Of Booze & Cheddar Cheese: The 2011 BESTS Are Chosen

Is it a coincidence that the Ultimate Beverage Challenge (UBC) spirit winners were announced the day before St Patty's?  Doesn't matter... You might as well take advantage of your new knowledge. The 'ultimate' judges of the best in booze have decided. and here are the best of the bests, the Chairman's Trophy Awards in 27 Challenge categories. (It must have been fun to be a judge....)


Judges preparing to go another round: Photo Credit: Michael Gold/TheCorporateImageJudges preparing to go another round: Photo Credit: Michael Gold/TheCorporateImage

The following spirits were given superior evaluations that warranted the 2011 Chairman's Trophy:

Chairman’s Trophy-Unflavored: Finlandia Classic Vodka (Finland)
Chairman’s Trophy-Flavored: Ketel One Citroen Flavored Vodka (Netherlands)

Chairman’s Trophy-Gin: Beefeater London Dry Gin (United Kingdom) 

Chairman’s Trophy-Blanco: Olmeca Plata Blanco, 100% Agave Tequila Olmeca Plata Blanco won the Chairman's Trophy for best blanco agave tequilaOlmeca Plata Blanco won the Chairman's Trophy for best blanco agave tequila
Chairman’s Trophy-Reposado: Cabo Wabo Reposado, 100% Agave Tequila
Chairman’s Trophy-Añejo: Calle 23 Añejo, 100% Agave Tequila
Chairman’s Trophy-Extra Añejo: Grand Mayan Extra Añejo, 100% Agave Tequila

Chairman’s Trophy-Mezcal: El Tinieblo Joven Mezcal 

Chairman’s Trophy-Rum: Dos Maderas PX 5+5 Rum (Spain)

Chairman’s Trophy-Bourbon: George T. Stagg 17 Years Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon
Chairman’s Trophy-Rye: Sazerac Straight 18 Years Old Rye Whiskey

Chairman’s Trophy-Blended: Michael Collins Blended Irish Whiskey
Chairman’s Trophy-Single Malt: Tyrconnell Madeira Finish 10 Years Old Single Malt Irish Whiskey

Chairman’s Trophy-Single Malt-Cask Strength: Aberlour a'bunadh Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Chairman’s Trophy-Single Malt-Speyside: The Balvenie Peated Cask 17 Years Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Chairman’s Trophy-Single Malt-Islands: Highland Park 18 Years Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Chairman’s Trophy-Single Malt-Islay: Lagavulin Distillers Edition Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Chairman’s Trophy-Blended: Dewar's 18 Years Old Blended Scotch Whisky

Chairman’s Trophy-Canadian: Canadian Mist Black Diamond Canadian Blended Whisky

Chairman’s Trophy-Aged: Cardenal Mendoza Brandy de Jerez 17 Years Old Spanish Brandy (Spain)
Chairman’s Trophy-Unaged: Rémy Martin V Grape Spirit (France)

Chairman’s Trophy-Cognac: Martell XO Cognac

Chairman’s Trophy-Armagnac: Delord 25 Years Old Bas-Armagnac

Chairman’s Trophy-Calvados: Boulard Grand Solage VSOP Pays d’Auge Calvados

Chairman’s Trophy-Fruit: Merlet Crème de Cassis, Blackcurrant Liqueur (France)
Chairman’s Trophy-Herbal: Stroh Jagertee Liqueur (Austria)

Chairman’s Trophy-Aperitif: Lillet Rosé Aperitif (France)

The above is just a list of the Trophy winners, but if you're at all serious about finding a brand that has the qualities you like at a decent cost, I would go straight to the Ultimate Spirits Challenge website and investigate the entire list, not just of Trophy winners, but of finalists.  Each of them is rated with a number, indicating how strong the judges feel about their recommendations, but there are also 'tasters' notes' that can help whet your whistle for the real thing.  Additionally, the spirits that are good values for the quality you get, are indicated with a '$' sign.


Where's The Cheese? Cabot's was a big winner at the United States Championship Cheese ContestCabot's was a big winner at the United States Championship Cheese Contest

Oh, yes... the cheese.  Well, you may like a good cheddar with your booze or not, but I did not think my own St. Patrick's Day should go by without letting you know that the Cabot Creamery Cooperative's Seriously Sharp Aged Cheddar and Cabot's 75% Reduced Fat Cheddar were crowned 'Best of Class' during the United States Championship Cheese Contest, the largest dairy competition ever.

All in all 1,600 brands of cheese and butter, 30.000 pound of it, were judged at the Green Bay Packers Atrium!

Have a safe and happy St. Patrick's Day!

sources: Ultimate Beverage Challenge via SFGate, Centre Daily Times



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