Winning a spirits competition can be a game-changer. Blind tasting puts brand-new producers on equal footing with distilleries that have existed for generations, making it a powerful way for new and emerging brands to leapfrog over competitors and power up sales and marketing.
What makes the ADI International Spirits Competition different from others? Every single spirit entered is evaluated blind by a panel of industry-leading palates from around the globe, including distillers, blenders, marketers, retailers, importers, bartenders and media. And every single submission gets written, constructive feedback from the judging panel — the first competition to offer such a benefit — increasing value for entrants and transparency.
Winning a medal brings professional satisfaction and a marketing boost, of course. But ADI International Spirits Competition winners also get exclusive meetings with major retail chains like Binny’s and Total Wine as well as promotion through ADI’s sales channels, further maximizing the impact of a win.
February 2, 2024, is the early bird deadline for submissions to ADI’s 2024 International Spirits Competition. Fees go up February 3, so if you haven’t submitted your best products yet, now is the time. Still on the fence about whether to submit? Here’s what previous winners have to say about how the competition has changed their businesses.
Jeff and Jenny Pennington, Owners and Co-Founders of Pennington Distilling Company
2021 Best of Class Whiskey for Davidson Reserve Tennessee Straight Bourbon Whiskey — 4 Grain
“Winning ADI’s Best of Class Whiskey is a huge honor, as it represents all the hard work of our team who strive to make Davidson Reserve a favorite for all whiskey lovers.”
Jon Hillgren, Founder and Master Distiller at Hernö Gin
2021, 2022, 2023 Best of Class International Gin for Old Tom Gin, Old Tom Gin, & Pink BTL Gin
“The 2021 Best of Class International Gin trophy is an important quality mark that helps us to reach new markets and customers demanding artisan gin of high quality, created by independent small-scale producers.”
Martin Geijer, Owner of Geijer Spirits
2020 Best of Class Liqueur for California Falernum
“Winning a ‘Best in Class’ Liqueur award not only helped put our Falernum on the map, but it has also allowed us to place our products in Total Wine & More in multiple states, such as California, Texas, and Florida. The results have been undeniable in market reach and national attention.”
Matt Groves, Sales Director for Augusta Distillery
2023 Best of Class Whiskey for Buckner’s Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Aged 15 Years
“Being able to mention Augusta Distillery and its products in the same conversation as the ADI awards, and specifically Best of Class in Whiskey, adds weight to a sales pitch. As we expand our brands beyond our current points of distribution, awards like this become more than just a talking point with potential distributors, they become a selling point.”
Michael Hurley, Owner of Borderland Spirits
2021, 2022, & 2023 Best of Class International Specialty Spirit; 2022 & 2023 International Agave Spirit for Mazot Palmilla; Mazot Bacanora Blanco
“As a small-scale importer/distributor the ADI competition provided good feedback that we had high quality products compared to other small-scale spirits, and allowed us to get placed in stores we wouldn’t have previously. However, there is a need for a lot of hard work to promote and maintain those clients.”
Cameron Syme, Founder & Head Distiller at Great Southern Distilling Company
2017 & 2020 Best of Class International Whisky for Limeburners Darkest Winter Single Malt Whisky & Limeburners Heavy Peat Single Malt Whisky
“Winning the ADI Trophy for Best International Craft Whisky twice, has been great international recognition for our product. It has provided our staff and consumers with the confidence of credible third-party verification of our products’ international standing. It has been an honour which has delivered reputation return to us again and again.”
Raphael De Anda, Director of Operations at 4 Copas
2020 Best of Class International Agave Spirit for 4 Copas Organic Tequila Añejo
“Our 4 Copas Organic Tequila Añejo was a proud recipient of the ADI 2020 Best of Class International Agave Spirit award. Since receiving the award, we have enjoyed double digit growth in sales in each subsequent year, expanding our distribution footprint to over 30 states. We look forward to entering other expressions of our 4 Copas Organic Tequilas in future ADI competitions.”
Henric Molin, Founder & Owner of Spirit of Hven Distillery
2021 Best of Class International Whisky for MerCurious Corn Whisky
“Spirit of Hven was proud and honored to receive ADI’s Best of Class International Whisky for our MerCurious Corn Whisky. In tough times for the industry around the world, winning the prize was a beacon of light and hope. The prize has helped us to communicate the quality and uniqueness of our product. Winning the trophy gave us a voice and possibility to get retail placement with a number of shops as well as hotel and restaurant chains. This helped us to increase sales and grow our brand.”
Ian Goss-Ross, Master Distiller & CEO of Great Karoo Spirit
2020 Best of Class International Gin for Bossieveld Craft Gin Inspiration
“The receipt of the esteemed “Best of Class” award from the American Distilling Institute serves as a significant validation of the exceptional qualities inherent in the wild Karoo botanicals. This recognition has elevated Bossieveld Gin to a coveted status, making it a sought-after spirit not only within the Karoo region of South Africa but also beyond its borders. The acknowledgment from such a reputable institute underscores the gin’s outstanding characteristics and contributes to its prominence and desirability in the local and global spirits landscape.”