Spirits Selection by Concours Mondial de Bruxelles took place from 21 to 23 August 2018 in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. During the event, three types of medals were awarded: Grand Gold Medals, Gold Medals and Silver Medals. Once again, the competition proved to be a bellwether for the latest trends in the spirits arena. The following is an overview of the results.
In addition to medals, judges also awarded a Spirits Selection 2018 Revelation Trophy to four spirits. The trophies are only awarded after a second blind tasting with the chairs of the 13 panels, making them highly selective. The winners are considered innovative, in tune with present-day expectations and indicative of current market trends:
- The agricultural rum Reimonenq Rhum Vieux Première Cuvée (matured in bourbon casks) from the Reimonenq distillery in Guadeloupe.
- Cachaça Gouveia Brasil produced by Gouveia in Brazil
- Campo Azul Diamond Tequila produced by Productos Fino de Agave in Mexico
- Pisco Tres Erres (1-12 months) produced by Compania Pisquera in Chile
It is now a tradition for the panel to bestow an Organic Spirits Selection Revelation award on an organic spirit that has made the biggest impression on judges during the tastings. This year, Cachaça Perfeição produced by Vistalinda in Brazil became the recipient of this prestigious trophy. This year’s awards list featured 29 Grand Gold Medals. Among them, rum stood out by winning 8 of the accolades, followed by baijiu which clearly distinguished itself this year with 7 awards. A few grappas, a whisky, an Armagnac and a few brandies were also amongst the top-tier winners.
|Rakia Burgas 63 Special Selection 20th Anniversary 2015||Grape Rakya||Bulgarie||Black Sea Gold|
|Guizhou Chun Pure Zhuang Wine 20 Years 1997||Baijiu||Chine||Guizhouchun Distillery Co.|
|Shao Kang Long Shang 2016||Baijiu||Chine||Shaokang Holding Group Co.|
|50.8%vol Hongzuan Xiangjiao 2003||Baijiu||Chine||Hunan Xiangjiao Liquor Co.|
|Sauce Township source 5 years 2013||Baijiu||Chine||Guizhou Jing Zhen IiquorGroup|
|Auce Township Leader 1935||Baijiu||Chine||Guizhou Center Wine Group Co.|
|38%vol Shaung Bao Cheng Purple Rice Wine 2017||Baijiu||Chine||MoJiangDiDaoJiuYeYouXianGongSi|
|Jean Cavé Armagnac Hors d’Age||Armagnac||France||Le Club des Marques SAS|
|Pastis Henri Bardouin||Anisé||France||Distilleries et Domaines de Provence|
|GM Gin Mediterranéen||Gin||France||Grap’Sud|
|Tsilili Tsipouro 2003||Eaux-de-Vie de Marc||Grèce||Tsililis K. S.A.|
|Rhum Bologne XO||Rhum Agricole||Guadeloupe||Société Agricole de Bologne|
|Paul John Edited Indian Single Malt||Whisky||Inde||John Distilleries Pvt Ltd|
|Grappa La Gold||Grappa||Italie||Roner SpA Distillerie|
|Amaro Santa Maria al Monte||Liqueur-Crème||Italie||Distilleria F.lli Caffo|
|Grappa Lugana Invecchiata 2012||Grappa||Italie||Distillerie Peroni Maddalena|
|Amaro Formidabile 2018||Bitter||Italie||Formidabile Liquori & Affini Srl|
|Grappa Del Me’ – Pilzer||Grappa||Italie||Distilleria Pilzer srl|
|Saint-James Rhum Vieux Agricole 7 ans||Rhum Agricole||Martinique||Rhums Martiniquais Saint-James|
|Rhum agricole blanc Neisson||Rhum Agricole||Martinique||Distillerie Neisson|
|Liqueur Clément Be Red||Liqueur-Crème||Martinique||Héritiers H.Clément|
|Bougainville Rum Vanilla||Rhum aromatisé||Maurice||E.C.Oxenham & CY.|
|Tequila Ollitas Reposado Triple Destilado||Tequila||Mexique||Tequila Orendain de Jalisco|
|Rum da Madeira William Hinton 6 Years Old||Rhum Agricole||Portugal||Icon Key|
|Rivière Du Mât – Rhum Traditionnel XO||Rhum||Réunion||CEPP|
|Penderyn Madeira||Whisky||Royaume-Uni||The Welsh Whisky Company|
|Chairman’s Reserve 1931||Rhum||Sainte-Lucie||Spiridom|
|Yushan Kaoliang Liquor Aged 6 Years Lantern Festival||Baijiu||Taiwan||Aow|
|Ron Añejo Carupano Legendario 25 Anos||Rhum||Vénézuela||Destilería Carupano|
Besides these results, gins and vodkas continued to rank highly. A total 39% of vodkas entered came away with a medal, as did 32% of gin entries. Gin continued to perform extremely well and showed no signs of flagging. The agricultural rum category also remained in prime position with 44% of entries awarded a medal. Also noteworthy were the excellent results of entries by Bulgaria, which hosted the competition this year: 43% of entries won an accolade, demonstrating the high standard of local spirits production.
This year, spirits from 50 producer countries were subjected to the demanding taste buds of some of the world’s finest judges. A total of 78 specialist tasters representing 26 different nationalities took part. The diversity of competing products and backgrounds of the judges combine to make this competition unique and a true world spirits championship.
The next Spirits Selection competition will take place in August 2019 in the city of Lyliang – Shanxi Province, China.