StateWays - January/February 2017

StateWays is the only magazine exclusively covering the control state system within the beverage alcohol industry, with annual updates from liquor control commissions and alcohol control boards and yearly fiscal reporting from control jurisdictions

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StateWays | | January/February 2017 8 REPORT tr i p BY KYLE SWARTZ S pirits are graded under unusual parameters during The New York International Spirits Competition (NYISC). Judges still blind-taste entries, and receive info about style, age and geographical origin. But they also get to see the market price of each spirit, and taste entries in sets of price ranges. Judges can therefore de- cide whether a spirit's quality matches its retail cost. This is taken strongly into account when awarding medals. For example, a whiskey that earns silver at $75 may have got- ten gold at fi fteen dollars cheaper. Spirits Judged Differently MEDALS ARE NO GIVEN AT NYISC. PROFESSIONAL TASTE NYISC judges are well suited to critique this cost-to-quality ratio. All tasters are trade professionals: retail buyers, restaurant owners, professional mixologists, hotel beverage directors, distributors, importers, etc. The competition does not bring in full-time writ- ers or bloggers - only those with purchasing power. This also holds true for all other judg- ing events held by its host organization, International Beverage Competitions. The company organizes similar competitions for beer and wine. And beyond these three annual New York events, matching competitions also take place in Berlin, Melbourne and Asia. All 12 events are judged entirely by trade professionals. "Only trade buyers know what the customers actually want, and at what price, because they're the ones inter- acting with the consumers," explains Adam Levy, founder of International Beverage Competitions. NO MEDAL FACTORY Levy launched his fi rst event seven years ago, after reading how some major alco- hol competitions award medals to more than 84% of entries. His judging is not as generous. "We're not a medal factory," ex- plains Levy, who also runs the alcohol news/reviews website, Alcoholprofes- Levy points out that he has no fi nancial motives with the outcomes of his competitions. He runs a tech Judges consider spirits during the 2016 New York International Spirits Competition. LEARN MORE For a full list of NYISC winners, and information on the competition in general, visit

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