The Speciality and Pre-mixed Masters 2018 results

Thursday 8 November 2018 10:45am

Walking away with a Gold medal was Helsinki White Dog 100% Rye Malt from The Helsinki Distilling Company, said to be "grassy and mineral, and with a slight honey note at the end".

My panel started with a Fruit Spirit flight, in which we found two Gold -worthy recipients, both made by The Helsinki Distilling Company.

The first medal was given to Helsinki Tyrnipontikka for its "vegetal, herbaceous vibrancy", while the second went to Helsinki Applejack for its "long aftertaste" and "full, round flavour".

Lindsay's team then tackled the Aquavit flight, and awarded another medal to The Helsinki Distilling Company, this time for the producer's Helsingfors Fiskehamns Akvavit, which was "perfumed, but soft for an aquavit".

Rounding off the speciality half of the tasting was a flight of Bitters, in which Riga Black Balsam scooped a Gold for its flavours of "balsamic, bitter chocolate and coffee".

Four Gold medals were awarded in this round to the following products: "floral" Tipplesworth Garden Collins Cocktail Mixer; "honey, fruity, floral" Tipplesworth Festive Punch; "acidic" Easy Mixers Rosemary; and "cherry cola, cinnamon and plum" Easy Mixers Queimada.

The first two partially -made drinks required the addition of gin, while Easy Mixers Rosemary could be mixed with gin or vodka, and Easy Mixers Queimada could be made with wine, aged rum or brandy.

Tipplesworth also gained a Silver medal for its Tipplesworth Espresso Martini Cocktail Mixer, which simply needed to be shaken with vodka.

The final flight of the day Pre Mixed Drinks drew a throng of Silver medals and one Gold, the latter presented to Aldi's Bluegrass Bourbon & Cola, which "did exactly what it says on the tin" and had "well- balanced flavours".

Nine Silver medals were also found in this group, with judges particularly enjoying Noveltea's The Tale of Earl Grey, Silver Swift's Basil Blush Vodka's "strawberry Ribena" taste, and the complexity of The Xpresso Martini by Club Belmont, which combined "coffee, bitterness, sweetness and chocolate" on the palate.

Looking back at the range of products sampled during the competition, judges were impressed by the innovative nature of speciality spirits but noted that pre mixed producers could be more experimental with their flavour choices and spirits pairings.

Company Product Medal

The Helsinki Distilling Company Helsinki White Dog 100% Rye Malt Gold

Company Product Medal

The Helsinki Distilling Company Helsinki Tyrnipontikka Gold

The Helsinki Distilling Company Helsinki Applejack Gold

Company Product Medal

Company Product Medal

The Helsinki Distilling Company Helsingfors Fiskehamns Akvavit Gold

Tipplesworth Tipplesworth Garden Collins Cocktail Mixer Gold

Easy Mixers Easy Mixers Rosemary (Pear & Rosemary) Gold

Easy Mixers Easy Mixers Queimada (Co ee, Cinnamon & Citrus) Gold

Tipplesworth Tipplesworth Espresso Martini Cocktail Mixer Silver

Company Product Medal

Silver Swift Basil Blush Vodka Silver

Silver Swift Tipsy Iced Tea Vodka Silver

Source: The Spirits Business