The DBAsia Summer Tasting 2023 results
This season brings with it the results from the drinks business Asia’s Summer Tasting, in which we judged the expressions that are perfect for al fresco sipping. Report by Alice Liang.
This year’s drinks business Asia Summer Tasting competition proved a perfect opportunity for drinks brands to showcase their offerings for the season. The entries for tasting covered an extensive spectrum that included wine, ready-to-drink beverages (RTDs), liqueurs and an array of spirits including vodka, gin, and whisky.
The judges who were brought together in Hong Kong to cast their tastebuds over the selection of drinks on offer were: wine and food and beverage (F&B) consultant Yu Kong Chow; Luca Andrei, spirits and F&B consultant; and Dilefy Chung, senior business development manager at Metabev.
In the main section of the competition, which covered spirits, Denmark’s Nykur Super Premium Organic Vodka, priced at HK$250-HK$300, was awarded a Gold medal in the vodka category. Andrei described the spirit as a clean and balanced vodka, perfect for mixing and for making Martinis with. It hit the mark without having any unnecessary frills, he said.
Meanwhile, Italy’s Altamura Distilleries Vodka was awarded a Silver medal.
In the gin category, Strange Nature, a grape-based gin from New Zealand, was awarded the Master accolade for its “remarkable complexity, highlighted by citrus notes, a lingering finish, and a delightful infusion of floral aromas”, Chung remarked.
Highclere Castle Gin, a traditional London Dry, bagged a Gold medal for its captivating citrus and floral elements.
Tiger Gin, made in England with the tagline ‘Treat your Tongue to the Tiger’, took a Silver medal, recognised for its balanced and refreshing character, as Andrei noted.
In all, the medal-winning gins offer both quality and affordability, making them excellent choices for discerning spirits connoisseurs in the Asia Pacific market.
The whisky category examined samples in Irish, Scotch, and Bourbon styles. Glen Grant whiskies shone especially brightly, with the 21 Years Old expression garnering high praise from the judges, and walking away with a Master medal.
Andrei was impressed with it, stating: “It has a good structure and integration of oak. Quite a long finish there. So I definitely think it’s good value for money.”
The Glen Grant 18 Years Old received a Gold medal. Andrei said: “This whisky appears to be more floral, the nose is a bit different, not as savoury but rather soft and pleasant.” The 15 Years Old expression from the same distillery was awarded a Silver medal.
The Wild Turkey 8 Year Old Bourbon Whiskey, made in Kentucky, caught the attention of Chow with its distinctive aroma. He said: “The whisky has a special nose with roasted and spice notes, well balanced.” Chung praised the Wild Turkey 12 Year Old Bourbon Whiskey for its elegance and complexity, stating: “The balance for this whisky is good, more elegant, and there is a touch of savouriness on the long finish.”
In the Irish whiskey category, Chow highlighted the unique nose and flavour of the Wild Atlantic Way Irish Whiskey IPA, while Dutch producer Creamy Creation presented its Asian-inspired cream liqueur and RTD cocktail samples for judging.
Among its entries, the Mango Coconut Cocktail concept was awarded a Bronze medal for its delightful tropical flavours and the harmonious balance between mango and coconut. The Vegan Coconut-Cream Liqueur Concept was also recognised with a Bronze award for its innovative creation.
Meanwhile in the judging for wine, Andreola, located in Col San Martino, Italy, submitted Glera expressions that the judges found offered exceptional value for their price. Two Gold medals were awarded to two remarkable entries, including Dirupo Valdobbiadene DOCG Brut 2022, which impressed Yu Kong Chow with its approachable notes, for less than HK$200, and Mas de Fer Valdobbiadene DOCG Rive di Refrontolo Extra Dry 2021 stood out for its remarkable intensity and length, coupled with an attractive price tag of less than HK$250. These wines showcase the quality and affordability of Italian sparkling wine.
Read on for the full results from the competition.
Summer Tasting 2023 – Spirits
|Loxtonia Cider||Mtc Blush||Bronze|
|Nykur Spirits||Nykur Super Premium Organic Vodka||Gold|
|Altamura Distillerie||Altamura Distilleries Vodka||Silver|
|Tiger Gin||Tiger Gin||Silver|
|Highclere Castle Spirits||Highclere Castle Gin||Gold|
|Strange Nature Distillery||Strange Nature Gin||Master|
|Irish Whiskey – Single Grain HK$300-HKSK$350|
|Kinsale Spirit Co||Great Earl Irish Whiskey||Silver|
|Irish Whiskey – Blended HK$150-HKSK$200|
|Kinsale Spirit Co||Wild Atlantic Way Irish Whiskey IPA||Gold|
|American Whiskey – HKD400-HKSKD450|
|Metabev||Wild Turkey 8 Year Old||Gold|
|American Whiskey HK$1,000-HK$K$1,100|
|Metabev||Wild Turkey 12 Year Old||Gold|
|Scotch Whisky HK$750-HKSK$800|
|Metabev||Glen Grant 15 Years Old Scotch Whisky||Silver|
|Scotch Whisky HK$1,200-HK$KD1,300|
|Metabev||Glen Grant 18 Years Old Scotch Whisky||Gold|
|Scotch Whisky HK$2,500-HK$K$2,600|
|Metabev||Glen Grant 21 Years Old||Master|
|Creamy Creation||Mango Coconut Cocktail 5% Vol. Concept||Bronze|
|Creamy Creation||Vegan Coconut-Cream Liqueur Concept||Bronze|
Summer Tasting 2023 – Wine
Sparkling – Unoaked – 100% Glera
|Azienda Agricola Andreola di Stefano Pola||Mas de Fer Valdobbiadene DOCG Rive di Refrontolo Extra Dry||Veneto||Italy||2021||Gold|
|Azienda Agricola Andreola di Stefano Pola||Col del Forno Valdobbiadene DOCG Rive di Refrontolo Brut||Veneto||Italy||2021||Bronze|
|Azienda Agricola Andreola di Stefano Pola||26°1° Valdobbiadene DOCG Rive di Refrontolo Extra Brut||Veneto||Italy||2021||Bronze|
Summer Tasting 2023 – Wine
Sparkling – Unoaked – Glera blend
|Azienda Agricola Andreola di Stefano Pola||Dirupo Valdobbiadene DOCG brut||Veneto||Italy||2022||Gold|
Summer Tasting 2023 – Wine
Rosé – Unoaked – Still
|Under HK$ 100|
|Crush Wines||Le Bijou de Sophie Valrose||Languedoc Roussillon||France||2022||Silver|