2023 San Diego Spirits Festival
International Bottle Competition
September 2nd 2023
The Blind Tasting
The 2023 San Diego Spirits Festival International Bottle Competition is open for entries from emerging craft distillers, American merchant bottlers and large distillers alike; and it is open to all classes of spirits, domestic and international – whiskey, bourbon, gin, brandy, vodka, rum, agave spirits and liqueurs. 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 SEPTEMBER 2ND 2023
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
Our judges are free of any ties to specific brands,
they include distributors, educators and bartenders
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.
Andrew Falkner - Distilled-Sprits Professional
Philip Dobard - President Culinary Culture
Mike Morales - Master Catador Tequila Aficionado
Alexander “Alex” Perez - founder TequilaAficionado.com
Roman Ramoya - Vice President at Old Town Liquor
Brian Christensen - President Artisan Spirits Magazine
Christine Crnek - Founder and Co-inventor at (Neat) Arsilica, Inc.
Irina Ponomarenko -North American Sommelier Association
Rick Levy - Tequila Aficionado - Tequila Jockey Tasting Team
Eric Zandoya - Tequila Aficionado - Tequila Jockey Tasting Team
Rich Manning – Writer, Blogger, all round expert
John Fluke - Placed4Success LLC (P4STV)
Dennis Morales -Drink Labs
Jim Johnston - Tequila Aficionado - Tequila Jockey Tasting Team
Dave Dinius - Tequila Aficionado - Tequila Jockey Tasting Team
Bryce Taylor - Tequila Aficionado = Tequila Jockey Tasting Team
Jason Silverman - Tequila Aficionado - Tequila Jockey Tasting Team
Hayden Stewart - Sommelier, WSET 3
Crawford McCarthy - The Best Ceats
Paul Garduño - Patrons - Tequila expert
Sean Halman - Shadow Ridge Spirits - Distiller
Susan Frank - Founding Partner, Spirits of Agave
Erin Rea - Beverage Consultant & Spirits Specialist
Wendy Hodges - Spirits Expert Chilled Magazine
Jay Ojeda - Spirits Expert, judge
Chris Tunstall- Co-Founder A Bar Above Chief of Brand Product Development
Rob Harrah - A Bar Above Mixologist & Course Developer
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.