Whiskey Del Bac Earns Top Accolades From Prestigious Competitions in 2024

Whiskey Del Bac of Tucson, Arizona, has earned several top awards across premier competitions in 2024. Every offering submitted by Whiskey Del Bac has earned a medal, totaling 13 awards and seven 91+ point scores this year alone. 

From the American Craft Spirit Association (ACSA) Awards the brand received four gold medals, more than any other single brand in the prestigious competition. The ACSA sets itself apart from other competitions with its strict blind and impartial judging practices. Any member of ACSA is not permitted to serve as a judge in the competition if their products are submitted. 

In this competition featuring over 500 submissions, Mark A. Vierthaler, head distiller for Whiskey Del Bac felt it was time to get back in on the action after a four-year hiatus. 

“It’s always tough deciding which competitions to enter as there are so many out there,” he said. “ACSA is among the most stringent and demanding competitions, so the medals mean that much more. ACSA and TAG Global Spirits Awards also both share the judge’s comments, which is invaluable from a distilling and blending standpoint. Over the past several years we’ve made some changes to how we produce our products, and felt it was about time to see what our peers thought of our reimagined whiskeys.” 

In late 2021, Vierthaler took a closer look at the production process. He wanted to maintain the well-known flavors of Whiskey Del Bac, while still embracing more of the Sonoran Desert terroir where the whiskeys are made. 

“We changed our yeast strain to one specifically bred for 100% malt fermentations and could also handle warmer temperatures,” Vierthaler said. “This allowed us to increase our fermentation temperatures, producing lots of interesting esters that came through in the new make, ultimately translating into the final product. We also increased focus on our blending process, taking the time to ensure complimentary and contrasting harvests were going into every batch, from our core products to our special releases.” 

These small, but impactful, changes have produced six highly acclaimed whiskeys, as noted by the results of two worldwide competitions: the World Whiskies Awards, presented by Whisky Magazine for over 24 years, and the TAG Global Spirit Awards, a competition focused on celebrating the world’s great and emerging spirits brands and those who create them. In its first time participating in both competitions, Whiskey Del Bac’s portfolio brought home five Silver, two Gold, two Double Gold, and two Platinum, with the Ode to Islay Single Malt American Whiskey special release earning a Best in Show from TAG Global Spirit Awards

“We are so proud of the work we have done to build this special brand out of a little craft distillery in Tucson, Arizona,” said Whiskey Del Bac co-founder Amanda Paul. “It’s a testament to the hard work of the production team that we are able to go toe-to-toe with the big guys on a global scale!” 

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