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.
Master Rummelier® Greg Hill has traveled the world in search of the finest rums. A rum aficionado for several decades, he formed the Royal Rum Society and Richmond Rum Society along with developing the Official Rummelier® Certification Program. The program has members from around the globe.
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.
Developed my interest in sprits about 10 years ago beginning with fine wines. Completed the Master Rummelier designation 2019. Enjoy conducting spirits tastings with rums, bourbons and tequila from my spirits library of over a 1,000 different expressions. As an amateur mixologist I enjoy crafting cocktails from scratch including making my own bitters and syrups. Several of my recipes have been adopted by restaurants and bars.
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
I started VaBoozNews as a way to help share what I love about craft spirits and especially the people in the industry with the public. While I enjoy geeking out about fermentation, esters, and the science as well as the art of distilling, in the end it's always about the enjoyment people get out of the 'juice' . I enjoy sponsoring tasting events and other events for people to learn and share about our great craft spirits.
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