Spirit Categories

Terroir Spirit – Special Category

  • Up to three spirits per distillery may entered into this new overarching category, which any spirit in any other category in the competition may be double-entered into, for a small additional fee (to reflect the additional judging required).

  • The spirit must be expressive of place, through the provenance of its ingredients and taste profiles.

  • Distillers will be asked to respond to two questions:

    • What is the sense of the place you’re trying to show? How is that reflected in the spirit?

    • Where did each of the ingredients come from?


Absinthe

  • An anise-flavoured spirit derived from from botanicals that must be bittered with wormwood.

  • It can be barrel aged.

Aged Gin

  • This category is for any style of gin which has spent time in an oak barrel.

Akvavit

  • Versions flavoured with caraway and/or dill are traditional.

  • We welcome modern artisan interpretations which may feature local/regional botanicals.

Amaro or Vermouth

  • Bittering agents are a required component and should be detectable, palatable and ideally part of a complex botanical recipe.

Brandy or Eau-de-Vie

  • Grape or fruit brandies and eau de vie are welcome.

  • Brandies can be aged or un-aged.

Classic Gin

  • Classic Gins are judged on adherence to traditional taste profile, e.g. London Dry, Plymouth, Old Tom, or Genever.

Contemporary Gin

  • While we are still looking for the presence of juniper to define the spirit, we are open other characteristics or interpretations which may not be present in classic gins.  

Sub-Category – Flavoured Gin

  • This is to indicate if the gin is flavoured with a competing, dominant botanical (for example, rhubarb), or if it represents other regional styles, e.g Japanese.

Classic Vodka

  • This category is for more “commercial”, neutral styles of vodka.

Contemporary Vodka

  • While the dominant characteristic should still be relatively neutral flavours and aromas, vodkas in this category should have some character remaining.

Infused or Flavoured Vodka

  • This category is for higher-proof spirits with little-to-no sugar added (sugar would reduce the ABV and turn it into a liqueur).

Fruit Liqueur

  • Any liqueur with a fruit base.

Liqueur

·       This category is now a catch-all for any liqueurs which are not fruit-based.

Rum

  • CASC has made the decision to accept non-sugar-based spirits in the rum category. These are usually honey-based but may use other base ingredients instead of sugar.

  • Our approach is: “Looks like a rum, smells like a rum, tastes like a rum? Call it a rum.” 

Single Malt Whisky

  • This is a whisky made from malted barley and has spent at least three years in an oak barrel.

Single Grain Whisky

  • This is for all other grains, including a blend of more than one grain, which has spent at least three years in an oak barrel. 

“Young” Whisky

  • Young whiskies are aged in oak for less than three years.

  • These spirits will be judged based on their own merits, and potential for further aging will not be evaluated. 

White Spirit

  • This is for spirits which don’t conform to any other category, e.g. “white whiskies”, moonshine, etc.

Bitters Categories

Because of the diverse nature of many bitters, bitters will be judged on their own merits, outside of categories. However, we are including two optional categories.

Producers will be asked to answer the following questions for each of these categories:

  • What is the sense of the place you’re trying to show? How is that reflected in the bitters?

  • Where did each of the ingredients come from?

Canadian Terroir

  • The bitters must be expressive of geographical region in Canada, through the provenance of their ingredients and taste profiles.

  • Producers must provide additional details in order to help the judges evaluate the terroir.

Regionally Expressive (International)

  • For bitters that reflect the flavours and traditions of a specific region outside of Canada.

  • Producers must provide additional details in order to help the judges evaluate the bitters.