Wine enthusiasts might remember Anthony Dias Blue best from his long and distinguished career at Bon Appetit Magazine, where he wrote about wine & spirits. He also has been the longtime Director of the San Francisco International Wine Competition.
But Andy wears many hats, and one of them is as founder and Director of the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. Andy's annual spirits event is the gold standard for spirits competitions in the United States and last month broke all of its own records with 1580 entries. This is remarkable when you consider spirits, unlike wine, don't have vintages that change from year to year.
There is a similarity, however, between the appreciation of fine spirits and fine wines. Any wine lover who admires exceptional quality and craftsmanship in adult beverages would be a candidate to explore the world of spirits.
The list of top winners from the San Francisco World Spirits Competition would make a strong starting point for such an adventure.
Fond of Scotch, I was intrigued by the winner in the Whisky category. That went to Craigellachie Single Malt Aged 23 Years ($297) from Speyside. At that price, this is truly a sipping whisky.
I'm also a fan of aged rums. So the winner in the Aged White Spirit category jumped out at me: Parce 12 Year Old Rum ($60) from Columbia. Best Bourbon went to Knob Creek 9 Year Old Small Batch Bourbon ($31).