Bay Area Brand Bests 37 Competitors in First Major U.S. Judging

Pearl Spirits, a relative newcomer to the increasingly crowded field of super-premium vodkas, today announced that its flagship product was named Best Vodka by judges at the first San Francisco World Spirits Competition. Pearl vanquished such established competitors as Stolichnaya, Belvedere, Finlandia and Ketel One. The San Francisco competition was the first comprehensive, international spirits judging ever held in the United States.

Overseeing the blind taste testing was Anthony Dias Blue, the wine and spirits editor of Bon Appétit and Executive Director of the San Francisco International Wine Competition. The Director of Judging was F. Paul Pacult, editor and publisher of the Spirit Journal, frequent contributor to The New York Times Magazine and a columnist for both Wine Enthusiast and Delta Airlines' in-flight magazine, Sky.

Pearl beat out 37 other vodkas to win the Double Gold medal awarded to the leader in each category. Among the other category winners were such well-known labels as Tanqueray No. Ten (gin), Bowmore 17-Year-Old (single malt scotch), Johnnie Walker Blue Label (blended scotch), Hennessy XO (cognac) and Herradura Selección Suprema (tequila).

"A major reason we chose to participate in this competition is that we knew it involved the crème de la crème of the liquor industry, both in terms of the products being judged and the judges themselves," said Pearl Spirits founder and Chairman Russ Dale. "We're particularly honored to have won the Double Gold because it places our vodka in the same stratosphere as the elite brands - such as Johnnie Walker and Hennessy Cognac."

Pearl Spirits was incorporated in 1997 and introduced its first product, the super-premium Pearl Vodka, into California bars and restaurants in 1999. The company's proprietary distillation method starts with 100% Canadian soft winter wheat - world-renowned for its consistency and quality - and pure spring water and involves multiple distillations and purifications to make the finest vodka in the world.