Protocol for Judges


  • Judges are held at the highest standards when voting.
  • Judges may not vote in any category in which they are nominated. (Conflict of Interest)
  • Judges may only vote on the categories their committee is assigned. They are required to 'opt out' from voting in that category.
  • Judges may only vote on the categories/awards their committee is assigned.
  • Judges may only vote for bars they have been to. If a judges has not been to 5 of the bars, tasted products etc, a judge is required to 'opt out'.
  • Any harassing, campaigning, or other activities meant to sway a judge’s opinion and vote may be considered soliciting, and must be reported to Simon Ford, Chairman, or Michelle Dunnick, Voting Coordinator.
  • Top 10 nominees will have the option to send product or writing samples to their respective committees after Wednesday, June 9. 2017.
  • Judges are encouraged to conduct outside research, if they deem it necessary.
  • Judges are encouraged to carefully read the writing samples and menu submissions for categories that apply. These files will be made available through the voting program.
  • Judges should not discuss votes, particularly any tiebreakers for the winner (if necessary), with anyone other than fellow judges.
  • Judges should refrain from discussing nominees and potential winners on social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, etc.) in the context of the Spirited Awards®, even if it is in jest.
  • The Top 10 Nominees will be announced via Tales of the Cocktail’s newsletter and on social media channels on Wednesday, June 9, 2017.
  • The Top 4 finalists will be announced via live stream and then on Tales of the Cocktail's social media channels on Friday, June 16, 2017.
  • Judges will not be privy to the final list of winning recipients.
  • All winner's will be announced at the 10th Annual Spirited Awards® on Saturday, July 22, 2016 in New Orleans.
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