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ADI is very proud that our judging is able to use some of the very best palates in the spirits industry. In 2020, about a dozen stewards and recorders will sort and flight US and International entries from all classes and categories of spirits, cocktail bitters, RTD Cocktails, as well as aperitif and fortified wines.

DTSLead Steward

World renowned spirits expert and author, David T. Smith serves as the Lead Steward for the Judging of Craft Spirits. As the lead steward he oversees the stewards and staging room operations, including the categorization of spirits and creation of flights. The lead steward determines when to send flights out to the judging panels and ensures that flights are correctly poured and liaises with the Lead Judge over spirits queries.


Joe BarberAssistant to the Lead Steward

Joe Barber assists the lead steward in organizing and managing the stewards and serving of flights during the competition. In addition, Barber manages and assigns tasks to volunteers and ensures the judging room is fully stocked.



Sara SmithHead Recorder

An experienced spirits judge and writer, Sara Smith is a data expert who constructs and maintains the database to record all the judging entries and scores.




Veronika KarlovaVodka Steward

Veronika Karlova is a vodka expert based in the UK. Karlova oversees the sorting and flighting of vodka for the judges and coordinates the serving of the vodka with the lead steward.