Black Bear Distillery wins gold at LA International Spirits Competition

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Black Bear Distillery's Irish style whiskey - VICTOR MATTHEWS
  • Victor Matthews
  • Black Bear Distillery's Irish style whiskey
Congratulations to Victor Matthews and his crew at Black Bear Distillery. The Los Angeles International Spirits Competition announced its winners on July 25, and Black Bear's Irish-style whiskey ranked impressively, named best in category for single barrel American whiskey aged 10 years or fewer.

In the whiskey category, the spirit earned a 94 out of 100 from the judges, securing its category win. The spirit also tied for second overall whiskey, two points behind W.L. Weller 12-year-old Kentucky straight bourbon, tied with E. H. Taylor Jr. Kentucky straight rye and Stagg Jr. bourbon, all three of which are made by the Sazerac-owned Buffalo Trace Distillery.

"I am still in shock," says Matthews. "I know that something about our 7,800 feet altitude and little mountain valley and crazy Colorado weather is creating magic in the aging, and I know the madness of un-malted barley (do not try this at home) and sherry wood adds wonderful fruit and floral notes, but to win Best American Whiskey in under two years? Well, that is just astounding."

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