The TAG Global Spirits Awards have only been around for two years, yet it’s already garnering some prestige. This may initially look like a bold statement. Peel back its layers, however, and the sentiment becomes increasingly justified. The trio that launched the medal-based competition in2022 have serious bona fides: Tony Abou-Ganim was part of the first generation of bartenders that led the country’s modern cocktail culture resurgence. David Grapshi’s work in the agave spirits space was instrumental in expanding interest and appreciation for the category. Julio Bermejo earned two lifetime achievement awards for his work in the drinks space. The three also serve as judges, and they’re joined by impressive company. Industry heavyweights like Dale DeGroff, Julie Reiner, Charles Joly, Tad Dorda, and Charlotte Voisey apply their knowledge and tasting expertise to help determine which bottles from around the world are award worthy.

Plenty of craft brands officially found themselves in the good graces of these esteemed palates on February 22nd, when the TAG Global Spirits Awards announced the winners of their 2nd annual competition. The craft sector represented a healthy chunk of the near-400 medals doled out, including several Best in Show nods. It was a terrific year specifically for the Samson & Surrey brands acquired by the Heaven Hill portfolio last year: Widow Jane’s Lucky 13 Bourbon, Tequila Ocho’s Reposado Barrel Select, and Bluecoat Gin’s American Dry Gin earned Best in Show love in their respective categories (American Blended Straight Bourbon, Reposado Tequila, and Western/American DryGin). The other three brands in the Samson & Surrey catalogue – FEWSpirits, Brenne Whisky, and Vago Mezcal – all won gold or higher. Other Best in Show winners from the craft sector include Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery, Garrison Brothers, and Redwood Empire.

It will be interesting to see how these brands promote their awards as the year progresses. The people associated with the TAG Global Spirts Awards give the medals clout, and the team behind the awards are developing strategies to further permeate the public consciousness. As more spirits fans familiarize themselves with TAG, the more impressive the awards may become.This can give brands of all stripes additional marketing power, and not just regarding their juice.

How will these brand integrate their new awards into their promotional and marketing strategies? Only time will tell, as it usually does.In the meantime, a full list of winners can be found at

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