2021 San Diego Spirits Festival
International Bottle Competition

AUGUST 28th 2021

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The Blind Tasting

The 2021 San Diego Spirits Festival International Bottle Competition is open for entries from emerging craft distillers, American merchant bottlers and large distillers alike, the competition will bring renowned experts from the worlds of spirits and hospitality together to determine the best tasting spirits in a blind analysis, the double blind competition will be based on a 100 point scale the competition will be held August 28th 2021


We are the most cost-effective International Spirits Competition

Design Awards are also judged at no additional cost

Winning brands have full use of their medals and images


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The Process

Spirits will be  presented to judges in coded NEAT glasses in a blind tasting format.

No spirits bottles will be visible to judges at any time until the competition is finished. Staff members will be prohibited from mentioning any spirits brand names entered in the competition.


The integrity of San Diego Spirits Festival International Spirits Competition starts with the quality and expertise of our Esteemed Judges. Our Judges have a wide variety of experiences and backgrounds and this facilitates a true, unbiased quality of judging of all the brands that have entered.


The 2021Judges

Philip Dobard - President Culinary Culture 

Roman Ramoya - Vice President at Old Town Liquor 

Paula Dezzutti  - Local Choice

Montgomery Paulsen - Wine & Spirits Consultant

Khrys Maxwell - Director of Tequila & Agave Distillates

Irina Ponomarenko -North American Sommelier Association 

Rich Manning – Writer, Blogger, all round expert

John Fluke - Placed4Success LLC (P4STV)

Hayden Stewart - Sommelier, WSET 3

Dennis Morales -Drink Labs

Eric Stand - The Whiskey Scout

Crawford McCarthy - The Best Ceats

Will Elger - Mason Imports, LLC

Luis Navarro - Tequila, Senior Brand Ambassador

Trevor Bowles - Makers Mark Diplomat

Paul Garduño - Patrons - Tequila expert

Tony Menechella - Certified Spirits Specialist, writer/reviewer

Sean Halman - Shadow Ridge Spirits - distiller

Simone Rubio - Speakeasy Operator - Spirits expert

Evgeny Anisimov - Bartender


Advisory Council

GEORGE MANSKA inventor of the Neat Glass is the Advisory Council for the San Diego Spirits Festival International Spirits Competition. George is the Chief of Research and Development, Corporate Strategy officer of Arsilica, Inc., Las Vegas, NV and inventor of the NEAT glass, and NEAT science of nosing and evaluation.

Why we use NEAT as our official judging glass:

NEAT eliminates nose burn and numbing, displays all aromas, and delivers competition level performance, letting every spirit speak for itself.  NEAT improves credibility of spirits, judges and ratings.

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