Monday, November 9, 2009

Grand Traverse Distillery Scores Medals at Prestigious International Competition

Grand Traverse Distillery, Northern Michigan's original vodka micro-distillery, recently received accolades for its various True North Vodkas from the Beverage Tasting Institute (BTI) at its 2009 International Review of Spirits Competition earlier this fall in Chicago. This is the largest and most prestigious annual spirits competition in the United States.

The BTI gave Grand Traverse Distillery’s new Wheat Vodka (80 proof / $21.97) a gold medal rating of 93 in the “Unflavored Vodka” category – one of the highest ranking issued East of the Mississippi. The original True North Vodka (80 proof / $29.99) received a 92 gold medal rating in the same category, while the Grand Cherry Vodka (80 proof / $29.99) ranked in with 87 points for a silver medal rating in the “Flavored Vodka” category.

“We couldn’t be happier with our BTI rankings this year – including the gold medal for our new Wheat Vodka,” says Kent Rabish, who began distributing the True North Vodka in June 2007. “Each of our three product lines have now been recognized by leaders in the industry for being among the top micro-distilled vodkas in the country.”

The International Review of Spirits is the most authoritative, influential and respected annual spirits competition in the United States. Major and boutique spirits producers and importers from around the world participate in the competitions each year.

The online reviews for the Grand Traverse Distillery line includes:

• Wheat Vodka: “Clear. Mild aromas of graham crackers, dried fruit, and custard have a faint spicy edge and follow through silky, smooth entry to a dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body with delicate anise, dusty grain, and mossy stone notes. Finishes with smooth, talc and mint water accented fade. A very tasty and smooth vodka for every application.”

• True North Vodka: “Clear. Interesting, delicate aromas of earthy mint leaf, dried citrus, white chocolate, and baklava follows through on a soft, satiny entry to a dryish medium body follows through on with excellent smoothness and balance. Finishes with a sweet cream, mint tea, and talc accented fade. Unique honeyed mintiness will make for fascinating cocktails.”

• Grand Cherry Vodka: “Clear. Bold aromas of artisanal maraschino cherries have a distinct chocolate marzipan cookie note and follow through on a supple, satiny entry to a dryish, glycerous medium-to-full with a tingling peppery spice accent. Finishes with a crisp, drying and white pepper, cocoa-dusted cherry skin, and mineral fade. Great cherry aromas, but rather faint on the palate and prickly on the finish; nevertheless, this should mix very well and pop in cocktails.”

Founded in 1981, BTI is recognized as one of America’s premier, independent, alcoholic beverage review organizations by leaders of the beverage industry such as the Chicago Tribune, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Business 2.0, BusinessWeek, CNBC, the BBC, and numerous other consumer and trade publications. Millions of consumers look to BTI's fair and impartial reviews on when making decisions regarding the purchase of spirits.

True North is super-premium vodka that celebrates the natural gifts abundant to Michigan's 45th parallel. Ingredients originate from the beautiful Grand Traverse region, where the rich soils produce the quality rye and the crystal clear glacial waters blend to create this premium vodka. With these quality ingredients and the triple distillation process, each True North Vodka is truly one of a kind.

As a Michigan distiller, using Michigan grown grains is a top priority for the distillery. As such, Grand Traverse Distillery is proud to support Michigan agriculture and has purchased over 300,000 pounds of rye, wheat and corn from local farmers since it began distilling its hand-crafted spirits.

Hand-crafted in small batches, more than 4000 cases of True North Vodka, Grand Cherry Vodka and Wheat Vodka have collectively sold in just the past 30 months. It can be found in over 800 retail outlets and 250 restaurants/bars in Michigan and is distributed in Michigan by General Wine & Spirits.

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