Ming River Sichuan Baijiu, a brand that launched earlier this year, has won double gold at the 2018 New York World Wine & Spirits Competition. The double gold award is the highest award given at the competition, signifying a gold medal rating from all judges. The judging panel consists of experienced experts in the wine and spirits industry including spirits writers, esteemed beverage buyers, and NY based mixologists. The annual NY World Wine and Spirits competition is a member of The Tasting Alliance, and it uses the same rigorous blind tasting evaluation as its sister competitions, the San Francisco World Spirits Competition and The San Francisco International Wine Competition.
At the New York World Wine & Spirits Competition judges select awards based on a spirits individual merits, and no medal is guaranteed. In this selective environment only 36 of this year’s entrants received the double gold award. Winners beside Ming River included several of the world’s most celebrated brands, like whiskies by Laphroaig, Pappy Van Winkle and Blanton’s.
““I’m thrilled to see Ming River honored by a professional panel so soon after launching the United States. We’re glad to see baijiu finally getting the international recognition it deserves - William Isler, CEO Ming River ”
Ming River is produced by Luzhou Laojiao, China’s longest continuously operating distillery. For more than four centuries, Luzhou Laojiao’s traditional baijiu techniques have passed from master to apprentice. The result is a complex and refined spirit that perfectly encapsulates Sichuan’s proud culinary heritage.
Baijiu Draws Praise at International Spirits Competitions
In recent years baijiu has impressed judges at several international spirits competitions. At this year’s San Francisco World Spirits Competition more than 50 baijius took home awards, including five double golds and 15 golds. More than 30 baijius scored 90 points or higher at the latest Ultimate Spirits Challenge in New York. In European competitions the results have been similar, with more than 40 baijius receiving medals at last year’s International Wine and Spirits Challenge in London, and more than 90 baijius receiving medals at the 2018 Councours Mondial du Bruxelles Spirit Selection in Plovdiv.
Derek Sandhaus, Ming River co-founder and editor of online journal Drink Baijiu
(www.drinkbaijiu.com) sees Ming River’s success as a sign of the growing international appreciation for baijiu. “A well-balanced baijiu is as good as any spirit out there. It will always score high marks in a blind tasting,” says Sandhaus. “As international audiences become more familiar with the category’s nuances, I expect to see baijiu collect even more awards.”