ASCOT Awards Make History by Airing on National TV


June 6, 2023

This past weekend, The ASCOT Awards, a premier international spirits competition led by Fred Minnick that recognizes top selections from across the globe, became the first-ever spirits competition to air its results on National Television as 2023’s Best In Show winners were announced via the Spirits Network and on Vizio Channel 505.

The American Spirits Council of Tasters (ASCOT), composed of 43 seasoned spirits professionals, blind-taste and score competing spirits. This year, the ASCOTs received more than 1,100 entries this year, announcing the Best In Category winners in May before narrowing down the category winners. The ASCOT judges determined the best bourbon, best rye, best Scotch and more. From here, the category winners competed for Best in Show. For the second year in a row, Journeyman, which is distilled in Three Oaks, MI, took home the prize for Best in Show for its Corsets Whips and Whiskey.

“When we started the ASCOT Awards in 2020, I dreamed of filming the tastings and airing them on a network in addition to my YouTube Channel,” said Minnick. “Thanks to the Spirits Network, people can watch our tasters decide on their favorites. And make no doubt about it, the winners of this competition are elite and deserve all the recognition they receive.”

Tanteo Blanco Tequila, which is distilled in Jalisco, Mexico and is a brand co-op of agave farming families, was awarded Best in Show for the White Spirit category. E.H. Taylor Barrel Proof was the Best In Show Whiskey runner up, and Rolling Fork 9-Year-Old Barbados Rum was the runner up for Best in Show White Spirits. For a full list of winners, visit

Best in Show Contenders in Whiskey
Judges tasted the following to determine Best in Show for whiskey.

Best Straight Bourbon (a taste-off)
Larceny Barrel Proof A123
Still Austin Whiskey Co. Strength Straight Bourbon Whiskey
W.L. Weller Full Proof
Remus Repeal Reserve Bourbon Series VI
1792 Full Proof
E.H. Taylor Jr. Barrel Proof

Best Special Barrel-Finished Bourbon
Parker’s Heritage Collection 16th Edition Double Barreled Blend

Best Small Batch Bourbon | Up to 5 Years
K.LUKE Whiskey Company Small Batch Barrel Strength Bourbon

Best Small Batch Bourbon | 6 to 10 Years
Dixon Dedman 2XO: The Phoenix Blend

Best Small Batch Rye
Proof and Wood Tumblin Dice Rye Curated Small Batch

Best Craft Bourbon Taste Off
Chattanooga Whiskey Cask 111 vs. Chattanooga 91

Best Craft Rye
Distillery 291
All Rye 100% Rye Malt Colorado Whiskey Finished with Aspen Wood Staves

Best World Whisky
Stauning Danish Rye Whisky

Best Special Barrel-Finished Whiskey
Four Gate Whiskey Company Batch 19 – The Kelvin Collaboration IIII

Best Blend of Straight Bourbon
Penelope Private Select Batch 22-302

Best Blend of Straight Rye
Barrell Craft Spirits Stellum Rye Fibonacci Blend #1

Best Whiskey Club Barrel Pick Taste Off
Russell’s Reserve Private Barrel: Dallas Bourbon Club Vs. Naptown Bourbon Club: Elijah Craig

Best Blended Malt
Duncan Taylor The Big Smoke – Heavily Peated

Best Blended Irish Whiskey
McConnell’s Sherry Cask Finish Irish Whisky

Best Single Malt Irish Whiskey
The Quiet Man 8 Year Old Single Malt

Best Blend of Straight Whiskies
Jack Daniel’s Triple Mash

Best Blended Scotch
Coachbuilt Scotch Whisky

Best American Single Malt
Bird Creek Distillery Cask Strength – Baronesse
Pacific Coast Spirits American Single Malt
Stranahan’s Mountain Angel
Distillery 291 Colorado Whiskey Finished with Aspen Wood Staves, E Batch #13, Single Malt

Best Single Malt Scotch – No Age Statement Taste Off
Glasgow 1770 Single Malt Scotch
Lagavulin Distillers Edition

Best Single Malt Scotch – Up to 12 Years
Lagavulin 8 Year Old

Best Single Malt Scotch – 13-19 Years TASTE OFF
Lagavulin 16 Year Old
Mortlach 16 Year Old

Best Single Malt Scotch – 20+ Years
Mortlach 20 Year Old

Best Wheat Whiskey
Journeyman Distillery Corsets Whips and Whiskey

Whiskey Finals Judges:
John McCarthy, MC/Moderator
Fred Minnick, Founder
Clay Risen, Best-selling Whiskey Author
Tiffanie Barriere, Master Mixologist
Greg Wilson, RNDC Sales Rep
Denaya Jones-Reid, Owner, Deestilled
Max A. Solano, Master Mixologist and Consultant
Lew Bryson, Best-selling Whiskey Author
Susan Reigler, Whiskey Writer and Past President of the Bourbon Women Association
Jack Beguedou, (Hood Sommelier) / Spirit Consultant
Mark Hefter, Managing Director, The MINT Las Vegas
Brad Williams, Senior Category Manager, Liquor Barn/Bevmo
Francesco Lafranconi, Vice President
Beverage & Hospitality Culture
Carver Road Hospitality

Watch the results through nine episodes on the Spirits Network: HERE