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Top 10 award-winning autumn spirits

Wondering what spirits to stock up on this autumn? Our first seasonal blind tasting saw an expert panel give top medals to some of the best bottlings available on the market today.

Here are 10 acclaimed bottlings from The DB & SB Autumn Blind Tasting

Last month, The Spirits Business hosted its first collaborative tasting with sister magazine the drinks business. The DB & SB Autumn Blind Tasting was established to create a seasonal platform to celebrate the best brands in spirits, wine, beer and all the low‐ and no‐alcohol options in between. The Spirits Business used its expertise to judge the spirits part of the competition.

As with many of our competitions this year, the blind tasting was held online with bottles delivered anonymously to judges’ homes. The inaugural competition was judged by Melita Kiely, editor of The Spirits Business, and Matt Chambers and Karen Taylor, practised spirits judges and founders of the Whisky for Everyone blog.

Spanning categories such as gin, rum, Tequila, vodka and Scotch, the competition awarded Master, Gold and Silver medals to products for their top-quality liquid. For the purpose of this roundup, we looked at the products that scored Master and Gold medals.

Click through to the following pages to see 10 award-winning bottlings from the DB & SB Autumn Blind Tasting.

Gordon’s Traveller’s Edition

Price: £30 (US$39)

Gordon’s Traveller’s Edition scored a Master medal in the Gin round after delighting judges with its “juniper, cardamom” nose and “citrus” on the palate, that finished with a “spirity kick”.

Bottled at 37.5% ABV, the expression is a Traveller’s Edition bottling of Gordon’s Yellow Label Gin.

Georgian Bay Smashed Tea

Price: US$2

A tasting of Hard Tea saw a Master go to Georgian Bay Smashed Tea. “This tastes like 5% ABV iced tea; a really nice product,” said one judge. “It’s got that late, slight bitterness you get with teas as well; really lovely.”

Georgian Bay Smashed Tea combines black tea, Darjeeling tea and the company’s Original Gin Smash.

Corralejo Añejo

Price: £35 (US$46)

Fraternity Spirits secured five Gold medals for its Tequilas during the competition, including one for Corralejo Añejo.

The judges liked this expression’s “creamy, sweet” profile with “background spices and agave syrup”. The expression is a 100% Blue Weber agave Tequila rested in American oak barrels.

Spey Trutina Cask Strength

Price: £60 (US$79)

Spey Trutina Cask Strength stormed to success in the Scotch Whisky segment, after delivering “chocolate and peaches” on the palate with “some maltiness and white pepper”.

The Gold-winning expression was matured in Bourbon casks and bottled at 59.1% ABV.

Elephant London Dry Gin

Price: £30 (US$39)

One of two Master medallists in the Gin flight was Elephant London Dry Gin, which is made with African botanicals.

The gin impressed with its “juniper and mandarin” nose, “zesty, pine” palate and “slight bitterness” on the finish, which “gave it more roundness”.

Made in Germany, the expression supports elephant conservation charities and has also taken steps to reduce its environmental impact. The brand’s bottles are plastic‐free and made using recyclable glass with a natural cork stopper.

Nemiroff The Inked Collection Burning Pear

Price: £14 (US$18)

Ukrainian vodka brand Nemiroff took home four Gold medals in the Vodka flight including one for Nemiroff The Inked Collection Burning Pear.

The expression was lauded for its flavours of “poached pears and caramel sweetness”. Nemiroff Burning Pear combines Nemiroff Vodka with honey, local peppers and fresh pear.

It is part of Nemiroff’s Inked Collection of flavoured vodkas, which includes Blood Orange and Wild Cranberry.

Calarasi Divin Special Collection

Price: £6.50 (US$8.50)

In the Brandy – VSOP flight, a Gold medal was awarded to Calarasi Divin Special Collection VSOP. The brandy had notes of “sultanas, orange oil and caramel” on the palate.

The expression was matured in oak barrels for at least five years.

Filibuster Boondoggler

Price: £32 (US$42)

Filibuster Boondoggler walked away with a Gold in the American Whiskey – Single Grain flight, thanks to its aromas of “chestnut peels, some fruitiness and baking spices” and “charged fruitiness on the finish”.

Boondoggler is made with a combination of corn, rye and barley, and was matured in a selection of barrels, including virgin American oak, Pedro Ximénez sherry, red wine and fino Sherry casks.

The Virginia-based distillery also won two Gold medals for its Dual Cask Bourbon and Dual Cask Rye expressions.

Lanique Spirit of Rose

Price: £27 (US$35)

In a tasting of liqueurs, Gold medallist Lanique Spirit of Rose was found to be “rich, creamy and flavoursome, with earthy agave”.

The 39% ABV expression is made from hand-picked rose petals that are steam-distilled to release their essence.

Ron Prohibido 15

Price: £36 (US$47)

Fraternity Spirits also scored two Gold medals in the Dark Rum round for Ron Prohibido 15 and Ron Prohibido 12.

The 15‐year‐old was said to have “rich jam and chocolate sauce” on the nose, leading to “fresh toasted nuts and apricot jam” on the palate.

The Mexican rum was matured in American oak barrels that previously contained raisin wine.

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