By Sacha Delfosse

The second annual Ultimate Spirits Challenge (USC) was held in New York from March 1-4, where for an entry fee, spirits companies received an unbiased evaluation of their product through a multilevel system of judging by a large panel of industry experts.

This year saw 600 entries from across the globe, with each given an aggregated score out of 100 and the highest-scoring spirit in each category awarded a Chairman’s Trophy accolade.

27 top shelf spirits received a USC Chairman’s Trophy this year including Ketel One Citroen Flavored Vodka, Beefeater London Dry Gin, Calle 23 Añejo Tequila, Sazerac Straight 18 Years Old Rye Whiskey, Martell XO Cognac, Michael Collins Blended Irish Whiskey and Finlandia Classic Vodka.

“Finlandia Classic is long overdue for recognition from world-class experts. I was delighted to see it recognised officially for the great vodka it has always been and continues to be,” said Ultimate Spirits Challenge chairman and judge Paul Pacult.

In addition to Finlandia’s success at the USC, the company’s Finlandia Grapefruit Fusion recently won a Double Gold award at the 2011 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, as well as being chosen the “Best Flavoured” in the vodka category.

“We believe Finlandia Grapefruit Fusion has done so well in competitions because it smells and tastes like it came straight from the tree and into the bottle. We attribute that to the naturally pure ingredients of the Finlandia Vodka with which it is fused,” said Finlandia Vodka managing director Neil Punwani.

“This award and the countless awards our flavours have received since the introduction of Finlandia Cranberry Fusion in 1994 is a testament to the premium quality and taste of the brand.”

Finlandia vodkas are distributed in Australia by Brown-Forman.


The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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