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Hotham’s Wins Silver and Bronze at London Spirits Competition

July 21, 2020

Hotham’s Wins Silver and Bronze at London Spirits Competition

Hotham’s Wins Silver and Bronze at London Spirits Competition 

London, UK, 6th June 2020 – At the 3rd London Spirits Competition, which took place in London on July 06, 2020, Hotham’s Leeds Dry Gin won a Bronze medal, and Hotham’s Cardamom Gin won Silver. The annual awards are the ultimate seal of approval in the global spirits industry. In order to receive this distinction, Hotham’s needed to score highly in three different categories: Quality, Value and Packaging.

Simon of Hotham's said: "Competition entries had to be submitted by the end of February, so it was all hands on deck to be in a position to start distilling in our new Leeds Venue, which opened to the public shortly after. We entered Hotham's Leeds Dry Gin into the competition even before we had the labels professionally printed, so our submission was sent with a prototype label. We missed out on Silver by just one point, so the lesson is get your label orders in early!' 

In contrast to other spirits competitions, where distilling ability and technical expertise sometimes receive primary consideration at the expense of drinkability, the goal of the London Spirits Competition was to award and celebrate the spirits that spirits drinkers actually want to buy, whether at a retail store or ordering off the menu at a London restaurant.

The 2020 London Spirits Competition had a massive Gin brands participation with 424 gin brands entered in the competition from about 1000 total brands entered. There were 122 whiskeys and 92 rums entered along with 74 vodkas.

The United Kingdom (256) was the top country to enter followed by Australia (120) and the United States (107). The overall top category to win gold medals by percentage was Rum and Tequila.

69 Countries participated in the 2020 London Spirits Competition.

What makes the London Spirits Competition different from its peers is that it does not just taste the spirits blind and base its decisions and medals on that, but goes two steps further. First it takes off the cover to reveal the spirit’s label, design and packaging and asks its judges to base a proportion of its scores on what spirits look like, and how successful it is in the story it is trying to tell, and then equally crucially from a consumer’s point of view how does the brand’s look, feel, taste and quality match up to its price point. Does it offer the consumer true value for money?

Judging criteria

To win a London Spirits Competition award you will need to score highly in all three areas of our judging criteria. You might have outstanding quality spirits, but if the price and packaging is not right then you don’t, in commercial terms, have winning spirits. And you will not be recognized by the London Spirits Competition.

There is no point, for example, in having 95 point spirits if it does not look good or offer consumers great value for money. Those points mean it will remain highly respected within the trade, but it will also remain largely unsold on the shelf or languishing on a restaurant’s spirits list.

Scoring system

That is why the London Spirits Competition will be decided based on the following judging formula:

Q (Quality Score) + Value Score (V) + Package Score (P) = London Spirits Competition Score.

A separate weighted score will be given for each of the three parts of the judging process. The scores will be added up to give a final score from which individual prizes will be awarded.

Quality Score: will be marked out of 100

Value Score: will be marked out of 100

Package Score: will be marked out of 100

Gold: to receive a Gold medal you need to score 90 or over.

Silver: you need to score between 76-89.

Bronze: you need to score between 65-75.


Who are our judges?

The London Spirits Competition will be assessed and judged by a leading panel of top level spirits buyers with current direct commercial buying responsibility. Or spirits consultants and experts who are also directly involved in the development of new spirits brands or buying spirits for commercial resale. The list of judges will be drawn from leading retail chains, wholesalers, distributors and on-trade groups across a variety of channels and disciplines including multiple retailing, convenience stores, cash and carries, specialist retailers, casual and fine dining, hospitality and the travel industry. 

“The authority that an award from the London Spirits Competition brings comes from the power of being judged across quality, value and appearance, the high quality of the judges and the intensely competitive product set. We are delighted that gin performed so well.” said Simon Pownall of Hotham’s GIn School and Distillery Leeds. “The Silver and Bronze medals demonstrate that we are making the types of spirits that bar managers and mixologists want to use and spirits drinkers enjoy choosing and drinking.”

About Hotham’s

Hotham’s Ltd are owners of award-winning Gin Schools and Distilleries in Hull and Leeds. Established in 2018 by Simon Pownall and Emma Kinton, the company has gone from strength to strength, winning local and international recognition for both their Gin Schools and their range of handcrafted spirits. FInd out more at hothams.co.uk

About the London Spirits Competition 

The London Spirits Competition is the only spirits competition of its kind that rates spirits by quality, value and packaging. The organizers of the event are Beverage Trade Network, which organizes industry events around the world. For more information, please see: www.londonspiritscompetition.com


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