The ASCOT Awards, a premier international spirits competition led by Fred Minnick that recognizes top selections from across the globe, became the first-ever spirits competition to air its results on National Television as 2023’s Best In Show winners were announced via the Spirits Network and on Vizio Channel 505.

The American Spirits Council of Tasters (ASCOT) comprises 43 seasoned professionals who blind-taste and score competing spirits. This year, the ASCOTs received more than 1,100 entries, announcing the Best In Category winners in May before narrowing down the category winners. The ASCOT judges determined the best bourbon, best rye, best Scotch and more. From here, the category winners competed for Best in Show. For the second year in a row, Journeyman, distilled in Three Oaks, MI, won Best in Show for its Corsets Whips and Whiskey.

EH Taylor Barrel Proof was the Best In Show Whiskey runner-up.

Judges tasted the following to determine Best in Show for whiskey.

Best Straight Bourbon 

  • Larceny Barrel Proof A123
  • Still Austin Whiskey Co. 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 Special Barrel-Finished Bourbon

  • Parker’s Heritage Collection 16th Edition Double Barreled Blend

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 Craft Bourbon Taste Off

  • Chattanooga Whiskey Cask 111 vs. Chattanooga 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 Taste-Off

  • Russell’s Reserve Private Barrel: Dallas Bourbon Club Vs. Naptown Bourbon Club: Elijah Craig

Whiskey Finals Judges:

  • John McCarthy, MC/Moderator
  • Fred Minnick, Founder
  • Clay Risen, Best-selling Whiskey Author
  • Tiffanie Barriere, Master Mixologist
  • Greg Wilson, RNDC Sales Rep
  • Denaya Jones-Reid, Owner, Deestilled
  • Max A. Solano, Master Mixologist and Consultant
  • Lew Bryson, Best-selling Whiskey Author
  • Susan Reigler, Whiskey Writer and Past President of the Bourbon Women Association
  • Jack Beguedou, (Hood Sommelier) / Spirit Consultant
  • Mark Hefter, Managing Director, The MINT Las Vegas
  • Brad Williams, Senior Category Manager, Liquor Barn/Bevmo
  • Francesco Lafranconi, Vice President
  • Beverage & Hospitality Culture
  • Carver Road Hospitality
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Owner/President at The Bourbon Flight, LLC | + posts