Consumers Curate Top Spirits Lists at the Largest SIP Awards Competition (Photos)

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The 2017 Spirits International Prestige (SIP) Awards,  taking place at the upscale Hyatt Regency Newport Beach, CA.,  hosted its largest blind tasting competition to date with 673 spirit brands and 118 consumer judges.

The competition gave domestic and international spirit brands the rare opportunity to be distinguished solely on the merits of taste, aroma, and finish by unbiased consumers.

The urgent need to receive exposure and direct consumer insight on a level playing field is apparent. Participation from new spirit brands has grown exponentially and consistently since the first SIP Awards competition in 2009. At the same time, premier brands return annually to show that they have what it takes to remain at the top of their respective categories despite rising competition. Brands that can place two or more years in a row are rewarded with the exclusive Consumer Choice Award.

"Spirit brands driven by the pursuit of quality exist to serve their consumers, but honest and unbiased feedback straight from those very people is hard to come by," says SIP Awards founder Paul Hashemi. "We foster a controlled and professional environment for spirit brands to not only get in front an audience with zero industry entanglements but also receive feedback straight from their taste buds."

To ensure spirits are served optimal conditions for blind tasting, the SIP Awards implements a patented delivery system that presents undiluted and chilled spirit samples in unmarked Neat glasses designed to elevate the tasting experience.

Additionally, all judges are carefully vetted to ensure that they do not bear affiliation with any spirit brands, distributors, or marketers. This standard was strictly enforced even though the over 30% jump in brand entries this year called for a proportional increase in the number of judges.

Going one step further to guarantee reliable results, the SIP Awards uses an algorithm to account for variability in palate consistency. Every judge was served 4-9% of samples twice. The scores from judges who evaluated both samples consistently were weighed heavier than those who varied in their responses.

Each spirit across all the categories were graded on aroma, taste, and finish.

For a complete list of the categories, winners, and photos from the event, visit:

About the SIP Awards
The SIP Awards provides a unique judging competition for spirit brands to gain exposure, feedback, and recognition from unbiased consumers. As the only blind tasting competition of its kind, the SIP Awards offer a fair platform for top brands to showcase their products to their most discerning audience.


To learn more about the SIP Awards beverage competition, venue partnerships, or for a complete list of 2017 winners, visit

Images: Sip Awards Facebook (as directed).


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