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Judging Process

Judging criteria

To win a London Spirits Competition award you will need to score highly in all three areas of our judging criteria. You might have outstanding quality spirits, but if the price and packaging is not right then you don’t, in commercial terms, have winning spirits. And you will not be recognized by the London Spirits Competition.

There is no point, for example, in having 95 point spirits if it does not look good or offer consumers great value for money. Those points mean it will remain highly respected within the trade, but it will also remain largely unsold on the shelf or languishing on a restaurant’s spirits list.

Scoring system

That is why the London Spirits Competition will be decided based on the following judging formula:

Q (Quality Score) + Value Score (V) + Package Score (P) = London Spirits Competition Score.

A separate weighted score will be given for each of the three parts of the judging process. The scores will be added up to give a final score from which individual prizes will be awarded.

Quality Score: will be marked out of 50

Value Score: will be marked out of 25

Package Score: will be marked out of 25

Gold: to receive a Gold medal you need to score 90 or over.

Silver: you need to score between 76-89.

Bronze: you need to score between 65-75.

Who are our judges?

The London Spirits Competition will be assessed and judged by a leading panel of top level spirits buyers with current direct commercial buying responsibility. Or spirits consultants and experts who are also directly involved in the development of new spirits brands or buying spirits for commercial re-sale.

The list of judges will be drawn from leading retail chains, wholesalers, distributors and on-trade groups across a variety of channels and disciplines including multiple retailing, convenience stores, cash and carries, specialist retailers, casual and fine dining, hospitality and the travel industry. 

Judging procedure

All spirits entered will be handled by Sensible Spirits Services and organized into flights for tasting.

The spirits will:

- Initially, be tasted blind to determine its quality.

- Where appropriate they will also be assessed by variety, style, region, and country.

- Judges will then be given a briefing document setting out the spirits' price and target consumer and trade channel where it wants to be sold. Only then will judges be asked to give their score for quality based on the initial blind tasting and then additional knowledge about the spirits' price and market position.  

- The judges will then be handed the bottle or format for them to be able to assess, in detail, the design, label, and packaging and determine how well that matches up to, or complements the quality of the spirits and its price point.

- The judges will then discuss the spirits as a whole to help allocate scores in the three judging areas.

- The Gold winning spirits and all special category spirits will be re-tasted by the spirits judges on the re-judging day to ensure the scoring quality.

Judging dates

Judging will take place on March 23, 2020, at a central London venue. To be considered in the competition all products must be with Sensible Spirits Solutions by March 06, 2020.