Tequilas are only getting better, according to the 2020 New York International Spirits Competition. The annual competition unveiled the winners throughout its various categories this week, and five agave-based spirits were awarded Double Gold medals, the event’s highest honor. Three Tequilas were further distinguished with individual awards as well.
The 2020 New York International Spirits Competition featured over 1,200 submissions from 30+ countries across more than 60 categories. This was the 11th year of the competition, which is judged by working trade buyers from the NYC Metro Area, including restaurateurs, sommeliers, retail spirits buyers, distributors. and importers. For the first time ever, this year’s competition was judged remotely.
The competition in the Agave/Tequila section this year seemed particularly fierce as a total of 45 bottlings from across the category received medals. So without further ado, here are 2020’s top performers:
The The Top 5 Tequilas In The World According To The 2020 New York International Spirits Competition:
CaliFino Tequila Anejo – Anejo Tequila of the Year – Double Gold
Aged 24 to 36 months in a lightly toasted, American White Oak Barrel, CaliFino Tequila Anejo uses only the heart of the Piña. On the nose, there are Deep agave aroma with hints of citrus and caramel. The palate features deep hints of baked agave and sweet fruits. The finish is warm and full bodied with deep toasted oak notes and a creamy texture.
Cutwater Spirits Tequila Blanco – Double Gold
According to Cutwater, “The elegant and precise nature of the Rayador, also known as the Black Skimmer sea bird, served as the inspiration for our Cutwater Tequila Blanco. We begin with 100% blue agave harvested from Jalisco that’s slow cooked in traditional brick ovens, open fermented, and double distilled in traditional “alambique” stills made of stainless and copper in Tequila. The slight grassy aroma gives way to heavy sweet notes of cooked agave and ends with a finish that stays true to tequila’s traditional roots.”
Tequila Bribon Reposado – Reposado Tequila of the Year – Double Gold
“Complex and sophisticated while being extremely approachable and easy to drink. Light straw in color, there are slightly woody notes, nuts and cooked agave. Soft, balanced, smooth and creamy on the palate with notes of vanilla, dried fruit, and cook,” says Tequila Bribon.
Cierto Tequila Reserve Collection – Extra Anejo – Double Gold
Cierto Tequila Reserva Collection was the only Extra Anejo Tequila to win a Double Gold, however, it didn’t manage to win the “Extra Anejo Tequila of the Year” category.
“Cierto Extra Añejo is aged for nine years in dark European oak barrels. The aroma bursts with oak, cherry and cooked agave. This luxurious and complex tequila imparts deep notes of tobacco, vanilla and oak while surrounding the palate with an amazing honey and spice finish. Perfect to sip neat or pair with a fine dessert,” says the distillery.
Gran Centenario Leyenda Extra Anejo – Extra Anejo Tequila of the Year – Gold
Despite receiving a Gold, a very impressive honor on its own, maybe more impressive is that the Gran Centenario Leyenda Extra Anejo somehow managed to beat out the double gold-winning Cierto for “Extra Anejo Tequila of the Year.”
According to Tequila.net, “Gran Centenario Leyenda is among the first Tequilas to ever be awarded the classification “Extra Añejo.” Combining only 100% Blue Agave with an average aging process of 4 years in French Limousin oak barrels, Leyenda has remained the best kept secret in the highlands of Jalisco.”