Home Industry News Releases 2022 Craft Distillers Spirits Competition Winners Announced 

2022 Craft Distillers Spirits Competition Winners Announced 


Best of the Best Awarded to Grandaddy Mimm’s Distilling Co. Barrel Aged Shine 

December 21, 2022 (Santa Rosa, Calif.) — Winners have been announced for the 2022 Craft Distillers Spirits Competition, which took place in Santa Rosa, Calif., earlier this month. Taking the top spot this year is Grandaddy Mimm’s Distilling Co. Barrel Aged Shine, a limited production release from the Blairsville, Ga., producer. 

The distillery is named for famed bootlegger Jack “Mimm” McClure, whose great-grandson, Tommy Townsend, founded the company using the secret family recipe. Judges described the Barrel Aged Shine as “sexy,” “earthy,” “rich,” “velvety” and “full of holiday spices,” At the end of the competition, the Shine took a Best Whiskey, Best of Class, double gold medal as well as Best of the Best honors. The distillery’s Sorghum Rum also won Best of Class honors (see list below). 

Debra Del Fiorentino, who owns, manages and produces professional competitions in the wine, cider and spirits categories, established the Craft Distillers Spirits Competition in 2017 to give smaller producers a place to stand out. Any distiller that is bonded and sells its spirits publicly can enter, no matter where in the world it’s headquartered. The 2022 competition saw a record number of entries for this young competition, continuing the expansion experienced each year since its founding. 

“As a fairly young competition, we’re still experiencing growth in our entry pool as word gets out,” says Del Fiorentino. “It’s absolutely the right time to spotlight small producers, many of

which are struggling for survival right now. Any support we can offer to keep these amazing craft distilleries in business is definitely worth our efforts.” 

The competition is judged by fellow distillers, qualified members of the media, spirits and distilling educators and researchers, and retail buyers. This mix of experts gives the results professional weight and increases marketing opportunities for medal winners. A full list of gold medal winners and above follows this announcement. Del Fiorentino also thanks competition sponsor, Neat glassware (www.theneatglass.com)

The next Craft Distillers Spirits Competition will take place December 5-6th, 2023; deadline for entry is November 27th, 2023. 

For more information, visit Wine and Spirit Competitions Management and Production at https://www.winecompetitions.com

2022 Craft Distillers Spirits Competition Best of Class Winners 

  • Best of the Best, Best Whiskey, Best Other Whiskey 
    • Grandaddy Mimm’s Distilling Co. Barrel Aged Shine (GG*, 99 pts.) 
  • Best American Craft Whiskey 
    • Waterford Stillhouse Light Whiskey (BOC, G, 93) 
  • Best Bourbon (2 years or younger) 
    • Cleveland Whiskey, LLC., Wheat Penny (BOC, G, 94) 
  • Best Straight Bourbon 
    • Garrison Brothers Guadalupe (BOC, GG, 98) 
  • Best Cognac 
    • Sire Spirits Branson Cognac XO (BOC,GG, 97) 
  • Best Gin 
    • The Great Oregon Wine Company and Distillery Ransom Old Tom Gin (BOC, G, 94)
  • Best Gin (Flavored/Infused) 
    • Fat House Coconut Fat Flavored Gin (BOC, G, 92) 
  • Best Liqueur 
    • Polonaise Exclusive Vodka Craft Spirit Cytrynowka (BOC, G, 92)
  • Best Mezcal 
    • Catedral De Mi Padre Mezcal Ensamble (Espadin + Mexicano) (BOC, G, 93)
  • Best Ready to Drink (RTD) 
    • Barley Creek Brewing Company Barley Palmer (BOC, G, 91)
  • Best Reposado 
    • Cierto Tequila Private Collection, Reposado (BOC, G, 94)
  • Best Rum 
    • Grandaddy Mimm’s Distilling Co. Sorghum Rum (BOC, G, 90)
  • Best Straight Rye Whiskey 
    • Uncle Nearest Uncut and Unfiltered Straight Rye Whiskey (BOC, GG, 98)
  • Best Tequila & Best Tequila (Extra- Añejo) 
    • Cierto Tequila Reserve Collection, Extra Añejo (BOC, G, 94)
  • Best Tequila (Añejo) 
    • Familia Camarena Tequila Añejo (BOC, G, 92) 
  • Best Tequila (Blanco) 
    • Familia Camarena Tequila Silver/Plato (G, 92) 
  • Best Vodka 
    • MVP Vodka (BOC, GG, 98) 
  • Best Vodka (Flavored/Infused) 
    • Half Moon Bay Distillery Lavender Vodka (BOC, GG, 97) 
  • Best Whiskey (Small Batch) 
    • Garrison Brothers Cowboy 2022 (BOC, GG, 98)
  • Best Whiskey (Tennessee) 
    • Uncle Nearest 1856 Premium Aged Whiskey (BOC, GG, 97) 

*BOC = Best of Class 

**GG = Double Gold medal 

***G = Gold medal 



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