Get to Know Wigle, the Most Awarded Craft Spirits Distillery in America
The Pittsburgh distillery just took home 28 medals during the ACSA's 9th Annual Judging of Craft Spirits
If you want to support craft spirits but don’t know where to begin, you should probably start with the winners of the American Craft Spirits Association’s annual awards show, which took place this month in New Orleans. And the big winner there was Wigle Whiskey, a Pittsburgh-based distillery that took home a whopping 28 medals, including two Best in Class winners and four Gold medals.
The ASCA is the nation’s only national registered nonprofit trade association representing the U.S. craft spirits industry. The association’s 9th Annual Judging of Craft Spirits featured 450 entrants, submitted from 37 states and Washington, D.C., in seven main categories. Spirits were judged by a panel of 30 judges and scored (on a 100-point scale) on appearance, aroma intensity, aroma complexity, palate concentration, palate complexity, body, character, and nature of alcohol, texture and finish.
While Indiana’s Starlight Distillery took home top honors (Best in Class) for the whiskey category, Wigle did score two Golds for its Single Barrel PA Rye and Port Rye Whiskey while, interestingly, earning its top honors in two non-whiskey categories (Brandy and Distilled Speciality Spirits). The distillery took home 28 medals overall and was the most medaled distillery for the seventh year in a row.
A brand with “whiskey” in its title ultimately winning awards for brandy and amaro shouldn’t be surprising for fans of the distillery; during our visit in 2019, we enjoyed the distillery’s liqueurs and non-whiskey spirits as much as its Pennsylvania rye. Fun fact: The family-owned Wigle is named after Philip Wigle, one of the original Whiskey Rebellion protestors — that uprising being an important piece of both whiskey and general American history.
The ASCA’s big winners:
- Brandy: Wigle Peach Brandy, Wigle Whiskey (PA)
- Distilled Specialty Spirits: Wigle Amaro Vermut, Wigle Whiskey (PA)
- Gin: Jaggerbush, Lawrenceville Distilling Co. (PA)
- RTD: Astoria Mary, Pilot House Distilling (OR)
- Rum: White Rum, Three Roll Estate (LA)
- Vodka and Grain Spirits: Sweet Blend Vodka, Delta Dirt Distillery (AR)
- Whiskey: Carl T. Single Barrel Bourbon Whiskey, Starlight Distillery (IN)
- Innovation: Sorel, Jack from Brooklyn (NY)
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