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Some of our partners that are helping make the 2022 event a success

Spirit and Liqueur awards

Timeline for 2022 event

8 March 2022 Early Bird Special
Entries Open

Early bird entry fee R1050 excluding VAT (approximately USD108 or EUR93) from 8 March until 28 June 2022

29 June 2022 Entries are R1375 excl VAT (approximately USD96 or EUR84)
Regular entry fees

Early bird entry price ends, and the regular entry fee of R1375 excluding VAT (approximately USD108 or EUR93) applies from 29 June to 2 August 2022

2 August 2022 Final close of entries
Final close of entries

Final entries close

15 and 16 August 2022 Monday and Tuesday delivery between 09:00 and 16:00
Delivery of samples

Final delivery of samples to Stellenbosch, South Africa

Products that did extremely well during the 2021 awards

About the 2022 Spirit and Liqueur awards

This year, The Aurora International Taste Challenge will be held in South Africa and will have some top professionals judging products from around the world.  The goal is to identify and award the best-tasting products available to consumers.

The aim of the panellists is to assess the quality of products from the consumer’s point of view, in similar circumstances to those in which a consumer would enjoy the product. This event will champion products from around the world that are made for the discerning consumer.

Categories for spirits and liqueurs:
Spirit ClassSpirit CategoryDefinition
Agave100% Agave TequilaAs defined in the NOM 006 Mexican Standards
AgaveAgave SpiritAny distilled spirit produced from a fermented mash of agave pinas and/or syrups, distilled less than 95% ABV and bottled at not less than 40% ABV.
AgaveMezcal Ancestral As defined in the NOM 70 Mexican Standards
AgaveMezcal ArtisanalAs defined in the NOM 70 Mexican Standards
AgaveBacanoraAs defined in the NOM 168 Mexican Standards
AgaveFlavored Agave SpiritAny distilled spirit produced from a fermented mash of agave pinas and/or syrups, distilled less than 95% ABV, flavored through distillation, maceration, or other flavoring methods, and may be bottled at less than 40% ABV.
AgaveFlavored BacanoraAs defined in the NOM 168 Mexican Standards
AgaveMezcalAs defined in the NOM 70 Mexican Standards
AgaveRaicillaAs defined in the Denomination of Origin
AgaveTequilaAs defined in the NOM 006 Mexican Standards
BrandyAged Fruit Brandy (Other than grape or apple)A brandy distilled to not more than 85% ABV from the fermented juice or mash of whole, sound, ripe other fruit or other fruit wine, with or without the addition of not more than 20 percent by weight of the pomace of such juice or wine, or 30 percent by volume of the lees of such wine, or both, aged in oak barrels, and bottled at not less than 40%ABV.
BrandyAged Grape BrandyAs defined in the US Standards of Identity
BrandyApple BrandyAs defined in the US Standards of Identity
BrandyApplejackAs defined in the US Standards of Identity
BrandyArmagnacAs defined By French Law
BrandyBlended ApplejackAs defined in the US Standards of Identity
BrandyCalvadosAs defined By French Law
BrandyCognacAs defined By French Law
BrandyEau de Vie Other FruitAn unaged brandy distilled to not more than 85% ABV from the fermented juice or mash of whole, sound, ripe other fruit or other fruit wine, with or without the addition of not more than 20 percent by weight of the pomace of such juice or wine, or 30 percent by volume of the lees of such wine, or both, and bottled at not less than 40%ABV.
BrandyGrappa/Pomace/Marc BrandyAs defined in the US Standards of Identity
BrandyNeautral BrandyAs defined in the US Standards of Identity
BrandyPear Eau de VieAn unaged brandy distilled to not more than 85% ABV from the fermented juice or mash of whole, sound, ripe pears or pear wine, with or without the addition of not more than 20 percent by weight of the pomace of such juice or wine, or 30 percent by volume of the lees of such wine, or both, and bottled at not less than 40%ABV.
BrandyPisco ChilenoAs defined by Chilean Law
BrandyPisco PerúAs defined by Peruvian Law
BrandyUnaged Grape BrandyAn unaged brandy distilled to not more than 85% ABV from the fermented juice or mash of whole, sound, ripe grapes or grape wine, with or without the addition of not more than 20 percent by weight of the pomace of such juice or wine, or 30 percent by volume of the lees of such wine, or both, and bottled at not less than 40%ABV.
GinAged GinAny gin rested/matured in new or used wood barrels.
GinClassic GinGin that derives its primary flavor from juniper, often described as London Dry.
GinCompound GinGin made from the blending of single botanical distillates including the distillate of juniper, or neautral spirit flavored with extracts.
GinContemporary Gin (includes New Western and American Dry)Gin that includes juniper but derives its primary flavors from other botanicals.
GinCordial GinAlso know as Gin Liqueur defined in the US Standards of Identity
GinFlavored GinAs defined in the US Standards of Identity
GinGenever Style GinA gin distilled from a grain base that may be blended with neautral spirit and may be rested in wood barrels.
GinGeneverA spirit made from the fermented mash of grains, usually rye, corn, barley, and wheat and distileld with juniper and other botanicals or made from a blend of malt spirt and botanical spirit. Genever may be contain up to 20g of sugar per liter and can only be produced in Belgium, The Netherlands, Départements Nord and Pas- de-Calais in France as well as German Bundesländer Nordrhein-Westfalen and Niedersachsen in Germany.
GinNavy-Strength GinGin bottled at 57% ABV.
GinOld Tom GinSugar sweetened, botanically sweetened, or botanically intense gin that may be rested in wood barrels.
GinSignature Botanical GinA gin that identifies a small number botanical other than juniper that is ment to be highlighted and take the forefront with juniper in a secondary role.
LiqueurCitrus LiqueurA liqueur flavored through distillation, maceration, and or extract of one or more citrus fruit peels, flesh, or juice.
LiqueurCoffee LiqueurA liqueur flavored through distillation, maceration, and or extract of coffee beans, grounds or brewed coffee.
LiqueurCream LiqueurA liqueur that includes the addition of cream.
LiqueurFruit LiqueurA liqueur flavored through distillation, maceration, and or extract of one or more fruit peels, flesh, or juice, that does not include citrus as the primary flavor.
LiqueurHerbal/Botanical/Spiced LiqueurA liqueur flavored with any number of herbs, botanicals, and or spices.
LiqueurNut LiqueurA liqueur flavored through distillation, maceration, and or extract with one or more tree nuts.
LiqueurOther LiqueurA liqueur that does not fit into any of the other liqueur categories, may include spirit liqueurs (rum, gin, whiskey etc.)
Rum/CachaçaAOC Martinique Rhum AgricoleAs defined By French Law
Rum/CachaçaCachaçaAs defined By Brazillian Law
Rum/CachaçaColumn Still RumA spirit distilled in a column still from the fermented juice of sugar cane, sugar cane syrup, sugar cane molasses, or other sugar cane by-products, to no more than 95% ABV and bottled at not less than 40% ABV. The spirit may be aged in oak barrels.
Rum/CachaçaFlavored RumAs defined in the US Standards of Identity
Rum/CachaçaNavy-Style RumA high ester rum produced through distillation and or blendeing and modeled after the British Navy Rum blend. Must be bottled at not less than 40% ABV.
Rum/CachaçaOverproof RumA rum bottled at not less than 57% ABV.
Rum/CachaçaPot Still RumA spirit distilled in a pot still from the fermented juice of sugar cane, sugar cane syrup, sugar cane molasses, or other sugar cane by-products, to no more than 95% ABV and bottled at not less than 40% ABV. The spirit may be aged in oak barrels.
Rum/CachaçaPot-Column Blended RumA spirit blended from distillates individualy produced in pot and column stills from the fermented juice of sugar cane, sugar cane syrup, sugar cane molasses, or other sugar cane by-products, to no more than 95% ABV and bottled at not less than 40% ABV. The spirit may be aged in oak barrels.
Rum/CachaçaSpiced RumA rum flavored though distillation, maceration of other flavoring addtions of spices and bottled at not less than 40% ABV.
Rum/CachaçaSweet CachaçaAs defined By Brazillian Law
SpecialtyAbsintheA spirit with a main characteristic derived from the combination of Grand Wormwood (Artemisia Absinthium), Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) and Anis Seed (Pimpinella Anisum) produced by the distillation of spirits with Grand Wormwood, Fennel, Anis and other herbs and botanicals and bottled at not less than 45% ABV. No sugar may be added.
SpecialtyAlcohol Free DrinksAn alcohol free drink that may be flavored through distillation, maceration or other flavor additives menat to mimich a known spirit category or a novel base for an alcohol free cocktail.
SpecialtyAperitif WineA wine that has been infused with botanicals and may be fortified with neautral brandy.
SpecialtyAquavitA distilled spirit that derives its main characteristic flavor from carroway or dill and bottled at no less than 40% ABV.
SpecialtyBier SchnappsA spirit distilled from beer made from malted barley and hops.
SpecialtyFortified WineA wine that has been fortified by adding neautral grape spirit, or brandy, to the wine during the production process.
SpecialtyMoonshineAny spirit distilled from a fermented mash of sugar, grain, or a mixture of both that is also marketed as Moonshine. Moonshine may be aged and or flavored.
SpecialtyNon-potable BittersA cocktail additive, not meant for straight consumption, which is produced through extraction of various botanicals and bittering agents via alcohol or glycerin.
SpecialtyOther Specialty SpiritsSome other innovative spirit that does not fit any of the regular spirit categories.
SpecialtyReady-to-Drink CocktailsSpirits and mixers pre-batched and portioned for one or more servings into classic or novel cocktails.
SpecialtyShochuA traditional Japanese spirit distilled from starch, usually from one or more of the following: rice, barley, buckwheat, sweet potatoes, and wheat. Shochu is not typically matured in wood barrels and they are usually bottled at less than 45% ABV.
SpecialtySojuA traditional Korean spirit produced from discontinuous distillation to not more than 85% ABV of a fermented mash developed from the basic constituents of a starch source, yeast and water.
SpecialtySotolA distilled spirit made from Dasylirion wheeleri plant in the Mexican States of Chihuahua, Coahuila, and Durango. The pinas are cooked in above ground ovens and distilled in column stills.
VodkaAged VodkaA vodka that has been rested or matured in a non-neutral wood barrel from which it extracts flavors and color.
VodkaBotanical VodkaA vodka that has been flavored through the distillation or maceration of real botanicals, not extracts. Any color is the result of post-distillation maceration of real botanicals.
VodkaFlavored vodkaAs defined in the US Standards of Identity
VodkaVodka – Neutral CharacterAs defined in the US Standards of Identity
VodkaVodka – Residual Base CharacterA spirit that has been distilled at or above 95% ABV in such away that it retains some residual flavor from its agricultural base.
WhiskeyAmerican Single Malt WhiskeyAs defined by the American Single Malt Whiskey Comission
WhiskeyBlended ScotchAs defined in the Scotch Whisky Regulations
WhiskeyBlended Whiskey (includes blended bourbon, blended straight whiskeys etc.)As defined in the US Standards of Identity
WhiskeyBourbonAs defined in the US Standards of Identity
WhiskeyCorn WhiskeyAs defined in the US Standards of Identity
WhiskeyFlavored WhiskeyAs defined in the US Standards of Identity
WhiskeyHopped WhiskeyA whiskey distilled from a hopped fermented mash of grains (beer), a whiskey distilled with hops as a botanical, a whiskey macerated with hops, or a whiskey aged in used beer barrels.
WhiskeyIrish Blended WhiskeyAs defined in The Irish Whiskey Technical File
WhiskeyIrish Grain WhiskeyAs defined in The Irish Whiskey Technical File
WhiskeyIrish Single Malt WhiskeyAs defined in The Irish Whiskey Technical File
WhiskeyIrish Single Pot-Still WhiskeyAs defined in The Irish Whiskey Technical File
WhiskeyLight WhiskeyAs defined in the US Standards of Identity
WhiskeyMalt WhiskeyAs defined in the US Standards of Identity
WhiskeyNon-typical WhiskeyA whiskey distiled from a fermented mash of at least 51% one non-typical grain (oats, millit, triticale etc.) or pseudocereal (amaranth, buckwheat, quinoa etc.) to not more then 80% ABV, stored in new charred oak barrels at not more than 62.5% ABV, and bottled at not less than 40% ABV.
WhiskeyRye WhiskeyAs defined in the US Standards of Identity
WhiskeyScotch Grain WhiskyAs defined in the Scotch Whisky Regulations
WhiskeySingle Malt ScotchAs defined in the Scotch Whisky Regulations
WhiskeySmoked WhiskeyA whiskey distilled from a fermented mash of grains, some portion of which has been smoked, or a whiskey infused with somke post distillation.
WhiskeySpirit WhiskeyAs defined in the US Standards of Identity
WhiskeyWheat WhiskeyAs defined in the US Standards of Identity
WhiskeyWhiskey (includes whiskey distilled from bourbon mash, rye mash etc.)As defined in the US Standards of Identity
WhiskeyWhite WhiskeyA whiskey distilled from a fermented mash of grain at less than 95% ABV. The whiskey may be stored in oak barrels and bottled at not less then 40% ABV.

Classes according to the American Distilling Institute.

While many consumers are brand-loyal, most would choose an alternative if they had access to fair product ratings. The Aurora International Taste Challenge will award silver, gold and double gold awards to exceptional products. We are proud to be setting new standards.

Stickers for silver, gold and double gold awards will be available for purchase to the winners. A one-time print run will be done, and extra stickers will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. You do not have to order stickers.

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Entry Fees and dates
  • The early bird entry fee is, R1050.00 excluding VAT (approximately USD83 or EUR71) from 8 March 2022 to 28 June 2022.
  • The regular entry fee is R1375.00 excluding VAT (approximately USD109 or EUR93) from 29 June 2022, until closing on the 2nd of August 2022
  • 2 August 2022 – Entries close

Stickers will be available to the winners at R365.00 excluding VAT per 1000. There will be only one print run, and extra stickers will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

Samples needed for wine, spirits and liqueurs:
  • For products in 750ml bottles, a sample has to comprise two bottles per entry. For products in containers smaller than 750ml, a sample has to comprise three units with a minimum combined volume of 750ml.
  • Samples need to be in their final bottled or packaged format.
  • No tank samples are allowed.

We are proud to be partnering with several companies to make the 2022 Aurora International Taste Challenge a big success.

Why should you enter?

Winners of The Aurora International Taste Challenge will enjoy bragging rights and will be able display their award artwork in their tasting room, in email signatures, on the product itself, as well as in digital and print media, all royalty-free.

Superior products will be granted Silver, Gold and Double Gold status to reward excellent quality. Exceptional products that exceed expectations will be eligible for Trophy awards. Besides the normal technical criteria used during judging, the wow factor and a reading on the judge’s hedonic scale of enjoyment will be taken into account.

Winning producers will be able to display award artwork on the product itself, in digital media, and in print media for a period of one year from when the awards are granted. Winners will receive a digital award artwork kit with all permutations of the artwork related to the award received and will be able to use the artwork subject to a non-exclusive licence agreement. No royalties are charged.

Stickers for silver, gold and double gold awards will be available for purchase by the winners. A one-time print run will be done, and extra stickers will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. You do not have to order stickers.

To ensure quality control, winners may not print their own stickers, and stickers can only be purchased from the organisers.

Here is a close approximation of what the 25 x 25 mm stickers look like.

 

Here are some examples of the award artwork. Colours can be adjusted to suit packaging. No physical trophies or awards are awarded.

Winning producers will be able to display award artwork on the product itself, in digital media, and in print media for a period of one year from when the awards are granted. Winners will receive a digital award artwork kit with all permutations of the artwork related to the award received, and will be able to use the artwork subject to a non-exclusive licence agreement. No royalties are charged.

The award artwork can be used where very little space as available, and artwork with detail more appropriate to smaller areas. No physical trophies or awards are awarded.

By winning an award you will ensure that your product is discovered, or rediscovered in a blind tasting, without bias or prejudice.
Categories for spirits and liqueurs:
Spirit ClassSpirit CategoryDefinition
Agave100% Agave TequilaAs defined in the NOM 006 Mexican Standards
AgaveAgave SpiritAny distilled spirit produced from a fermented mash of agave pinas and/or syrups, distilled less than 95% ABV and bottled at not less than 40% ABV.
AgaveMezcal Ancestral As defined in the NOM 70 Mexican Standards
AgaveMezcal ArtisanalAs defined in the NOM 70 Mexican Standards
AgaveBacanoraAs defined in the NOM 168 Mexican Standards
AgaveFlavored Agave SpiritAny distilled spirit produced from a fermented mash of agave pinas and/or syrups, distilled less than 95% ABV, flavored through distillation, maceration, or other flavoring methods, and may be bottled at less than 40% ABV.
AgaveFlavored BacanoraAs defined in the NOM 168 Mexican Standards
AgaveMezcalAs defined in the NOM 70 Mexican Standards
AgaveRaicillaAs defined in the Denomination of Origin
AgaveTequilaAs defined in the NOM 006 Mexican Standards
BrandyAged Fruit Brandy (Other than grape or apple)A brandy distilled to not more than 85% ABV from the fermented juice or mash of whole, sound, ripe other fruit or other fruit wine, with or without the addition of not more than 20 percent by weight of the pomace of such juice or wine, or 30 percent by volume of the lees of such wine, or both, aged in oak barrels, and bottled at not less than 40%ABV.
BrandyAged Grape BrandyAs defined in the US Standards of Identity
BrandyApple BrandyAs defined in the US Standards of Identity
BrandyApplejackAs defined in the US Standards of Identity
BrandyArmagnacAs defined By French Law
BrandyBlended ApplejackAs defined in the US Standards of Identity
BrandyCalvadosAs defined By French Law
BrandyCognacAs defined By French Law
BrandyEau de Vie Other FruitAn unaged brandy distilled to not more than 85% ABV from the fermented juice or mash of whole, sound, ripe other fruit or other fruit wine, with or without the addition of not more than 20 percent by weight of the pomace of such juice or wine, or 30 percent by volume of the lees of such wine, or both, and bottled at not less than 40%ABV.
BrandyGrappa/Pomace/Marc BrandyAs defined in the US Standards of Identity
BrandyNeautral BrandyAs defined in the US Standards of Identity
BrandyPear Eau de VieAn unaged brandy distilled to not more than 85% ABV from the fermented juice or mash of whole, sound, ripe pears or pear wine, with or without the addition of not more than 20 percent by weight of the pomace of such juice or wine, or 30 percent by volume of the lees of such wine, or both, and bottled at not less than 40%ABV.
BrandyPisco ChilenoAs defined by Chilean Law
BrandyPisco PerúAs defined by Peruvian Law
BrandyUnaged Grape BrandyAn unaged brandy distilled to not more than 85% ABV from the fermented juice or mash of whole, sound, ripe grapes or grape wine, with or without the addition of not more than 20 percent by weight of the pomace of such juice or wine, or 30 percent by volume of the lees of such wine, or both, and bottled at not less than 40%ABV.
GinAged GinAny gin rested/matured in new or used wood barrels.
GinClassic GinGin that derives its primary flavor from juniper, often described as London Dry.
GinCompound GinGin made from the blending of single botanical distillates including the distillate of juniper, or neautral spirit flavored with extracts.
GinContemporary Gin (includes New Western and American Dry)Gin that includes juniper but derives its primary flavors from other botanicals.
GinCordial GinAlso know as Gin Liqueur defined in the US Standards of Identity
GinFlavored GinAs defined in the US Standards of Identity
GinGenever Style GinA gin distilled from a grain base that may be blended with neautral spirit and may be rested in wood barrels.
GinGeneverA spirit made from the fermented mash of grains, usually rye, corn, barley, and wheat and distileld with juniper and other botanicals or made from a blend of malt spirt and botanical spirit. Genever may be contain up to 20g of sugar per liter and can only be produced in Belgium, The Netherlands, Départements Nord and Pas- de-Calais in France as well as German Bundesländer Nordrhein-Westfalen and Niedersachsen in Germany.
GinNavy-Strength GinGin bottled at 57% ABV.
GinOld Tom GinSugar sweetened, botanically sweetened, or botanically intense gin that may be rested in wood barrels.
GinSignature Botanical GinA gin that identifies a small number botanical other than juniper that is ment to be highlighted and take the forefront with juniper in a secondary role.
LiqueurCitrus LiqueurA liqueur flavored through distillation, maceration, and or extract of one or more citrus fruit peels, flesh, or juice.
LiqueurCoffee LiqueurA liqueur flavored through distillation, maceration, and or extract of coffee beans, grounds or brewed coffee.
LiqueurCream LiqueurA liqueur that includes the addition of cream.
LiqueurFruit LiqueurA liqueur flavored through distillation, maceration, and or extract of one or more fruit peels, flesh, or juice, that does not include citrus as the primary flavor.
LiqueurHerbal/Botanical/Spiced LiqueurA liqueur flavored with any number of herbs, botanicals, and or spices.
LiqueurNut LiqueurA liqueur flavored through distillation, maceration, and or extract with one or more tree nuts.
LiqueurOther LiqueurA liqueur that does not fit into any of the other liqueur categories, may include spirit liqueurs (rum, gin, whiskey etc.)
Rum/CachaçaAOC Martinique Rhum AgricoleAs defined By French Law
Rum/CachaçaCachaçaAs defined By Brazillian Law
Rum/CachaçaColumn Still RumA spirit distilled in a column still from the fermented juice of sugar cane, sugar cane syrup, sugar cane molasses, or other sugar cane by-products, to no more than 95% ABV and bottled at not less than 40% ABV. The spirit may be aged in oak barrels.
Rum/CachaçaFlavored RumAs defined in the US Standards of Identity
Rum/CachaçaNavy-Style RumA high ester rum produced through distillation and or blendeing and modeled after the British Navy Rum blend. Must be bottled at not less than 40% ABV.
Rum/CachaçaOverproof RumA rum bottled at not less than 57% ABV.
Rum/CachaçaPot Still RumA spirit distilled in a pot still from the fermented juice of sugar cane, sugar cane syrup, sugar cane molasses, or other sugar cane by-products, to no more than 95% ABV and bottled at not less than 40% ABV. The spirit may be aged in oak barrels.
Rum/CachaçaPot-Column Blended RumA spirit blended from distillates individualy produced in pot and column stills from the fermented juice of sugar cane, sugar cane syrup, sugar cane molasses, or other sugar cane by-products, to no more than 95% ABV and bottled at not less than 40% ABV. The spirit may be aged in oak barrels.
Rum/CachaçaSpiced RumA rum flavored though distillation, maceration of other flavoring addtions of spices and bottled at not less than 40% ABV.
Rum/CachaçaSweet CachaçaAs defined By Brazillian Law
SpecialtyAbsintheA spirit with a main characteristic derived from the combination of Grand Wormwood (Artemisia Absinthium), Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) and Anis Seed (Pimpinella Anisum) produced by the distillation of spirits with Grand Wormwood, Fennel, Anis and other herbs and botanicals and bottled at not less than 45% ABV. No sugar may be added.
SpecialtyAlcohol Free DrinksAn alcohol free drink that may be flavored through distillation, maceration or other flavor additives menat to mimich a known spirit category or a novel base for an alcohol free cocktail.
SpecialtyAperitif WineA wine that has been infused with botanicals and may be fortified with neautral brandy.
SpecialtyAquavitA distilled spirit that derives its main characteristic flavor from carroway or dill and bottled at no less than 40% ABV.
SpecialtyBier SchnappsA spirit distilled from beer made from malted barley and hops.
SpecialtyFortified WineA wine that has been fortified by adding neautral grape spirit, or brandy, to the wine during the production process.
SpecialtyMoonshineAny spirit distilled from a fermented mash of sugar, grain, or a mixture of both that is also marketed as Moonshine. Moonshine may be aged and or flavored.
SpecialtyNon-potable BittersA cocktail additive, not meant for straight consumption, which is produced through extraction of various botanicals and bittering agents via alcohol or glycerin.
SpecialtyOther Specialty SpiritsSome other innovative spirit that does not fit any of the regular spirit categories.
SpecialtyReady-to-Drink CocktailsSpirits and mixers pre-batched and portioned for one or more servings into classic or novel cocktails.
SpecialtyShochuA traditional Japanese spirit distilled from starch, usually from one or more of the following: rice, barley, buckwheat, sweet potatoes, and wheat. Shochu is not typically matured in wood barrels and they are usually bottled at less than 45% ABV.
SpecialtySojuA traditional Korean spirit produced from discontinuous distillation to not more than 85% ABV of a fermented mash developed from the basic constituents of a starch source, yeast and water.
SpecialtySotolA distilled spirit made from Dasylirion wheeleri plant in the Mexican States of Chihuahua, Coahuila, and Durango. The pinas are cooked in above ground ovens and distilled in column stills.
VodkaAged VodkaA vodka that has been rested or matured in a non-neutral wood barrel from which it extracts flavors and color.
VodkaBotanical VodkaA vodka that has been flavored through the distillation or maceration of real botanicals, not extracts. Any color is the result of post-distillation maceration of real botanicals.
VodkaFlavored vodkaAs defined in the US Standards of Identity
VodkaVodka – Neutral CharacterAs defined in the US Standards of Identity
VodkaVodka – Residual Base CharacterA spirit that has been distilled at or above 95% ABV in such away that it retains some residual flavor from its agricultural base.
WhiskeyAmerican Single Malt WhiskeyAs defined by the American Single Malt Whiskey Comission
WhiskeyBlended ScotchAs defined in the Scotch Whisky Regulations
WhiskeyBlended Whiskey (includes blended bourbon, blended straight whiskeys etc.)As defined in the US Standards of Identity
WhiskeyBourbonAs defined in the US Standards of Identity
WhiskeyCorn WhiskeyAs defined in the US Standards of Identity
WhiskeyFlavored WhiskeyAs defined in the US Standards of Identity
WhiskeyHopped WhiskeyA whiskey distilled from a hopped fermented mash of grains (beer), a whiskey distilled with hops as a botanical, a whiskey macerated with hops, or a whiskey aged in used beer barrels.
WhiskeyIrish Blended WhiskeyAs defined in The Irish Whiskey Technical File
WhiskeyIrish Grain WhiskeyAs defined in The Irish Whiskey Technical File
WhiskeyIrish Single Malt WhiskeyAs defined in The Irish Whiskey Technical File
WhiskeyIrish Single Pot-Still WhiskeyAs defined in The Irish Whiskey Technical File
WhiskeyLight WhiskeyAs defined in the US Standards of Identity
WhiskeyMalt WhiskeyAs defined in the US Standards of Identity
WhiskeyNon-typical WhiskeyA whiskey distiled from a fermented mash of at least 51% one non-typical grain (oats, millit, triticale etc.) or pseudocereal (amaranth, buckwheat, quinoa etc.) to not more then 80% ABV, stored in new charred oak barrels at not more than 62.5% ABV, and bottled at not less than 40% ABV.
WhiskeyRye WhiskeyAs defined in the US Standards of Identity
WhiskeyScotch Grain WhiskyAs defined in the Scotch Whisky Regulations
WhiskeySingle Malt ScotchAs defined in the Scotch Whisky Regulations
WhiskeySmoked WhiskeyA whiskey distilled from a fermented mash of grains, some portion of which has been smoked, or a whiskey infused with somke post distillation.
WhiskeySpirit WhiskeyAs defined in the US Standards of Identity
WhiskeyWheat WhiskeyAs defined in the US Standards of Identity
WhiskeyWhiskey (includes whiskey distilled from bourbon mash, rye mash etc.)As defined in the US Standards of Identity
WhiskeyWhite WhiskeyA whiskey distilled from a fermented mash of grain at less than 95% ABV. The whiskey may be stored in oak barrels and bottled at not less then 40% ABV.

Classes according to the American Distilling Institute.

FAQS

Who will be judging at this event?

Products will be judged by sommeliers who live and breathe spirits and liqueurs for a living, and who have an intimate knowledge of taste.

Samples needed for wine, spirits and liqueurs:
  • For products in 750ml bottles, a sample has to comprise two bottles per entry. For products in containers smaller than 750ml, a sample has to comprise three units with a minimum combined volume of 750ml.
  • Samples need to be in their final bottled or packaged format.
  • No tank samples are allowed.
Can I use this award artwork for all the brands that this product is produced under?

Where the quality of the product is dependent on the vintage, a particular batch of ingredients, or any other factors that make the quality of the product batch-dependant, the award may only be used on the particular batch that won the award.

The award artwork may then only be used for the particular product and batch that was entered.

Can I enter unlabelled products?

Unlabelled samples must be representative of the final product, and must be in their final bottled state. Tank samples are not allowed.

Do I get a certificate if my product is awarded?

An electronic certificate will be sent by email to the winners. If the exact same product is sold under different brand names, you can request a certificate for each brand at no extra cost.

When will the stickers/decals be available?

We will endeavor to have the stickers/decals ready around two weeks after the results are announced.

What awards are conferred?

Superior products will be granted Silver, Gold and Double Gold awards to recognise products with excellent taste. These producers will be able to display this award artwork on the product itself, in digital and in print media for a period of one year from when the awards are granted, as long as the quality of the product does not change from that of the original sample, and dependent on the terms of a non-exclusive licence agreement.

Trophy awards will also be conferred on products that are truly exceptional and top of their class.

Stickers may be purchased from the organisers, and may not be printed by any other party.

 

There will be only one print run, and extra stickers will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Entry Fees and dates
  • The early bird entry fee is, R1050.00 excluding VAT (approximately USD83 or EUR71) from 8 March 2022 to 28 June 2022.
  • The regular entry fee is R1375.00 excluding VAT (approximately USD109 or EUR93) from 29 June 2022, until closing on the 2nd of August 2022
  • 2 August 2022 – Entries close

Stickers will be available to the winners at R365.00 excluding VAT per 1000. There will be only one print run, and extra stickers will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

Are there any royalties involved?

No royalties are payable.

An electronic certificate will be emailed to the winning participants. Subject to adherence to the terms of the non-exclusive licence agreement, winners will also have a non-exclusive licence to make use of the digital award artwork kit, with various logos and award artwork to use on their product, in email signatures, in digital and in print media for a period of one year from the time the awards are announced. No physical trophies or awards are presented.

For how long can I use the award artwork?

The award artwork may be used on the specific product and brand that was awarded, subject to a non-exclusive licence agreement, for a period of one year, subject to the terms of the non-exclusive license agreement.

Why should I enter my product?

Winning an award will provide content for media coverage, grant bragging rights, and make the market appreciate the great lengths you go to in producing your product. In a world where food and drinks are often considered generic products, an award will set you apart from the competition.

Will the tasting be audited?

The tasting will be audited by an accredited auditing firm to ensure that the judges are not influenced and that the tasting is done blind, and conforms to international standards.

Samples needed for wine, spirits and liqueurs:
  • For products in 750ml bottles, a sample has to comprise two bottles per entry. For products in containers smaller than 750ml, a sample has to comprise three units with a minimum combined volume of 750ml.
  • Samples need to be in their final bottled or packaged format.
  • No tank samples are allowed.

Where should the samples be delivered?

Delivery options and FAQs

Samples must reach the event in Stellenbosch, South Africa in time for evaluation, and there are two options. The first option is for products that are located close by, that will easily be delivered in the two days allocated, and the second is for samples from overseas or far-flung destinations, which require a bigger delivery window.

Option 1

  • This option is ideal where samples are not sent from a far distance, and they will definitely arrive in time.
  • 2-day delivery window
  • 15-16 August 2022 from 09:00 to 16:00
  • Delivered to venue

Option 2

  • Best for cold chain dependent entries and entries from overseas
  • 12 days delivery window
  • From 1-12 August 2022
  • Best to use overnight delivery options to make sure entries arrive during the week, on the days allocated.
  • Delivery from 09:00 and 16:00 during weekdays
  • Delivered to DHL in Paarl (very close to the venue).

Both options will respect the cold chain from arrival, and delicate chocolates, ice-creams and other temperature-sensitive products will at all times be treated with great care.

Please label all samples on the outside as follows:

  • PERISHABLE
  • PLEASE KEEP FROZEN
  • KEEP REFRIGERATED
  • All frozen samples must be shipped in the presence of dry ice.
  • Use frozen ice packs when shipping refrigerated samples.

DHL is our preferred delivery solution, and you can read more about them here.

First option (2-day window) - for samples located close to the event

Samples must be delivered between 09:00 and 16:00 on the 15th and 16th of August  2022.

Participants may use any courier, but please ensure that samples are delivered to:

The Aurora International Taste Challenge

C/o Celia Gilloway

The Conference Centre

Klein Joostenberg

R304 Muldersvlei

Koelenhof Road

Stellenbosch

South Africa

 

The person receiving the samples:

Celia Gilloway

Email:celia@eventsbycelia.com

Tel: 082 782 1977

GPS coordinates: – 33 82’ 66 21 S / 18 79” 55 15 W

Samples must be delivered between 9:00 and 16:00 on the two days allocated.

Second delivery option (12-day delivery window) - for samples arriving from afar

Samples to be delivered between 1-12 August 2022, to DHL Paarl, Western Cape, South Africa. Please bear in mind that 9 August (Tuesday) is a public holiday and samples will not be received on that day.

When sending samples that need to remain at a constant temperature during the cold chain, discuss the appropriate packaging and shipping option with DHL to ensure the products do not arrive over a weekend when no cold chain facilities are available.

Please send samples to:

DHL Paarl
35 Zandwyk Park
Old Paarl Road
Paarl
South Africa
For the attention of The Aurora International Taste Challenge
C/o Marijke Douglas

DHL will consolidate the samples to make sure they are delivered on time.

Products from outside South Africa need the necessary time to clear customs. Also, add the wording: “Samples of no commercial value – for attention The Aurora International Taste Challenge C/o Marijke Douglas”.

DHL, our preferred logistics partner

We have partnered with DHL to allow for timely delivery, and they are our preferred delivery solution.

When making use of DHL, please contact:

Marijke Douglas by email at Marijke.Douglas@dhl.com or phone her on +27 (0)21 872 4717 for more details.

Products that are sent that have to maintain the cold chain, need to be packed accordingly, and the DHL overnight service can be used.

Late entries might not be accepted.

With regard to DHL and overnight delivery, how certain can I be that the sample receives the necessary urgency to deliver on time?

When making use of DHL, please ensure you send your samples to:

DHL Paarl
35 Zandwyk Park
Old Paarl Road
Paarl
South Africa

For the attention of:
The Aurora International Taste Challenge
C/o Marijke Douglas

Make sure you arrange with Marijke by emailing her at Marijke.Douglas@dhl.com or phone her on +27 (0)21 872 4717 to make sure everything will be in order.

For additional information, contact Sanet van Heerden at hello@aurorachallenge.com. This event is managed by Tank Town Promotions (Pty) Ltd.

General FAQs

How many samples do I need to deliver?

If you are on the page of the particular category that you need, you will find the information under FAQs. If you are on another page, just go to the page with the sample information for all products.

Do taxes and customs fees only relate to imports?

Only samples sent from outside of South Africa will accrue taxes, clearance and customs fees.

Do entrants get a reduced-price option through DHL?

Because DHL consolidates deliveries, the prices will be reduced. Make sure you arrange with Marijke on Marijke.Douglas@dhl.com or phone her on +27 (0)21 872 4717 to get the necessary detail.

Overnight deliveries and deliveries from outside of South Africa will be at normal DHL rates.

Will you have a show for people / companies to attend if they are not entering the event?

The Aurora International Taste Challenge is not a trade show or public event. Only the organisers and judges are present.

There is also no prize-giving ceremony or trade / public tasting afterwards.

Rules specific to spirits and liqueurs:

  • A product may only be entered once, even if it is available under a different brand name.
  • Entries will only be accepted in English.
  • Tank samples will not be accepted as entries into the event.
  • There is no minimum stock quantity needed to enter a product.
  • A participant may enter more than one product in a class. Examples are wineries that produce several wines of the same cultivar type but with different vineyard designations or vintages.
  • A product that received an award in a previous year’s event may be entered again.
  • Each participant will be responsible for all delivery costs, customs, duties, taxes and insurance. These must be paid by the participant before sending the entry samples, and the participant will be responsible for clearing and the associated costs at customs where applicable.
  • It is the participant’s responsibility to have insurance for samples as they will be transported at the participant’s risk. The Awards Show (Pty) Ltd will not be accountable in any way whatsoever for any loss or damage to the samples before, during, or after the event.
  • All samples are to be clearly labelled to identify the entries. This information includes the name of the manufacturer, the commercial name of the product, and the particular variant of the product if appropriate.
  • Because this is an international event, the basic guidelines for classes must be followed, but it is up to the entree to choose a class that is appropriate relative to their own frame of reference. The judges reserve the right to move the product to a more appropriate class.
  • All entries have to arrive, having maintained the cold chain as appropriate, from the producer to the delivery point, and must be in suitable and hygienic packaging.
  • The same product, even if under a different brand or name, may not be entered twice.
  • Any products left over after judging become the property of the event.
  • All costs related to delivery, including customs fees and taxes etc. are at the participant’s expense.
  • Only commercially operated importers, producers or distributors that abide by the food laws of the country of origin may enter.
  • Winners will be asked to supply the event organisers with high-resolution packshots for use on its website, and in marketing materials. By entering this event the participant grants The Aurora International Taste Challenge unlimited use of these images.
  • Be sure to securely wrap entries with bubble wrap or similar material to secure your entries against breakage. Please wrap your final package in a plastic bag and make it leakproof in order to prevent leakage and damage to other products. Label samples as fragile.
  • Specialised packaging material or any other packaging material will not be returned. Specialised packaging material can significantly preserve the final quality and viability of the sample being judged.
  • If styrofoam peanuts are used for packaging, please secure them in a container that will not cause leakage or spillage of the packaging materials.
  • International entries must take the necessary precautions to prevent breakage and hold-ups in customs and are encouraged to use local agents to deliver samples.
  • If more than one box of samples is delivered, please mark the boxes as “Box 1 of 5”, “Box 2 of 5” etc.
  • After winners are announced, no additional samples are needed.
  • Leftover samples will become the property of the event.