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Registration is now open for ADI's 8th Annual Judging of Craft American Spirits. The judging has now expanded to include all classes of spirits. If it is make in America by small-batch, independently-owned distilleries, we will evaluate it.

For more information, go to:



The American Distilling Institute will judge artisan American gins, rums, fruit infusions, brandies, moonshines and whiskies. Select judges will perform a blind tasting of spirits submitted.

Location: Seattle Washington

Judging Dates: February 10-12, 2014

Submission Deadline Date: Friday, January 31, 2014

Submissions must be received by: Thursday, February 6, 2014

Entry Fee: $200 per spirit entered

The purpose of this judging is to help promote the American craft distillers that are producing the finest quality artisan spirits and to give participating distillers valuable, unbiased, third-party feedback on the quality and process of their spirits.

Gold, silver and bronze medals will be awarded with certificates and bottle-stickers made available for spirits judged worthy of recognition. All entrants will receive tasting notes with comments from the spirits judges.

Judges reserve the right to not award medals when, in their opinion, no spirits in that category merit an award.

Medals will be announced at the American Distilling Institute’s Annual Conference & Vendor Expo, March 31-April 2, 2014 in Seattle, WA.

Spirits Categories & Classifications

Spirits in each class will be categorized as is appropriate for the entries received so that like spirits are tasted in the same flight.

The prospective categories are;


Clear Whiskey

Aged Corn Whiskey

Bourbon (under two years)

Straight Bourbon

Rye Whiskey (under two years)

Straight Rye Whiskey

Malt Whiskey (under two years)

Straight Malt Whiskey

Wheat Whiskey (under two years)

Straight Wheat Whiskey

Blended Whiskey

Whiskey Non-typical

Smoked Whiskey

Hopped Whiskey

Flavored Whiskey



Corn Whiskey Moonshine

Other Moonshine

Aged Moonshine

Flavored Moonshine


Pear Eau de Vie

Eaux de Vie (other)


Applejack/Apple Brandy

Aged brandy (other than grape or apple)

Brandy from Grapes (aged less than six years)

Brandy from Grapes (aged six years or more)


White Rum (Agricole, ECJ, sugar, molasses)

Amber Rum (Agricole, ECJ, sugar, molasses)

Dark Rum (Agricole, ECJ, sugar, molasses)

Overproof Rum

Flavored Rum

Spiced Rum


Classic Distilled Gin

Classic Rectified Gin

Contemporary Distilled Gin

Contemporary Rectified Gin


Navy-Strength Gin

Old Tom Gin

Barrel-Aged Gin


New-made Vodka (from Barley, Corn, Rye, Wheat, Other Grain, Grape, Apple, Fruit, Potato, or Cane)

Rectified Vodka (from Barley, Corn, Rye, Wheat, Other Grain, Grape, Apple, Fruit, Potato, or Cane)

Flavored vodka



Fruit Liqueur

Citrus Liqueur

Herbal/Botanical/Spiced Liqueur

Coffee Liqueur

Cream Liqueur

Mistel, Pommeau, Pineau

Nut Liqueur

Cordial Gin

Other Liqueur

Vermouth (and other fortified wines and aperitifs)



Agave Spirits


Barrel-Aged Cocktails

Bitters (digestif and aperitif)

Non-potable bitters




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.

Packaging Award

ADI will also award innovative packaging. Bottles will be judges on overall originality, creativity, graphic design, integration of bottle design to label style, and aesthetic appeal. Each spirit submitted for judging will also be considered for the packaging award. Producers who wish to enter spirits for whom there is no category, may enter bottles for only the packaging award.

The Judging Director reserves the right to create new categories and to categorize entries as is appropriate for spirits entered.


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