Judging

Robert E. Gonzales Jr.
PKGD Group
Northern California Market Manager

Nationally known spirits educator, trainer, consultant, and spirits judge, Robert Gonzales is the San Francisco-based Northern California Market Manager for PKGD Group.

Initially a bartender, Robert learned the production and distribution side of the industry while working alongside the top individuals in tequila, whiskey, and other spirits sectors.

Early in his career, Robert furthered his education by spending 5 years traveling North America and the Caribbean fulfilling demands for spirits education and craft mixology. Robert has consulted on hundreds of bars and restaurants, trained thousands of bartenders, and led thousands of consumers in a variety of symposiums, workshops, and seminars on behalf of Diageo, Beam Suntory, and Wine Warehouse.



Colin Asare-Appiah
Senior Portfolio Ambassador Bacardi

As one of the spirits industry’s most well-known and liked pioneers and trendsetters, Colin Asare-Appiah, Trade Director Culture and Lifestyle and winner of the 2016 Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Award for “Best American Brand Ambassador”, has been making waves and setting industry standards since he first got his start in the industry over three decades ago.

Born in Ghana and raised in the UK, Colin began on this path as the original cocktail guide for BBC’S “The Good Food Show” with Anthony Worrel Thompson and started consulting on a myriad of spirit brands, truly immersing himself in all things spirit and cocktail right at cusp of the craft cocktail revolution.

From there, at the age 22, Colin co-founded the bar school, London Academy of Bartending along with industry professionals Douglas Ankrah, Richard Hargroves, Alex Turner and Andrew Chan-sing with the goal of teaching everything they had learned to rising bartenders, colleagues in the industry and beverage companies.

Due to its immense success, the business morphed into a bar and was globally recognized as LAB, has become a renowned and benchmark establishment in the industry.

Since then, Colin has worked with numerous spirit brands, celebrity chefs, cocktail bars and industry experts across the globe. He managed the bar at Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Babington House and starred in his own show “The Cocktail Kings” on the DISCOVERY Channel where he and a co-presenter travelled around the world creating bespoke cocktails to reflect their destinations. The show is still being aired in Asia and South America.

In his current role, Colin is in charge of fostering brand advocacy for the Bacardi USA Brand Portfolio, building brand loyalty and elevating the bartending community as a whole through brand focused educational programming, events and seminars. His expertise and spirits knowledge has been featured in Imbibe, Complex, WSJ, TIME and Cocktail Lovers Magazine to name a few. Colin currently resides in Brooklyn, NY with his wife and sons.


Judging Process

The 2021 Global Spirit Awards Judges Panel is a group of highly experienced & decorated men & women, with tremendous and diverse spirits and mixology backgrounds.

The panel we have assembled perfectly fits the high level of quality and visibility that we wanted for our inaugural panel.

The judging process, itself, is conducted as a 100% blind tasting process from the early rounds all the way through the sweepstakes rounds.

As each entry is received, it is catalogued in our system and put into its most appropriate sub-category. During the competition, all the spirits in their respective and specific sub-categories are sampled together as flights, carefully evaluated from color to finish, and scored by each one of our spirits judges on that that flight.

Then, scores for each spirit are tallied. The few spirits that have the distinguished honor of being scored the highest will move on to our sweepstakes rounds.

In the early afternoon of September 16, those highest scored spirits will be judged again to crown the Best of the Show categories.

On October 12, a worldwide press release will be sent out announcing all the winners as well as the overall Best of the Show winners. That announcement alone will be viewed by millions of people around the world in the industry as well as consumers in the public.

Each winner will also receive a one of kind medal, and a complete digital media kit including links to press releases, and multiple file format artwork for their use.