Rock Town Distillery, whose bourbon is distilled with Arkansas corn and wheat at 1201 Main Street in Little Rock, was awarded a prestigious Double Gold medal for its Single Barrel Bourbon at the 2021 San Francisco World Spirits Competition. Rock Town’s Four Grain Sour Mash Straight Bourbon and its Single Barrel Gold Promise Straight Bourbon each received gold medals.
A Double Gold medal is awarded to the entries that receive a Gold medal rating by all members of the judging panel.
“To win a Double Gold for our Single Barrel Bourbon is an incredible achievement,” said distillery founder and head distiller Phil Brandon in a press release. “The competition was so fierce with so many entries, we’re over the moon with excitement.”
From the press release:
The San Francisco World Spirits Competition has been held annually since 2000, making it the second oldest spirits competition in the world and the oldest and largest spirits competition in the US. The 2021 SFWSC saw a 20% increase in entrants, to 3,800, up 20% over the 2020 competition. Roughly 40% of the entrants are from the US, with the balance of 60% international.
Per Amanda Blue, Chief Operating Officer of the Tasting Alliance, “Instead of judging over three days, the judging occurred over a three-week period. We used a total of 30 judges, all based in the US, instead of our usual 56 judges. We did three panels each day, using only nine judges at a time and rotated them over the course of the judging. We separated the judges with plexiglass screens to minimize the risk of infection and we asked judges to get vaccinated if at all possible.”
ABOUT THE COMPETITION
Founded in 2000 by James Beard Award-winning drinks sage Anthony Dias Blue, the SFWSC is one of the spirits industry’s most influential competitions. Throughout the highly controlled blind tastings, the experienced judging panels taste every product to decide if it is medal-worthy. Judges do not receive any information on producer or price point, ensuring each spirit is judged fairly, equally, and without bias.
While tasting, judges evaluate each product on an individual basis—not compared to other entries in the flight. During this stage, judges determine which entries are worthy of a Gold, Silver, or Bronze medal. Entries that receive a Gold medal from all judges on a panel earn a Double Gold award.
ABOUT ROCK TOWN DISTILLERY
Rock Town Distillery produces the award winning Arkansas Bourbon, Arkansas Single Barrel Bourbon Whiskey, Arkansas Hickory Smoked Whiskey, Arkansas Rye Whiskey, Rock Town Vodka and more which are distributed to multiple states and Canada. Winner of the 2015 US Micro Whisky of the Year in the 2015 edition of Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible.
Rock Town Distillery is Arkansas’ first legal distillery since prohibition. It is open for tours six days a week.