The QuintEssential was named Best American Single Malt for the entire category and received a Gold in the Taste Judging Competition. Slipknot No. 9 Reserve, Cedar Ridge’s collaboration with the band Slipknot, received a Double Gold in the Taste Judging Competition—meaning it earned “outstanding” top marks from all judged.
Each entry was blindly-tasted and scored on a 100-point scale for appearance, aroma, taste and finish. Awards were determined based on the points explained below.
The John Barleycorn Awards honors the distillers, marketers, writers, and designers whose work is truly exceptional and deserving of industry recognition. The awards are divided into Taste and Marketing + Design Competitions. The John Barleycorn Awards is distinct from other spirits competitions because of its association with writers and its support for the spirits industry.
The Taste judging was under the leadership of noted author and spirits writer John McCarthy who oversees some of the world’s top spirits writers, as well as runs the BarleycornDrinks blog. Judges include Leslie Sbrocco, Fred Minnick, Jennifer Simonetti-Bryan, Robin Robinson, Wayne Curtis, Frank Caiafa, Jack Robertiello, G. Clay Whittaker, Tony Sachs, Brad Japhe, Rachel DelRocco Terrazas, Amanda Schuster, Susie O., Jackie Summers and David Moritz.