The Second, Semi-Annual Blind Tasting Competition @ Anvil Bar & Refuge, Houston [12 November]

The Second, Semi-Annual Blind Tasting Competition

14:00 - 17:00

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Anvil Bar & Refuge
1424 Westheimer Rd, Houston, Texas 77006
It’s the final step in our extensive, months-long training program at Anvil Bar and Refuge, a grueling right of passage where trainees taste 50 spirits and correctly name 47 of them. Everyone had such a blast at the last one, that we've decided to expand the field this time to let more of you participate.

Competitive tastings are a major component of both the wine and beer industries to promote objectivity and an intimate knowledge of products. Yet, competitions like this, which emphasize the skill of the taster, are non-existent or rare in the spirits and cocktail industry. Usually, these events would take place at major conventions or festivals; however, in lieu of this happening, we’ve decided to introduce this educational sparring match to Houstonians instead.

Competition Details:
For our second, semi-annual Blind Tasting Competition, we will accept 50 entrants (though we reserve the right to expand this number if there's overwhelming interest and a means to accommodate) at $70 per person, which is done in traditional Anvil “Break-Even” style – just enough to cover cost of pours and labor for the event. Anyone—both bar professionals and spirits enthusiasts—are welcome, excluding Anvil Bar & Refuge staff members that have completed training and would have an unfair advantage. Entrants will be accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis in person at the bar.

Competitors will compete in a first round with 20 pours selected from a list of 80 spirits and liqueurs. Ten finalists will advance to a more difficult final round with 8 additional pours. Competitors are responsible for naming both the type of spirit AND its specific brand name. Every competitor will receive a sealed copy of their results, including what specific spirits they correctly identified and which they failed to recognize accurately.

Participants will receive the list of 80 spirits and liqueurs in advance, all of which are possible candidates for the Blind Tasting Competition. This list was designed by the Anvil team to include spirits well-rounded bartenders should know. Participants will have the option to “practice” for the competition once a week before opening hours—more details on this will be provided to all entrants.

First place will receive a prize of $500 – cold, hard cash. The second place winner will receive $200, and third place receives $100.

The 80 Spirits & Liqueurs:
1. Balvenie 12 Year DoubleWood Single Malt Scotch
2. Glenfiddich 12 Year Single Malt Scotch
3. Glenmorangie 10 Year Single Malt Scotch
4. Laphroaig 10 Year Single Malt Scotch
5. Macallan 12 Year Single Malt Scotch
6. Highland Park 12 Year Single Malt Scotch
7. Chivas Regal Blended Scotch
8. Johnnie Walker Black Blended Scotch
9. Jameson Irish Whiskey
10. Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey
11. Buffalo Trace Bourbon
12. Four Roses Bourbon
13. Makers Mark Bourbon
14. Woodford Reserve Bourbon
15. Bulleit Rye
16. Old Overholt Rye
17. Rittenhouse Bonded Rye
18. Canadian Club Canadian Whisky
19. Crown Royal Canadian Whisky
20. George Dickel 12 Year Tennessee Whisky
21. Jack Daniels Tennessee Whiskey
22. Suntory Toki Blended Japanese Whisky
23. Aviation Gin
24. Beefeater London Dry Gin
25. Bols Genever
26. Bombay Sapphire London Dry Gin
27. Citadelle Gin
28. Ford’s London Dry Gin
29. Hayman’s Old Tom Gin
30. Hendrick’s Gin
31. Plymouth Gin
32. Ransom Old Tom Gin
33. Tanqueray No. Ten London Dry Gin
34. Appleton 12 Year Rum
35. Bacardi Silver Rum
36. Barbancourt 8 Year Rum
37. Caña Brava Rum
38. Cruzan Black Strap Rum
39. El Dorado 5 Year Rum
40. Novo Fogo Silver Cachaça
41. Pampero Anniversario Rum
42. Rhum JM Agricole Blanc (40% ABV)
43. Ron Zacapa 23 Year Rum
44. Smith & Cross Rum
45. Del Maguey Minero Mezcal
46. Don Julio Reposado Tequila
47. El Tesoro Platinum Tequila
48. Fortaleza Blanco Tequila
49. Mezcal Vago Espadin Mezcal (produced by Aquilino Garcia Lopez)
50. Siete Leguas Reposado Tequila
51. Christian Drouin Sélection Calvados
52. Hennessy VSOP Cognac
53. Laird’s Straight Apple Brandy
54. Marie Duffau Napoléon Bas Armagnac
55. Pierre Ferrand Ambre Cognac
56. Pisco Portón
57. Remy 1738 Cognac
58. Absolut Elyx Vodka
59. Aylesbury Duck Vodka
60. Chopin Vodka
61. Grey Goose Vodka
62. Aperol
63. Amaro Nonino
64. Averna Amaro
65. Benedictine
66. Campari
67. Cherry Heering
68. Cointreau
69. Fernet Branca
70. Grand Marnier
71. Green Chartreuse
72. Herbsaint
73. Jaeger
74. Kahlua
75. Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao
76. Pimm’s No.1
77. Plymouth Sloe Gin
78. St. Germain
79. Suze
80. Tempus Fugit Crème de Cacao
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