Exploring the Best: Five Exceptional Spirits from the 2023 San Francisco World Spirits Competition

by The Tasting Alliance Team  |  10.24.2023

Every year, the San Francisco World Spirits Competition brings together the finest in the world of distilled beverages, and 2023 was no exception. The competition saw a plethora of exceptional entries with a few unique options standing out in the crowd. From a rose-infused vodka to a meticulously crafted American single malt whiskey, these five standout products have earned their place in the spotlight.

Rosa Vodka

Made with roses for a one-of-a-kind distinctive, balanced, and smooth experience. The finest 100% neutral-grain corn spirits seamlessly meld with the distinctive botanical essences of Bulgarian roses. Unique to the industry, pristine cascade water is filtered through charcoal and limestone for three full days – offering a clean, neutral pH that vodka aficionados will respect.

Tasting Notes: Balanced and refreshingly distinctive with both floral and spicy notes.

Black Sheep Tequila Añejo

The additive-free Black Sheep Tequila Añejo is perfectly balanced, with a remarkably long, elegant finish with lingering notes of natural agave.

Tasting Notes: Nice, sweet agave smell with a little honey and a little toasty, oak barrel.

Dogfish Head Distilling Compelling Gin

Distilled using the peel and flesh of citrus and a long list of beautiful culinary ingredients stolen from the Dogfish Head Distilling brewpub kitchen, Compelling Gin is bright and citrusy, with a crisp juniper snap and lingering cinnamon warmth, a culinary-inspired gin.

Tasting Notes: Peppery citrus zest followed by baking spices and a lemon-lime finish.

King’s County Distillery Bottled-in-Bond Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Kings County is among the very first craft distillers to release a style of whiskey that can be considered the highest class of American Whiskey. Bottled-in-Bond is a designation that refers to American whiskeys (and some brandies) that are distilled, aged, and bottled entirely at one distillery, from barrels filled in one season, by one distiller. Furthermore, the whiskey must be four years old and bottled at precisely 100 proof. In the old days, this was a way to protect the consumer from brands that were merely bottling up whiskey from other distilleries and blending or adulterating that whiskey.

Tasting Notes: A surprisingly dark and rich flavor profile at the first soal with notes of brown sugar and oak as a contrast.

Macklowe Whiskey American Single Malt

The Macklowe has garnered immense demand from collectors around the globe. Crafted by Julie Macklowe, its unique distillation process stands as the epitome of luxury, often likened to the Ferrari of single malts. A testament to this exclusivity is Julie’s private cask, Cask Nº61, which debuted in December 2021 as the inaugural release from her exceptional collection. The quality of these whiskies is unparalleled, making them truly one-of-a-kind and impossible to replicate.

Tasting Notes: Well-balanced with robust and warming flavors of vanilla and ginger.

The world of spirits continues to evolve and surprise, and these products are a true reflection of the innovation and passion that drives the industry forward. Whether you’re a vodka aficionado, a tequila enthusiast, a gin lover, or a whiskey connoisseur, there’s something special here for everyone to savor and appreciate. Cheers to these remarkable spirits and the world of possibilities they represent in the world of distilled beverages.