Awarding the Best Spirits.


Steve Beal - Head Judge

Our Chair of Judges – Steve Beal

Steve is one of the most respected spirits experts in the world. He was the Senior Whisky Master and educator for Diageo North America for over 15 years and after retiring Steve has actively continued to serve the distilled spirits industry. He is now consultant, mentor and blender, international spirits judge, broadcast spirits presenter, spirits journalist and is a master accredited educator with the United States Bartenders Guild.

Steve has been inducted into the Whisky Magazine Hall of Fame, has been recognised by the Scotch whisky industry by being made a life member of The Keepers of the Quaich and has received the US Bartenders Guild Life Membership Achievement Award.

Steve has judged international spirits competitions for nearly 20 years including: the San Francisco World Spirits Competition since its founding; The International Wine and Spirits Competition as Chairing Judge; the American Distilling Institute; the American Craft Spirits Association; the Las Vegas Global Spirits Awards; the World Whisky Awards by Whisky Magazine as US Chair for American Whiskies; and the annual Ambrosia Magazine IndSpirit Awards in Mumbai, to name a few. He has been invited to judge in Cape Town, Hong Kong and judged regionally for Diageo World Class. Steve now comes to Australia.

How we judge spirits

The Australian International Spirits Competition will be headed by internationally experienced judges in conjunction with Australian officials and assistant judges. This will ensure integrity and world-class credibility of the judging.

Our head judge, Steve Beal, is highly respected and sought after in the spirits judging arena. He is head of many international spirits awards and brings years of experience in spirit judging and organisation from across the world to this competition.

Spirits are tasted and assessed individually, alongside others in the same category.

The spirits are presented to Judges with only a number identifier, in glasses already poured - so have no indication of brand or the type of spirit being tasted.

Our Judges will score each spirit on its merits, not scored against each other. This means that there may be multiple Gold, Silver and Bronze Medal winners in each category. Spirits awarded the same medal would have scores close to each other.

In addition to the Gold, Silver and Bronze awards, there will be the "Judge's Choice" award. Details about the scoring on the Awards page.