Dates Announced for Ultimate Beverage Challenges

In its third year, Ultimate Beverage Challenge LLC (UBC) has announced the 2012 dates for its trio of beverage challenges. The Ultimate Spirits Challenge, Ultimate Wine Challenge and Ultimate Cocktail Challenge provide consumers, spirits and wine producers, marketers and importers with valuable and usable ratings, tasting notes and accolades from the most experienced judges in the industry. Founded by industry powerhouses F. Paul Pacult, Sue Woodley and David Talbot, along with assistant judging chairman Sean Ludford, UBC hosts the Challenges for brands that want to know how they compare with their peers. UBC does not hand out medals, rather it provides straightforward analysis and evaluations based on a 100-point scale, a user-friendly and easy-to-understand system for all buyers, whether consumers or trade professionals. Based on resounding industry support and the success of the past Challenges, UBC is happy to announce the 2012 dates for:
Ultimate SPIRITS Challenge — March 5-9, 2012
• Spirits are judged on their own merits against their peers. Top-scoring brands are named in myriad categories, such as Best Gin, Best Vodka, Best Rum, etc.
• Entry forms available November 29, 2011; entry deadline is February 17, 2012.
Ultimate WINE Challenge — April 23-27, 2012
• Wines are judged on their own merits against their peers. A top wine will be named for each varietal, such as Best Pinot Noir, Best Riesling, Best Champagne, etc.
• Entry forms available December 13, 2011; entry deadline is April 6, 2012.
Ultimate COCKTAIL Challenge — June 4-8, 2012
• Classic Cocktail Challenge — Spirits, fortified and sparkling wines are evaluated in classic cocktail recipes to determine which brand performs best in each cocktail within its own category, e.g., Best Gin in a Gin Martini, Best Tequila in a Margarita, etc.
• Signature Cocktail Challenge — Spirits, fortified, still and sparkling wines are evaluated in proprietary cocktail recipes that are supplied by brands.
• Entry forms available January 3, 2012; entry deadline is May 18, 2012.
Entry forms available at
All three Challenges will be held at Astor Center in New York City.
Spirits and wine from around the world have entered the Challenges and the brands that receive the highest overall score in their category are awarded the top honor of the Chairman’s Trophy. All brands that enter and receive high marks (85 points and higher) receive considerable marketing support including: tasting notes from F. Paul Pacult and Sean Ludford (new for 2012), free/downloadable Challenge logos, certificates, icons and shelf-talkers (new for 2012). Additionally, consumers can purchase selected spirits directly from UBC’s online Challenge results pages. UBC is affiliated with renowned New York City retailer, Astor Wine & Spirits, which ships directly to consumers on a national basis.
Led by F. Paul Pacult and Assistant Judging Chairman Sean Ludford, judges for the 2012 Challenges include some of the top tasting talents in the industry including: Dale DeGroff; Jim Meehan; David Wondrich; Doug Frost, MW, MS; Steve Olson, Julie Reiner, Mary-Ewing Mulligan, MW; Jennifer Simonetti-Bryan, MW and more. A complete list of judges can be found on the UBC website.
More information about UBC and all its Challenges as well as 2012 submission forms can be found at For submission inquiries, please call 347.878.6551 or email [email protected].


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