Busy Bees Are Hard at Work

Posted October 15, 2021 by Jasmyne Harris

What does it take to win gold in preparation for the National Honey Board’s Honey Spirits Competition? Just countless hours of researching distilleries that make a honey spirit, sending out hundreds of emails, creating a website, finding qualified judges, unpacking numerous boxes and much, much more. Preparing for our fourth annual Honey Spirits Competition isn’t a walk in the park by any means, but it’s worth it when we get to announce the best made-with-honey spirit! 

The behind the scenes work may seem like a laundry list of tasks over the course of seven months, but it’s a smooth ride. Who are we kidding? We work on the competition year round and we come across some bumps in the road. If we see a new made-with-honey spirit posted on social media or through our online searches, it goes into our direct outreach list of U.S.-based distilleries. We take our honey spirits seriously!

All year we’re working hard in the office planning events so that when it’s time to host  competitions, we’re just as excited as the distillers and judges. We love seeing the product of hard working distillers come to fruition and go up against the best. 

After all the grunt work is complete, it’s time to watch the honey spirits competition! It doesn’t get better than seeing the beautiful shades of spirits from crystal clear to golden amber to robust mahogany. Judges then sample the honey spirits and meticulously critique each spirit based on six categories. Each spirit gets scored on nose, appearance, palate, balance, finish and an overall impression. Although some spirits could be highly favored in multiple categories doesn’t always mean the overall impression is worthy of moving on to the Best of Show round. 

After hours and hours of judges putting their professional skills to the test, it’s time for the Best of Show round. This round of high ranking spirits is where every distiller hopes their spirit gets to. Then judges collaborate with one another to make out the leading spirits, but only one was deemed the Best of Show winner.  

The Honey Spirits Competition Best of Show winner rightfully goes to … 12th Hawaii Distiller for its spirit distilled from honey: Distiller’s Reserve! With high scores and overall impressions of “This one is fun! … lovely whiskey-like flavor … nice toast notes,” it was a unanimous vote. Hats off to distiller Dave Puckett for an exemplary honey spirit. 

As Brightly Creative, we focus on educating and honoring nature’s finest work, honey. The Honey Spirits Competition is a fine example of how to use honey. We can’t thank our team, the competing distillers and bees enough for yet another great turnout! Think you’ve got what it takes to win gold? We’ll be waiting next year to crown the newest Best of Show winner. Visit honeyspiritscompetition.com for the full list of winners and information on next year’s events.

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