Spirit Judging Classes & Categories

Spirits entered into ADI’s Judging of Craft Spirits are separated into flight first by their class and then by their category withing that class. ADI reserves to right to reclassify a spirit from how it was entered, but we 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:

Spirit ClassSpirit CategoryDefinition
Agave100% Agave Tequila^As defined in the NOM 006 Mexican Standards
AgaveAgave SpiritAny distilled spirit produced from a fermented mash of agave pinas and/or syrups, distilled less than 95% ABV and bottled at not less than 40% ABV.
AgaveMezcal Ancestral ^As defined in the NOM 70 Mexican Standards
AgaveMezcal Artisanal^As defined in the NOM 70 Mexican Standards
AgaveBacanora^As defined in the NOM 168 Mexican Standards
AgaveFlavored Agave SpiritAny distilled spirit produced from a fermented mash of agave pinas and/or syrups, distilled less than 95% ABV, flavored through distillation, maceration, or other flavoring methods, and may be bottled at less than 40% ABV.
AgaveFlavored Bacanora^As defined in the NOM 168 Mexican Standards
AgaveMezcal^As defined in the NOM 70 Mexican Standards
AgaveRaicilla^As defined in the Denomination of Origin
AgaveTequila^As defined in the NOM 006 Mexican Standards
BrandyAged Fruit Brandy
(Other than grape or apple)
A brandy distilled to not more than 85% ABV from the fermented juice or mash of whole, sound, ripe other fruit or other fruit wine, with or without the addition of not more than 20 percent by weight of the pomace of such juice or wine, or 30 percent by volume of the lees of such wine, or both, aged in oak barrels, and bottled at not less than 40%ABV.
BrandyAged Grape BrandyAs defined in the US Standards of Identity
BrandyApple BrandyAs defined in the US Standards of Identity
BrandyApplejackAs defined in the US Standards of Identity
BrandyArmagnac^As defined By French Law
BrandyBlended ApplejackAs defined in the US Standards of Identity
BrandyCalvados^As defined By French Law
BrandyCognac^As defined By French Law
BrandyEau de Vie Other FruitAn unaged brandy distilled to not more than 85% ABV from the fermented juice or mash of whole, sound, ripe other fruit or other fruit wine, with or without the addition of not more than 20 percent by weight of the pomace of such juice or wine, or 30 percent by volume of the lees of such wine, or both, and bottled at not less than 40%ABV.
BrandyGrappa/Pomace/Marc BrandyAs defined in the US Standards of Identity
BrandyNeautral BrandyAs defined in the US Standards of Identity
BrandyPear Eau de VieAn unaged brandy distilled to not more than 85% ABV from the fermented juice or mash of whole, sound, ripe pears or pear wine, with or without the addition of not more than 20 percent by weight of the pomace of such juice or wine, or 30 percent by volume of the lees of such wine, or both, and bottled at not less than 40%ABV.
BrandyPisco Chileno^As defined by Chilean Law
BrandyPisco Perú^As defined by Peruvian Law
BrandyUnaged Grape BrandyAn unaged brandy distilled to not more than 85% ABV from the fermented juice or mash of whole, sound, ripe grapes or grape wine, with or without the addition of not more than 20 percent by weight of the pomace of such juice or wine, or 30 percent by volume of the lees of such wine, or both, and bottled at not less than 40%ABV.
GinAged GinAny gin rested/matured in new or used wood barrels.
GinClassic GinGin that derives its primary flavor from juniper, often described as London Dry.
GinCompound GinGin made from the blending of single botanical distillates including the distillate of juniper, or neautral spirit flavored with extracts.
GinContemporary Gin
(includes New Western and American Dry)
Gin that includes juniper but derives its primary flavors from other botanicals.
GinCordial GinAlso know as Gin Liqueur defined in the US Standards of Identity
GinFlavored GinAs defined in the US Standards of Identity
GinGenever Style GinA gin distilled from a grain base that may be blended with neautral spirit and may be rested in wood barrels.
GinGenever^A spirit made from the fermented mash of grains, usually rye, corn, barley, and wheat and distileld with juniper and other botanicals or made from a blend of malt spirt and botanical spirit. Genever may be contain up to 20g of sugar per liter and can only be produced in Belgium, The Netherlands, Départements Nord and Pas- de-Calais in France as well as German Bundesländer Nordrhein-Westfalen and Niedersachsen in Germany.
GinNavy-Strength GinGin bottled at 57% ABV.
GinOld Tom GinSugar sweetened, botanically sweetened, or botanically intense gin that may be rested in wood barrels.
GinSignature Botanical GinA gin that identifies a small number botanical other than juniper that is ment to be highlighted and take the forefront with juniper in a secondary role.
LiqueurCitrus LiqueurA liqueur flavored through distillation, maceration, and or extract of one or more citrus fruit peels, flesh, or juice.
LiqueurCoffee LiqueurA liqueur flavored through distillation, maceration, and or extract of coffee beans, grounds or brewed coffee.
LiqueurCream LiqueurA liqueur that includes the addition of cream.
LiqueurFruit LiqueurA liqueur flavored through distillation, maceration, and or extract of one or more fruit peels, flesh, or juice, that does not include citrus as the primary flavor.
LiqueurHerbal/Botanical/Spiced LiqueurA liqueur flavored with any number of herbs, botanicals, and or spices.
LiqueurNut LiqueurA liqueur flavored through distillation, maceration, and or extract with one or more tree nuts.
LiqueurOther LiqueurA liqueur that does not fit into any of the other liqueur categories, may include spirit liqueurs (rum, gin, whiskey etc.)
Rum/CachaçaAOC Martinique Rhum Agricole^As defined By French Law
Rum/CachaçaColumn Still Cachaça^A Brazillian spirit produced from fermented sugar cane juice, distilled in a column still and bottled between 38-48% ABV. The strength of the spirit may only be adjusted with water and sugar may be added up to 6 grams per liter. The spirit may be aged in wood containers with a maximum capacity of 700 liters.
Rum/CachaçaColumn Still RumA spirit distilled in a column still from the fermented juice of sugar cane, sugar cane syrup, sugar cane molasses, or other sugar cane by-products, to no more than 95% ABV and bottled at not less than 40% ABV. The spirit may be aged in oak barrels.
Rum/CachaçaFlavored RumAs defined in the US Standards of Identity
Rum/CachaçaNavy-Style RumA high ester rum produced through distillation and or blendeing and modeled after the British Navy Rum blend. Must be bottled at not less than 40% ABV.
Rum/CachaçaOverproof RumA rum bottled at not less than 57% ABV.
Rum/CachaçaPot Still Cachaça^A Brazillian spirit produced from fermented sugar cane juice, distilled in a pot still and bottled between 38-48% ABV. The strength of the spirit may only be adjusted with water and sugar may be added up to 6 grams per liter. The spirit may be aged in wood containers with a maximum capacity of 700 liters.
Rum/CachaçaPot Still RumA spirit distilled in a pot still from the fermented juice of sugar cane, sugar cane syrup, sugar cane molasses, or other sugar cane by-products, to no more than 95% ABV and bottled at not less than 40% ABV. The spirit may be aged in oak barrels.
Rum/CachaçaPot-Column Blended Cachaça^A Brazillian spirit produced from fermented sugar cane juice, distilled independently in pot and column stills and then blened and bottled between 38-48% ABV. The strength of the spirit may only be adjusted with water and sugar may be added up to 6 grams per liter. The spirit may be aged in wood containers with a maximum capacity of 700 liters.
Rum/CachaçaPot-Column Blended RumA spirit blended from distillates individualy produced in pot and column stills from the fermented juice of sugar cane, sugar cane syrup, sugar cane molasses, or other sugar cane by-products, to no more than 95% ABV and bottled at not less than 40% ABV. The spirit may be aged in oak barrels.
Rum/CachaçaSpiced RumA rum flavored though distillation, maceration of other flavoring addtions of spices and bottled at not less than 40% ABV.
Rum/CachaçaSweet Cachaça^As defined By Brazillian Law
SpecialtyAbsintheA spirit with a main characteristic derived from the combination of Grand Wormwood (Artemisia Absinthium), Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) and Anis Seed (Pimpinella Anisum) produced by the distillation of spirits with Grand Wormwood, Fennel, Anis and other herbs and botanicals and bottled at not less than 45% ABV. No sugar may be added.
SpecialtyAlcohol Free DrinksAn alcohol free drink that may be flavored through distillation, maceration or other flavor additives menat to mimich a known spirit category or a novel base for an alcohol free cocktail.
SpecialtyAperitif WineA wine that has been infused with botanicals and may be fortified with neautral brandy.
SpecialtyAquavitA distilled spirit that derives its main characteristic flavor from carroway or dill and bottled at no less than 40% ABV.
SpecialtyBier SchnappsA spirit distilled from beer made from malted barley and hops.
SpecialtyFortified WineA wine that has been fortified by adding neautral grape spirit, or brandy, to the wine during the production process.
SpecialtyMoonshineAny spirit distilled from a fermented mash of sugar, grain, or a mixture of both that is also marketed as Moonshine. Moonshine may be aged and or flavored.
SpecialtyNon-potable BittersA cocktail additive, not meant for straight consumption, which is produced through extraction of various botanicals and bittering agents via alcohol or glycerin.
SpecialtyOther Specialty SpiritsSome other innovative spirit that does not fit any of the regular spirit categories.
SpecialtyReady-to-Drink CocktailsSpirits and mixers pre-batched and portioned for one or more servings into classic or novel cocktails.
SpecialtyShochuA traditional Japanese spirit distilled from starch, usually from one or more of the following: rice, barley, buckwheat, sweet potatoes, and wheat. Shochu is not typically matured in wood barrels and they are usually bottled at less than 45% ABV.
SpecialtySojuA traditional Korean spirit produced from discontinuous distillation to not more than 85% ABV of a fermented mash developed from the basic constituents of a starch source, yeast and water.
SpecialtySotol^A distilled spirit made from Dasylirion wheeleri plant in the Mexican States of Chihuahua, Coahuila, and Durango. The pinas are cooked in above ground ovens and distilled in column stills.
VodkaAged VodkaA vodka that has been rested or matured in a non-neutral wood barrel from which it extracts flavors and color.
VodkaBotanical VodkaA vodka that has been flavored through the distillation or maceration of real botanicals, not extracts. Any color is the result of post-distillation maceration of real botanicals.
VodkaFlavored vodkaAs defined in the US Standards of Identity
VodkaVodka – Neutral CharacterAs defined in the US Standards of Identity
VodkaVodka – Residual Base CharacterA spirit that has been distilled at or above 95% ABV in such away that it retains some residual flavor from its agricultural base.
WhiskeyAmerican Single Malt WhiskeyAs defined by the American Single Malt Whiskey Comission
WhiskeyBlended Scotch^As defined in the Scotch Whisky Regulations
WhiskeyBlended Whiskey
(includes blended bourbon, blended straight whiskeys etc.)
As defined in the US Standards of Identity
WhiskeyBourbonAs defined in the US Standards of Identity
WhiskeyCorn WhiskeyAs defined in the US Standards of Identity
WhiskeyFlavored WhiskeyAs defined in the US Standards of Identity
WhiskeyHopped WhiskeyA whiskey distilled from a hopped fermented mash of grains (beer), a whiskey distilled with hops as a botanical, a whiskey macerated with hops, or a whiskey aged in used beer barrels.
WhiskeyIrish Blended Whiskey^As defined in The Irish Whiskey Technical File
WhiskeyIrish Grain Whiskey^As defined in The Irish Whiskey Technical File
WhiskeyIrish Single Malt Whiskey^As defined in The Irish Whiskey Technical File
WhiskeyIrish Single Pot-Still Whiskey^As defined in The Irish Whiskey Technical File
WhiskeyLight WhiskeyAs defined in the US Standards of Identity
WhiskeyMalt WhiskeyAs defined in the US Standards of Identity
WhiskeyNon-typical WhiskeyA whiskey distiled from a fermented mash of at least 51% one non-typical grain (oats, millit, triticale etc.) or pseudocereal (amaranth, buckwheat, quinoa etc.) to not more then 80% ABV, stored in new charred oak barrels at not more than 62.5% ABV, and bottled at not less than 40% ABV.
WhiskeyRye WhiskeyAs defined in the US Standards of Identity
WhiskeyScotch Grain Whisky^As defined in the Scotch Whisky Regulations
WhiskeySingle Malt Scotch^As defined in the Scotch Whisky Regulations
WhiskeySmoked WhiskeyA whiskey distilled from a fermented mash of grains, some portion of which has been smoked, or a whiskey infused with somke post distillation.
WhiskeySpirit WhiskeyAs defined in the US Standards of Identity
WhiskeyWheat WhiskeyAs defined in the US Standards of Identity
WhiskeyWhiskey
(includes whiskey distilled from bourbon mash, rye mash etc.)
As defined in the US Standards of Identity
WhiskeyWhite WhiskeyA whiskey distilled from a fermented mash of grain at less than 95% ABV. The whiskey may be stored in oak barrels and bottled at not less then 40% ABV.

^Must comply with US, EU or other relevant international regulation.

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.