The judging will be conducted by panels of a minimum of four qualified trade buyers. Our trade-only judging panelists work with spirits and their customers on a daily basis. They are a mix of restauranteurs, sommeliers, retail spirits buyers, distributors and importers. We try to assemble each judging panel with a mix of different disciplines so multiple viewpoints will be considered in the evaluation of the spirits. We offer a 200€ stipend to each judge per day.
If the judges are faced with an obviously flawed bottle of a product, no more than one additional bottle of the same entry will be opened and tasted.
The tasting order of entries is set in our database first by panel, then category. Large categories are randomly split by the database so that no panel is asked to taste more than 60 products in the same category.
Spirits are presented to judges in coded glasses. No bottles are visible to judges at any time until the competition is finished. Staff members are strictly forbidden from discussing any brand names, whether entered or not in the competition.
The decision of the judges is final and no changes are made to awards after the judging is complete. Judges receive a copy of the code sheets of the spirits they judged with awards noted, so they are able to compare our records with their notes from the judging.