25 repacking fee per case.
  • Boxes without all required information (ADI shipping label, COLA waivers etc.) in an external shipping pouch will need to be opened and charged a $20 repacking fee per case.
  • All samples submitted for judging will be considered property of ADI. ADI Reserves the right to photograph and publish photographs of all entries.
  • DO NOT USE ANY PACKING PEANUTS OR SHREDDED MATERIAL WHEN PACKAGING YOUR BOTTLES. EACH BOX CONTAINING BANNED PACKING MATERIALS WILL BE ASSESSED A $25 DISPOSAL & CLEANUP FEE.

Additional Terms & Conditions for International Spirits:

  • International spirits without a COLA must download and email the completed COLA waiver form to Lori Sorbo of Preiss Imports at lori@preissimports.com.
  • COLA waivers must be received before the spirits are shipped.
  • Depending on the Distiller’s choice of forwarding agent they will need to complete a prior notice form. Here are links for DHL and UPS. Once the Distillery is registered they can also fill out the form online through the FDA Prior Notice Interface System.
  • Entrants must fill out the paperwork on the FDA Web Site for prior notice and to have their plant registered. The carrier may fill this out, but it is the Entrant’s responsibility to ensure this is complete. Instruction for Prior Notice for Food Articles sent by International mail.
  • International entrants are responsible for all shipping and custom fees. Any shipping or custom fees not paid by the entrant will be billed back by Preiss Imports.
  • BE SURE TO CHECK THE BOX ON THE SHIPPING FORM THAT SPECIFIES ALL CUSTOMS FEES PAID BY SHIPPER.

SHIPPING INSTRUCTIONS

For All Spirits Entered:

  • All boxes must have the ADI Shipping Label taped securely to the outside of the box.
  • Samples must be received at Preiss Imports by Thursday, January 25th 2018

  • Send two (2) 750ml bottles (or the equivalent) for all spirits entered.

  • Send two (2) bottles (minimum of 50ml each) for each Non-potable bitters or tinctures entered.

  • Do not send entries by the US Postal Service! We recommend FedEx, UPS, or DHL for shipping spirits.

  • PACKAGING INSTRUCTIONS

    • All bottles must be packaged in such a way that they will absolutely not break.

    • All boxes must have the ADI Shipping Label taped securely to the outside of the box with the following information:

      • Name of the Distillery
      • Class of spirits in the box by TTB Class/ID# (Whiskey 100s, Gin 200s, Vodka 300s, Rum/Cachaça 400s, Brandy 500s, Liqueurs/Specialty 600s, 700s Cocktails/RTDs, 900s Agave/Other.)

      • Contact Name, email and phone number.

      • Number of the box out of the total number shipped (1 of 3, 4 of 6 etc.)

    • DO NOT USE ANY PACKING PEANUTS OR SHREDDED MATERIAL WHEN PACKAGING YOUR BOTTLES.  EACH BOX CONTAINING BANNED PACKING MATERIALS WILL BE ASSESSED A $25 DISPOSAL & CLEANUP FEE.

Additional Shipping Instructions for International Spirits:

  • International spirits must have their COLA waiver processed before the spirits are shipped.

  • The exterior shipping pouch must include the registration/packing slip, FDA prior Notice and COLA waiver.

  • International entrants are responsible for all shipping and custom fees. Any shipping or custom fees not paid by the entrant will be billed back by Preiss Imports.

  • BE SURE TO CHECK THE BOX ON THE SHIPPING FORM THAT SPECIFIES ALL CUSTOMS FEES PAID BY SHIPPER.

SUBMISSION FOR CHEMICAL ANALYSIS

For the first time, ADI is partnering with Spirit of Hven Backafallsbyn, a professional lab based in Sweden, to offer all registrants of ADI’s 2017 Judging of Craft Spirits the opportunity to submit one or more of their spirits for testing and receive a Certificate of Chemical Analysis (download and example here). These certificates are valid for all major retailers, most countries import/export and tender purposes.

Each certificate usually cost $700 but we are offering them to Judging registrants for $150 per spirit, a $550 savings! Because the lab is in Sweden, please be aware that international shipping rates are more expensive than domestic rates. The analysis fee does not include any shipping or customs fees. All associated fees in submitting samples for testing are the responsibility of the sender.

Shipping Requirements:

  • Package a bottle of each spirit you are submitting for chemical analysis in such a way that they will absolutely not break.

  • Each spirit sample must be at least 200ml, ideally 700/750ml.

  • Shipment must be marked on the outside with:

    • Name of the distillery

    • The label “SAMPLES FOR CHEMICAL ANALYSIS – NOT FOR SALE.”

    • In an exterior shipping pouch, include a Commercial invoice that lists the contents of the box. See instructions here.

      • The invoice must clearly state “SAMPLES FOR CHEMICAL ANALYSIS – NOT FOR SALE.”

Shipping Address:

Company Name:         SPIRIT OF HVEN BACKAFALLSBYN
Street Address:           NORREBORGSVAGEN 55
Postal Code & City:     26013 SANKT IBB
Country:                       SWEDEN

Shipments originating from the US can use common carriers such as UPS, FedEx, DHL etc. Distillers cannot legally ship alcohol via the Unites States Postal Service.