Several local booze businesses have acquired hardware for their tasting rooms, thanks to a slew of medals won at recent competitions.
First up, newcomer Lost Cause Meadery earned a silver medal at The Mazer Cup, the world’s largest annual mead competition. The second-place finish came in the specialty mead category, courtesy of a tart cherry and black pepper beverage the Miramar meadery calls Devilish Grin. Mead brewer Billy Beltz had previous won medals competing in the Mazer Cup's homebrewer contest, but this was his first entry as a pro.
Meanwhile, winners were announced for the San Diego Spirit & Cocktail Competition, the competition connected to the Distilled Festival, which will take place at the San Diego Fairground on June 23rd.
With over a hundred possible categories for judging, not every style of liquor was represented in the results, and not every category featured a gold medalist, or necessarily a bronze or silver. In total, 133 medals were awarded: 45 gold, 55 silver, and 33 bronze. Local distilleries claimed 22 of the medals, including 5 of the 25 “best of class” honors, and one “best of division.” A “best of show” winner will be announced the day of the festival.
Among the most distinguished at the competition was Miramar distillery, Seven Caves Spirits, which earned a gold medal each for its One regional terroir gin, and an aged rum. Both medals came with a best of class distinction, while its Barrel Aged Rum earned an even higher honor: best of division, effectively being named the best rum in competition.
Pulling in the most medals was San Diego’s largest distillery, Cutwater Spirits, which tallied seven in all. Three of its booze medals were gold, including best of class distinctions for its Bali Hai Tiki gold rum and Devil’s Share bourbon whiskey. A fourth gold went to its (nonalcoholic) bloody mary mixer, while two of its canned concoctions earned medals in a pre-mixed cocktails category.
A best of class gold medal will also be taken home by Spring Valley spirit maker San Diego Distillery for its peated American whiskey, simply called Peated Cask Strength Whisky. San Diego Distillery added a bronze medal for its bourbon.
Winning local distilleries are listed below. For a full list visit the Distilled Festival web site.
Copper Collar Distillery Bronze — Artisan Vodka (Other Vodka – Unflavored) Bronze — Silver Rum (White Rum – Unflavored)
Cutwater Spirits Gold, Best of Class — Bali Hai Tiki Gold Rum (Spiced Rum) Gold, Best of Class — Devil’s Share Bourbon Whiskey (Straight Bourbon aged 2-5 years) Gold — Black Skimmer Bourbon (Bourbon) Gold — Spicy Bloody Mary Mix (Non-Alcoholic Mixers) Silver — Devil’s Share Single Malt Whiskey (American Whiskey – Single Malt [Non-Peated]) Silver — Fugu Vodka Mule (Pre-Mixed Cocktails) Bronze — Fugu Vodka Spicy Bloody Mary (Pre-Mixed Cocktails)
The California Spirits Company Gold — Pier View Gin (Traditional Gin)
Liberty Call Distilling Silver — SD County Aged Rum (Aged Rum) Bronze — Barrel Rested Gin (Regional Terroir Gin)
Malahat Spirits Silver — Bourbon (Straight Bourbon 2-5 years)
Misadventure & Co. Bronze — Vodka (Other Vodka – Unflavored)
Old Harbor Distilling Co. Silver — Barrelflag Navy Strength Rum (White Rum – Unflavored) Bronze — Ampersand Cold Pressed Coffee Liqueur (Coffee Liqueur) Bronze — San Miguel Southwestern Gin (Regional Terroir Gin)
Perfect Soul Silver — Whiskey (American Whiskey – Multi Grain)
San Diego Distillery Gold, Best of Class — Peated Cask Strength Whisky (American Whiskey – Single Malt [Peated]) Bronze — Bourbon (Bourbon)
Seven Caves Spirits Gold, Best of Class, Best of Division — Barrel Aged Rum (Aged Rum) Gold, Best of Class — Gin ‘One’ (Regional Terroir Gin)