We’ve hand selected a panel of judges that have wide-ranging industry experience. From distillers, distiller association leadership, restaurateurs, beverage writers, and distribution professionals. The thought process behind assembling our panel was to provide your distillery with broad exposure to professionals that can provide exposure to your brands.
All Judges have volunteered their time and expertise, and have selected a non-profit to receive a portion of the proceeds from the competition. Go HERE to view the non-profits benefiting from this event.
In order to be included for consideration, a distillery must:
Each submission is rated on 22 points of quality in Appearance, Aroma, Mouth-Feel, Flavor, & Finish for a total possible score of 100. The final awarded score will be based on the average scored by Judges. Medals are awarded by the following ranking:
This quality based scoring system allows for medals to be awarded through independent evaluation, rather than through comparison against other submissions. It is possible, and likely, that multiple gold, sliver, or bronze awards will be awarded in each category. It is also possible that not all three medals will be awarded in each category.
Distilleries will receive their overall score along with notes from each Judge, when applicable.
Accepted categories for this event are:
Bourbon, Single Malt, American Whiskey, Moonshine, Flavored Moonshine, Clear Rum, Spiced Rum, Aged Rum, Flavored Rum, Vodka, Flavored Vodka, Gin, Agave Spirits, Brandy, & Cordials
*East Coast Craft Spirits Awards reserves the right to adjust acceptable entry qualifications on a case by case basis.
We are Samantha and Chris and we run Boozing Abroad, a boozy travel blog that focuses on supporting local booze businesses. Our motto, “Drink locally. Travel globally.” What we have found on our travels is that we learn so much more about the culture of where we are, not to mention the interesting people we meet, when we have a drink in our hands at the local hangout spot.
Greg is the founder of the Royal Rum Society and Richmond Rum Society. He developed the Rummelier® Certification program which features graduates from 26 countries worldwide. In 2021, he was contracted to train individuals in the hospitality industry as part of the NTI STARR programme sponsored by the government of Barbados. In addition to being an award winning author, he is a highly requested speaker at educational events. He has been featured in multiple publications and regularly attends rum conferences and events around the world.
Greg is raising money for CKG Foundation
Julian graduated from Davidson College in 1993. He has worked as a writer for the UN and as a financial journalist, regularly published by S&P and NASDAQ. In 2012, Julian began his whiskey review blog Fun With Peat And Sherry and is now beginning to catalog Virginia's many distilleries at Virginiawhiskeyproject.com.
Julian is raising money for UNICEF
Markus Schmidt is the Associate Editor at Virginia Living, the most read lifestyle magazine in the Commonwealth. He is also a recovering political reporter for the Richmond Times-Dispatch and a former music business executive, a job that has allowed him to taste a wide array of food and beverages all over the world. As a native German, he has grown up on beer, but ever since making his home in Virginia, he has acquired a taste for bourbon.
Markus is raising money for The Innocence Project
Lisa Hamaker is a 10th generation Virginian and the owner of Taste Virginia Tours (tastevirginia.com), Coastal Virginia's premier guided wine, brew, spirits, and culinary tours. Dedicated to exalting Virginia’s culinary excellence, she is an active leader with Buy Fresh Buy Local Hampton Roads, the Virginia Oyster Trail, a spirits/wine/brew judge, and a freelance Virginia wine, craft beer, spirits and culinary writer.
A native Californian, I went to college in upstate New York, where I visited my first winery and discovered the joys of walking the vineyard, meeting the vintner, and only owning bottles I'd tasted on site. Since I moved to Virginia a few years ago, I've been trying to learn my new state by visiting as many wineries, breweries, and distilleries as possible. As a magazine editor, I enjoy talking to people about their passions and sharing them with the world. As the editor of Virginia Living, I love introducing the state's many craft beverage makers to my readers.
Mindy is raising money for Habitat for Humanity
Bar manager, cocktail creator, alcohol enthusiast.
John achieved the Master Rummelier designation in 2019. He has for love of mixology that led him to spirits and rum in particular. With over 1200 bottles in his personal collection of rum, they are frequently shared with fellow rum enthusiasts in tastings.
John is raising money for St. Joseph's Villa
Personal and Entertainment Chef specialized in recipe development and food styling. I have over 15 years of experience cooking for people and families, including in home entertainment and special diets. I also host live cooking shows, events and give product demonstrations.
Michael is raising money for the American Brain Tumor Association
Karl is the principal of VaBoozNews, a social media presence that informs about Virginia's Spirits, Beer, Wine, and events related to them.
An enthusiastic aficionado of spirits and cocktails , he loves learning and sharing about them. He's a member of the Richmond Rum Society and founder of the Virginia Beach Rum Society. As a participant in Gin World he's taken a deep dive into the world of Gin as well.
As a 2020 judge in the East Coast Craft Spirits Awards, he's lookin forward to a bigger 2021!
Karl is raising money for Virginia Beach Volunteer Rescue Squad
My name is David Parker and I am a husband, father, and Whiskey lover and somewhere along the way turned into a whiskey enthusiast! I love all the history behind whiskey and how the past has shaped distilling today! I am one of the hosts of the Barrel Brothers podcast on Spotify!
Check us out on Instagram @barrelbrotherspodcast or shoot us an email email@example.com
David is raising money for Semper Fi and America's Fund
I’m the founder and President of the Florida Rum Society. We are a group of almost 1,000 rum lovers and aficionados who have the common goal of elevating the category of rum in the sunshine state.
After embracing his daughter's suggestion to build a home tiki bar, Chris Twiggs leapt head-first into the worlds of tiki and rum. A college English professor and running coach, Chris has always loved learning and teaching, spending much of the last few years collecting rums, conducting tastings, and crafting cocktails for events in the community. Chris completed his Rummelier certification earlier this year and is an enthusiastic member of the Florida Rum Society.
Visit them on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/christwiggs/
Chris is raising money for The DONNA Foundation
I am a nonprofessional, but experienced judge for the last 6 years, judging spirits and craft beers. My interest began at too young an age, from a very fine mentor, who afforded me the opportunity to sample many a fine wine. I look forward to this experience and expect to learn a great deal as well as impart my knowledge so that the public can can better understand the fine products available to them.
Mark is raising money for Make A Wish Foundation
Mike is Co-Founder of Rickhouse Ramblings - a craft whiskey review website founded in 2020 in Clemmons, North Carolina. At Rickhouse Ramblings, we are on a journey to taste and review the finest whiskey and bourbon that Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina and South Carolina have to offer. Since our founding, Rickhouse Ramblings has reviewed over 50 different whiskey offerings from all over the East Coast. In our short two year history Rickhouse Ramblings reviews have been read by over 50,000 readers in the United States and all over the world.
Visit them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RickhouseRamblings
Michael is raising money for greeNest
Christian is Co-Founder of Rickhouse Ramblings - a craft whiskey review website founded in 2020 in Clemmons, North Carolina. At Rickhouse Ramblings, we are on a journey to taste and review the finest whiskey and bourbon that Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina and South Carolina have to offer. Since our founding, Rickhouse Ramblings has reviewed over 50 different whiskey offerings from all over the East Coast. In our short two year history Rickhouse Ramblings reviews have been read by over 50,000 readers in the United States and all over the world.
Visit them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RickhouseRamblings
Christian is raising money for Vessels of Mercy International
Travis is an ad man by day and a rum nerd by night. Though, thanks to remote work, he spends most of his waking hours in his home bar, The Accidental Jibe. Travis is an avid rum collector, tiki enthusiast, and foodie-turned-cocktail-maker. He is an ambassador for the Florida Rum Society and a certified Rummelier®.
Visit them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/FloridaRumSociety
Co-host of the Barrel Brothers Podcast. A fan of all things distilled, a sucker for a good pour and story.
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