The judging will be conducted by panels of a minimum of four qualified trade buyers. Our trade only judging panel interact with spirits and their customers on a daily basis. They are a mix of restaurateurs, mixologists, retail wine buyers, distributors and importers. We try to assemble each judging panel with a mix of those disciplines so different viewpoints will be considered in the evaluation of the wines.
The judging will take place in the heart of Melbourne on July 3-4th 2016 at the RACV.
If the judges are faced with an obviously flawed bottle of spirit, no more than one additional bottle of the same entry will be opened and tasted.
The Melbourne International Spirits Competition medals will be made on a merit basis by a majority vote. The judges are instructed to grant no awards when, in their opinion, the spirits are not ones they would import, distribute, buy or sell in their business and within the price category. Judges are asked to evaluate the spirits in silence until all panel members have finished their evaluation and then reach a consensus. Judge votes are recorded by a staff moderator. If there is a significant difference among the judges’ votes, panelists are encouraged to reach a consensus and or seek counsel from the Head Judge Adam Levy.
The judges are clearly instructed in the beginning of the day that the MISC will not be a "medal factory" like other competitions where over 80% win a medal or we also refer to as "3rd Grade Soccer" where everyone wins a medal. On average less than 50% of those who submit win a medal in New York and Berlin.
Spirits are presented to judges in coded glasses in a blind tasting format. No spirits bottles are visible to judges at any time until the competition is finished. Staff members are prohibited from mentioning any spirits brand names entered or not in the competition.
The decision of the judges is final and no changes are made to awards after the judging is complete. Judges receive a copy of the code sheets of the spirits they judged with awards noted so they are able to compare our records with their notes from the judging.