This past Monday, the New York Spirit Awards (NYSA) announced the winners from this year’s inaugural competition. NYSA was founded by 2 thirsty spirits – Adam Levy, a spirits writer who named his dog after Brooklyn Brewery’s brewmaster (Garrett Oliver) and Dori Bryant, the founder of The Polished Palate who has been given the title “The Rum Queen” by the St. Petersburg Times.
The closed-to-the-public tasting took place on June 14 and 15 at the Javits Center in Manhattan, with 265 brands of spirits (both big and small). The judges were an impressive mix of buyers, sommeliers, mixologists and other trade folks. 78 awards were given at 3 different levels – “Best of Show” (brand with highest number of points), FDR Awards for “Best in Category” (highest scoring brand in each category, giving props to the President who repealed Prohibition) and Best of Class for “Top Performers” (top scoring 20% of brands in each category).
You may be beginning to wonder why you should care. Well, turns out that my friends from Finger Lakes Distilling took Best of Class awards for both the brands they entered – Vintner’s Vodka and Seneca Drums Gin! Right now, they’re available in these markets – Watkins Glen, Ithaca, Elmira, Corning, and Penn Yan – but fear not thirsty friends, I’ll keep you posted as they grow.