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Judging Process

Judging criteria

To win a London Spirits Competition award you will need to score highly in all three areas of our judging criteria. You might have outstanding quality spirits, but if the price and packaging is not right then you don’t, in commercial terms, have winning spirits brand. And you will not be recognized by the London Spirits Competition. That is why the London Spirits Competition will be decided based on the following judging formula making it a more relevant global spirits competition:

Q (Quality Score) + Value Score (V) + Package Score (P) = London Spirits Competition Score.

A separate weighted score will be given for each of the three parts of the judging process (Quality gets twice the weight. The scores will be calculated with other judges for the same product on the team to give a final score from which individual prizes will be awarded.

Quality Score: will be marked out of 100

Value Score: will be marked out of 100

Package Score: will be marked out of 100


Gold: to receive a Gold medal, you need to score 90 or over.


Silver: to receive a Silver medal, you need to score between 76-89.


Bronze: to receive a Bronze medal, you need to score between 65-75.


Special Awards

The minimum qualification for the special award is 90 points. The category that has no product that achieved 90 points will not be considered.

Spirit Of The Year


Vodka Of The Year


Rum Of The Year


Tequila Of The Year


Gin Of The Year


Whisky Of The Year


Distillery Of The Year


Best Spirit By Country


Best Spirit By Quality


Best Spirit By Value


Best Spirit By Packaging


Who are our judges?

The London Spirits Competition will be assessed and judged by a leading panel of top level spirits buyers with current direct commercial buying responsibility. Or spirits consultants and experts who are also directly involved in the development of new spirits brands or buying spirits for commercial re-sale.

The list of judges will be drawn from leading retail chains, wholesalers, distributors and on-trade groups across a variety of channels and disciplines including multiple retailing, convenience stores, cash and carries, specialist retailers, casual and fine dining, hospitality and the travel industry. 

Judging procedure

All spirits entered will be handled by Sensible Spirits Services and organized into flights for tasting.

The spirits will:

- Initially, be tasted blind to determine its quality.

- Where appropriate they will also be assessed by variety, style, region, and country.

- Judges will then be given a briefing document setting out the spirits' price and target consumer and trade channel where it wants to be sold. Only then will judges be asked to give their score for quality based on the initial blind tasting and then additional knowledge about the spirits' price and market position.  

- The judges will then be handed the bottle or format for them to be able to assess, in detail, the design, label, and packaging and determine how well that matches up to, or complements the quality of the spirits and its price point.

- The judges will then discuss the spirits as a whole to help allocate scores in the three judging areas.

- The Gold winning spirits and all special category spirits will be re-tasted by the spirits judges on the re-judging day to ensure the scoring quality.