It’s an exciting time to be part of the burgeoning spirits world. I’m fortunate to get to taste the best spirits every day and work in the industry I love. As a logical extension of my work, my colleagues and I have created the American Spirits Council of Tasters (ASCOT). It’s a one of a kind tasting competition that will utilize all my media platforms to feed consumer’s insatiable appetite for more spirits content.

-Fred Minnick


ASCOT Awards is an international spirits competition created by spirits personality and veteran tasting judge, Fred Minnick. The competition provides a unique opportunity for distillers to have their products recognized through Fred’s magazine, podcasts, streaming shows, social media, news articles, newsletter, and festivals.

Entry Info
Ascot Awards

ASCOT Awards recognizes all aspects of the spirits industry and is essentially two competitions: Taste, and Marketing + Design.

The online entry system is quick, easy and extremely flexible. After registration, you can go back into your My Account at any time and add entries, pay and upload files. You can save your changes and abandon the site at any point. For Taste categories, you will be prompted to send two (2) 750 ml bottles of each entry to our Dallas processing center at 127 Pittsburg St. Dallas, TX 75207. Taste entrants also have the option of filling out the entry form and mailing it in.

For Marketing + Design categories, you will have the opportunity to upload work samples, photos, etc. any time after checkout. Each category during the entry process will detail the materials or summaries required for judging. Any common file type is acceptable. Submit only one copy of each entry.

Ascot Awards

Entries will be scrutinized through a blind judging process which will determine various levels of awards.

The top scoring entries from each class will proceed to a live-streamed championship round where they will be judged by Fred and another expert for that specific class. Consumers and industry professionals will watch in real time as the samples are discussed and champions are crowned. The live-stream judging will be spread out over numerous days to give the competing brands time to be recognized through Fred’s various media channels.

Champions, championship round participants and Double Gold finalists will receive extensive year-long exposure through Fred’s various media channels.

Entry Information

1. Register

Upload your company logo, fill in a company description and your social media information. This is the parent or entering company information. You will be asked for brand logos during the entry process.

2. Entry Input

Input your title of entry. Fill in the requested company information and choose a category. There is a three-step category process. You will be given a choice of a main heading such as Taste, or Marketing + Design, followed by a choice of sub-categories. For example, choices under Taste would be Whiskey, Vodka, Rum, etc. The third level would be the category number you see in our list, for example: an age statement. Marketing + Design would also have their own specific selection choices. If all three category levels are not filled, the “Next” button will not populate and you will not be able to move on to the next stage of the entry process.

3. Checkout

At checkout, you will be given the option to pay by check or credit card. If you click check, you can mail a check or go back into My Account later and pay with a credit card.

4. Upload Files

After checkout, if you are entering the Marketing + Design competition you will be given the opportunity to upload files, logos and/or word documents for each entry. You can also revisit your entries on your My Account page at any time to upload additional files or edit project information.

5. Payment

Upon payment, you will receive an automatic email receipt and accounting of your entries.


Taste Competition is under the leadership of noted spirits personality Fred Minnick who has assembled some of the top spirits tasters in the industry. Judges are trained, experienced, long-time spirits professionals who have participated in numerous other tasting competitions.

Blind Judging

Entries are blind-tested and graded on a 100 point scale based on a series of criteria relating to appearance, aroma, taste, and finish. Top scores in each class will advance to a championship round where Fred and an expert in that specific class, will blind taste them and choose a champion during a live streaming event.


Marketing + Design entries are evaluated at random and given a score that will determine whether they are category winners. In most instances, there is no need for extensive explanations by the entrant. Work is judged on its own quality, creativity, and resourcefulness.


Determined to be the best-in-class during the live-streamed Championship Round.


One of a few to make it to the Championship Round. Outstanding; earns top marks from all judges.

Double Gold

An excellent product; meets very high standards; highly recommended.


A well-crafted product deserving recognition.

Honorable Mention

Meets the standards of the industry.

Fees are $500 for Taste categories, $110 for single element Marketing + Design entries and $175 for Marketing Campaigns. If an entry is submitted in more than one category, an additional entry fee is required for each time it is entered.

Winners in all categories will have the option to purchase the iconic ASCOT statuette, a custom, metal award for $215. The optional purchase keeps entry fees reasonably priced and doesn’t require entrants to subsidize awards won by others. It also makes it more economical to enter multiple products or Marketing + Design projects.

All winners receive a complimentary foiled certificate and are provided access to ASCOT graphics, information, and use of name without any charges or licensing fees.

See Award

ASCOT Awards reserves the right to display information submitted by Taste Competition entrants on winner’s lists, galleries and social media. Marketing + Design entrants will be given the option during the entry process to not grant permission to have their work displayed. This option recognizes that work produced for clients can sometimes be subject to permissions and copyrights. Entries will not be returned. No entrant information is sold, traded, made available to a third party or used for any other purpose.

For Marking + Design, A campaign is THREE or more pieces for the same client with a common theme. The pieces can be in the same or mixed media. Entry fee per campaign, strategy or plan is $175.

Entry Form

Marketing + Design categories must be entered online. Taste can be entered online or by printing an entry form and sending it in with your entries.

Print Entry Form

Shipping Instructions

Enclose two (2) 750 ml bottles or three (3) 500 ml bottles per entry. For Marketing + Design categories like bottle design, send one bottle per entry. Include a copy of your completed entry form in your shipment. Write on the boxes: “Sample materials, Not for resale. Glass enclosed.”

Send to:

ASCOT Awards
127 Pittsburg St
Dallas, TX 75207
International entrants needing assistance with import into the United States, please contact info@ascotawards.com

Ascot Awards

What are you waiting for? See how you stack up to the best.

Contact Us

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127 Pittsburg St.
Dallas, TX 75207