The American Spirits Council Of Tasters Announce Best In Category Winners For The 2023 Ascot Awards | Shore Fire Media

Fred MinnickClient Information

17 May, 2023Print

The American Spirits Council Of Tasters Announce Best In Category Winners For The 2023 Ascot Awards

Category winners to compete for Best in Show, airing on the Spirits Network (7 PM EST) and Channel 505 Vizio Watch Free+ on June 1st.


Last week, the American Spirits Council of Tasters, founded by renowned spirits critic Fred Minnick, announced winners for the 2023 ASCOT Awards for the Double PlatinumPlatinum, Gold and Honorable Mention categories. Today (5.17), the tasters reveal Best in Category winners.

The ASCOTs received more than 1,100 entries and judges scored each product uniquely. Their scores are tallied with the highest moving on to the next round, where Category Winners are chosen. Category Champions go onto compete for Best in Show.

However, a handful of categories have yet to be decided. For example, six standout brands dominated the Best Straight Bourbon category including Larceny Barrel Proof A123, Still Austin Whiskey Co. Cask Strength Straight Bourbon Whiskey, W.L. Weller Full Proof, Remus Repeal Reserve Bourbon Series VI, 1792 Full Proof and E.H. Taylor Jr. Barrel Proof. They will be tasted in the finals to determine Best Straight Bourbon, which will go on to compete for Best Bourbon.

On Thursday, June 1st, the 2023 ASCOT Awards Best in Category winners will compete in a blind taste-off, produced by NBTV Studios and airing exclusively on the Spirits Network. Spirits fans can sign up for free at The professional judges for the ASCOT finals include Denaya J. Reid, owner of Deestilled; Mark Hefter, Managing Director of The MINT; Susan Reigler, Whiskey Writer and Past President of the Bourbon Women Association; Tiffanie Barriere, The Drinking Coach; Francesco Lafranconi, Founder of The Academy of Spirits & Fine Service; Max Solano, founder of Bar Chef Productions; Jack Beguedou (Hood Sommelier), Spirit Consultant; Brad Williams, Senior Category Manager of spirits for Liquor Barn/Bevmo; Lew Bryson, author of Whiskey Master Class; Greg Wilson, RNDC; Clay Risen, whiskey author and editor of The New York Times; and Fred Minnick, founder of the ASCOTs.

The Spirits Network ASCOT Awards show begins with tasters determining Best Bourbon, Best Scotch, Best Irish Whiskey and Best Rye Whiskey. Once these category winners are crowned, they compete against the previously determined category winners of Best World Whiskey, Best Wheat Whiskey, Best Blend of Straight American Whiskey and Best Special Barrel Finish Whiskey for the ultimate award: Best in Show Whiskey. 

See a full list of the 2023 ASCOT Awards’ Best in Category winners, here:



Best Vodka

Nykur Super Premium Organic Vodka


Best Flavored Vodka

James Lake Crisp Cucumber – Cucumber Flavored Vodka


Best Gin

Farmer’s Organic Gin


Best Aged Gin

Rabbit Hole Bespoke Gin


Best Unaged Rum

Black Frost Distilling Rum


Best Aged Rum

Note: A taste off between these three will decide the winner.


Rolling Fork Spirits 9-Year Single Cask 

Richland Rum XO — Richland Single 

Barbados Rum 

Estate Old South Georgia Rum


Best Flavored Rum (Spiced)

Cutwater Bali Hai Tiki Gold


Best Unaged Tequila

Tanteo Blanco Tequila


Best Reposado Tequila

Jose Cuervo Reserva de la Familia Reposado


Best Anejo Tequila

Jose Cuervo Tradicional Anejo


Best Extra Anejo Tequila

1800 Milenio


Best Flavored Tequila

Fiero Habanero Tequila


Best Mezcal

Montelobos Ensamble


Best Sotol

Nocheluna Sotol


Best Cognac VSOP or Equivalent

Pierre Ferrand 10 Generations Port Cask


Best Cognac XO or Equivalent

Pierre Ferrand Selection des Anges Cognac


Best Apple Brandy

Black Dirt Apple Jack


Best Grape Brandy

Ricou Spirits Brandy Sainte Louise


Best Ouzo

Ouzo 12


Best Guaro

Bacan Guaro


Best Liqueur | Herbal/Botanical



Best Liqueur | Other: Chile/Pepper

Ancho Reyes Chile Liqueur


Best Liqueur | Coffee

Cafe Granita Coffee Liqueur


Best Liqueur | Cream/Dairy

Largo Bay Coquito Cream


Best Liqueurs | Aperitif

Casa Cinzano Cinzano Vermouth Bianco


Best Liqueur | Fruit

Grand Marnier Cordon Rouge


Best Liqueur | Nut



Best Ready-to-Drink Seltzer

Kraken & Cola


Best Ready-to-Drink Cocktail

Via Carota Craft Cocktails Espresso Martini


Best Ready-to-Drink Cocktail Non Alcoholic*

Better Than Booze Rosemary Infused Grapefruit Paloma


Best Mixers Non-Alcoholic

Betty Buzz Meyer Lemon Club Soda




Note: A taste off between these six will decide the winner.

Larceny Barrel Proof A123

Still Austin Whiskey Co. Cask Strength Straight Bourbon Whiskey 

W.L. Weller Full Proof

Remus Repeal Reserve Bourbon Series VI

1792 Full Proof

E.H. Taylor Jr. Barrel Proof




Best Single Barrel Bourbon | Up to 10 Years

Whiskey Thief Distilling Co. Single Barrel 23 Rain Fall Down


Best Special Barrel-Finished Bourbon

Parker’s Heritage Collection 16th Edition Double Barreled Blend


Best Special Barrel-Finished Rye

Milam & Greene Straight Rye Whiskey Finished in Port Wine Casks Private Select


Best American Whiskey

J. Rieger & Co. Kansas City Whiskey


Best American Rye Whiskey

Old Ezra 7 Year Straight Rye Whiskey


Best American Rye Whiskey: Single Barrel

O.H. Ingram River Aged Single Barrel Rye *not qualified for taste-off


Best Small Batch Bourbon | Up to 5 Years

K.LUKE Whiskey Company Small Batch Barrel Strength Bourbon


 Best Small Batch Bourbon | 6 to 10 Years

Dixon Dedman 2XO: The Phoenix Blend


Best Small Batch Rye

Proof and Wood Tumblin Dice Rye Curated Small Batch


Best Wheated Bourbon

Larceny Barrel Proof A123


Best Craft Bourbon

Chattanooga Whiskey Cask 111


Best Craft Rye

Distillery 291 All Rye 100% Rye Malt Colorado Whiskey 

Finished with Aspen Wood Staves


Best Canadian Whisky

Black Velvet 


Best Tennessee Whiskey

Daddy Rack Tennessee Straight Whiskey


Best World Whisky

Stauning Rye Whisky


Best Craft Whiskey

Chattanooga Whiskey “91”


 Best Special Barrel-Finished Whiskey

Four Gate Whiskey Company Batch 19 – The Kelvin Collaboration IIII


Best Blend of Straight Bourbon

Penelope Private Select Batch 22-302


Best Blend of Straight Rye

Barrell Craft Spirits Stellum Rye Fibonacci Blend #1


Best Whiskey Club Barrel Pick

Note: A taste off between these two will decide the winner.


Russell’s Reserve Private Barrel: Dallas Bourbon Club

Naptown Bourbon Club: Elijah Craig


Best Blended Malt

Duncan Taylor The Big Smoke – Heavily Peated


Best Blended Irish Whiskey

McConnell’s Sherry Cask Finish Irish Whisky


Best Single Malt Irish Whiskey

The Quiet Man 8 Year Old Single Malt


Best Blend of Straight Whiskies

Jack Daniel’s Triple Mash


Best Blended Scotch

Coachbuilt Scotch Whisky


 Best American Single Malt

Bird Creek Distillery Cask Strength – Baronesse


Best Single Malt Scotch – No Age Statement

Glasgow 1770 Single Malt Scotch – The Original


Best Single Malt Scotch - Up to 12 Years

Lagavulin 8 Year Old


Best Single Malt Scotch – 13-19 Years

Lagavulin 16 Year Old


Best Single Malt Scotch – 20+ Years

Mortlach 20 Year Old


Best Wheat Whiskey

Journeyman Distillery Corsets Whips and Whiskey


Best Corn Whiskey

MB Roland Distillery, Inc


Best Flavored Whiskey

Wild Turkey American Honey


Best Moonshine | Flavored

Ole Smoky Banana Pudding Cream Moonshine



Minnick is a spirits authority, entrepreneur, best-selling author, podcast host and more. In 2021, he co-founded the American Spirits Council of Tasters and launched the first-ever ASCOT Awards, honoring the top spirits across the globe. With his podcast The Fred Minnick Show, a Hermes Creative Award winner and Webby Honoree, Minnick bridges the gap between bourbon culture and the entertainment industry. His episodes have included tastings and interviews with athletes, musicians, celebrities and bourbon executives. Previous guests have included Peyton Manning, Ludacris, Ian Somerhalder, Ashley McBryde, Lindsey Ell, Terry Bradshaw and more. He has authored several best-selling books, including Bourbon Curious; Bourbon; Rum Curious; and Whiskey Women. He’s appeared on the Today Show, Good Morning America, Top Chef, Moonshiners, CBS This Morning and more.



ASCOT Awards is an international spirits competition created by spirits personality and veteran tasting judge, Fred Minnick. The competition provides a unique opportunity for distillers to have their products recognized through Fred’s YouTube channel, social media, news articles, newsletters, and festivals.



Spirits Network is a shoppable entertainment network featuring renowned experts & celebrities sharing tasting notes, cocktail recipes & stories from the world of spirits. Through the platform, members can engage with and purchase from the top players defining the spirits business, as well as access exclusive products, gifts, and experiences. 

There are more than 100 programs produced exclusively through the Spirits Network including: “Spirits for Beginners”- practical and enjoyable spirits education from Flavien Desoblin; “Meet the Masters” –an in-depth, guided tour of how your favorite spirit is made through the eyes of its makers; “Cocktail History” –sharing the history behind the world's most iconic and inventive cocktails; “Barrel Select” – Hosted by Samara Davis, Founder of Black Bourbon Society (BBS), the show documents the creation of Samara's second Maker's Mark custom barrel; “Wine Uncorked” – an irreverent approach to wine education hosted by Comedian / Sommelier, Patrick Ney, and produced by and featuring Actor/Comedian/2021 EMMY Award Host, Cedric The Entertainer. Our series have featured guests including Jason Biggs, Michael Shannon, Sarah Paulson, Rainn Wilson, Ed Helms, Evan Peters, William H. Macy and many more.

Viewers can stream their favorite Spirits Network shows at any time, from any location, at home or on-the-go. Compatible devices include Apple TV, Apple iOS, and Android, as well as Smart TVs. Spirits Network now has its own FAST channel, available on all Vizio smart TVs on channel 505.

Spirits Network LLC is a channel produced by NBTV Channels. NBTV Channels builds unique content for brands and direct-to-consumer businesses, transforming marketing from a cost to a revenue center by offering in-platform 'click to buy' opportunities.




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