ULTIMATE SPIRITS CHALLENGE…LIKE NO OTHER COMPETITION AND DOESN’T WANT TO BE
ULTIMATE SPIRITS CHALLENGE
(USC)
,
started in 2010 by ULTIMATE BEVERAGE
CHALLENGE LLC (UBC), is recognized as
the world’s foremost spirits competition.
Over the course of a week, fourteen of the
world’s most respected spirits authorities
—journalists, authors, buyers, bar owners,
consultants and educators—carefully blind
taste hundreds of entries to determine which
spirits are the best that year in over 30
categories. Utilizing the easily understood
and accurate 100-point scale, entries that
are scored 90 or higher in the first round get
assigned to a second panel of experts to
determine the Chairman’s Trophy winner, the
top scoring spirit in each category.
This year’s USC took place March 11
th
-
15
th
at New York’s Astor Center. Judging
was lead by UBC founder and judging
chairman F. Paul Pacult and co-chairman
Sean Ludford. In addition to Pacult and
Ludford, the USC judges featured spirits
experts Jacques Bezuidenhout; Tad
Carducci; James Conley; Dale DeGroff;
Dan Nicolaescu; Jim Meehan; Julie Reiner;
Jack Robertiello; Steve Olson; Jennifer
Simmonetti-Bryan, MW; Katie Stipe and
David Wondrich.
Ultimate Spirits Challenge 2013
had record entries (up 8% over 2012)
representing more than 70 companies and
30 countries. The judging super-group
named 33 Chairman’s Trophy Winners and
151 Finalists. Pacult noted, “The increase
in entries we’ve had for Ultimate Spirits
Challenge each year is a testament to
suppliers who appreciate our meticulous
attention to rating and scoring their
products.” ULTIMATE WINE CHALLENGE 2013
takes place June 3
rd
-7
th
.
2
4
1
3
1.
The judging room at Astor Center
2.
USC Judges: Back Row: Dan Nicolaescu, Jim Meehan, Jacques Bezuidenhout,
Steve Olson and UBC founder David Talbot; Middle Row: Judging co-chair Sean Ludford, Katie Stipe, Jennifer Simonetti-
Bryan MW, David Wondrich, UBC founder and judging chair F. Paul Pacult, Julie Reiner and Tad Carducci; Front Row: Jack
Robertiello, Dale DeGroff and James Conley
3.
Back-of-house crew: Steve Fette, Luis Guzman, Leo DeGroff, Auriela Nossa,
Zachary Overman and Sean Kenyon
4.
Judges Jim Meehan, Jacques Bezuidenhout and Julie Reiner
ULTIMATE
BEVERAGE
CHALLENGE’S
ULTIMATE
SPIRITS
CHALLENGE
2013
1...,74,75,76,77,78,79,80,81,82,83 85,86,87,88,89,90,91,92,93,94,...124