John Barleycorn Awards recognizes excellence in the spirts industry, from distilling to marketing, and all ancillary forms of communication and creative functions.

Since the first distiller started experimenting with various grains and techniques, many a would-be artisan has searched for the elusive combination which would produce a spirit hailed for its perfect taste and flawless presentation. For half a century, this quest has been illuminated in poems, stories, and lyrics penned by the likes of Robert Burns, Jack London, and Steve Winwood. Their protagonist, John Barleycorn, is a metaphor for the indignation, suffering, death, and rebirth in the cyclical nature of planting, growing, harvesting, and distillation. John Barleycorn has been revered for centuries, but he has never seen anything like what is happening now. A new generation of marketing is igniting demand for historic brands, varieties, new flavors, craft cocktails, and small distilleries popping up throughout the world. John Barleycorn has emerged from the fields and taverns to a worldwide economic catalyst providing millions of jobs and billions of dollars in annual economic activity.

It’s all about recognition. Recognition for you, others in your organization, and your product. Winning an award from a noted, third-party elevator is an important confirmation that the product you are producing is honored by the spirits industry.

John Barleycorn Awards offers many tools for winners to promote their success, including a winner’s list which features winning organization and entry information. All winners have the option to purchase the John Barleycorn statuette for $220. The 11-inch statuette is designed and manufactured by Society Awards, the most prestigious custom design firm in the awards industry. The John Barleycorn Award is an impressive symbol of achievement that winners are proud to display. To order yours, please check out our store here:

Entry fees vary by category type. Taste entries are $350 for each category. Marketing entries are $125 for most categories and $175 for campaigns.

Receipts and paperwork will be automatically emailed to the email associated with your account immediately after checkout.

  1. Register– Upload your company logo, fill in a company description, and your social media information. All information entered during registration is the parent or entering company information. You will be asked to upload brand logos during the entry process.
  2. Input your title of entry. Fill in the requested company information and choose a category. There is a three-step category process. You will be given a choice of the main heading such as Taste, or Marketing + Design, followed by a choice of two sub-categories. For example, choices under Taste would be Whiskey, Vodka, Rum, etc. The third level would be a choice such as an age statement. Marketing + Design would also have their own specific selection choices. If all three category levels are not filled, you will not be able to move on to the next page of the entry process.
  3. You will proceed to checkout before uploading any entry files. At checkout, you will be given the option to pay by check or credit card. If you click check, you can mail a check or go back into My Account later and pay with a credit card.
  4. After checkout, you will be asked if you want to upload files for Marketing + Design categories.
  5. You will automatically be emailed receipts for your payment and entries. Tasting entrants will be emailed the documents to include with their bottle submissions.

Through your My Account on our website, you can update a payment method, upload, edit, add to or manage your account. (If your company name needs to be updated, please contact our support team at

All winners will be announced within 30 days of the final deadline. Since entries are judged against a standard of excellence and not each other, some results may be posted prior to the final date. An email will automatically be sent to the email you registered with when results are posted to your My Account.

During the entry process, there will be a Chat option at the bottom of the page. There is also additional entry information on our website. You can email us at, or call 214-377-3528.

The John Barleycorn Society, an international group of spirits journalists, administers the John Barleycorn Awards. The journalists, many of whom are judges in other notable spirits competitions, created the awards to highlight their role and perspective in the spirits industry. The elite team of authoritative and influential spirits journalists put together a well-rounded competition which includes categories for all creatives involved in the production, promotion, and understanding of the spirits industry.

John Barleycorn Awards has two sets of judges. One group comprises trade writers, skilled in the art of evaluating the taste, quality, and character of fine spirits. The other group consists of marketing professionals trained in the advertising, promotion, and marketing of spirits.


Taste judging is conducted over a period of days in New York City. Judges are afforded the time to give each entry the effort and consideration it deserves. Entries are blind-tested, judged at random, and not compared to other submissions in their category. Judges grade each entry on a 100-point scale based on a series of criteria relating to appearance, aroma, taste, and finish.


Marketing + Design is overseen by the Association of Marketing & Communication Professionals at its judging facility in Dallas. Entries are evaluated at random and not compared directly to other entries in their categories. In most instances, there is no need for extensive explanations by the entrant. Work is judged on its own quality, creativity, and resourcefulness.

Spirits Tasting

For Taste categories, we request each entrant sends two (2) 750 ml bottles or three (3) 500 ml bottles per entry. For Marketing design categories like bottle design, please send one (1) bottle per entry. Please include a copy of your entry receipt in your shipment. Write on the boxes: “Sample materials, Not for resale. Glass enclosed.”

Please send all samples to:

John Barleycorn Awards
127 Pittsburg St.
Dallas, TX 75207

*If you are in the Dallas area, please contact us directly to arrange an approved date and time for local drop-offs.

International entrants needing assistance with import into the United States, please contact our import partners at

All samples must be shipped prepaid. The John Barleycorn Awards is not responsible and does not pay import or duty fees.

Please note all COLA waivers take 7-10 business days for the TTB to send approval. We request you do not ship your spirits until you have the necessary paperwork.

Marketing + Design

A URL or file(s) that contain the work you’d like reviewed, such as videos, websites, designs, or campaign breakdown. Project descriptions are not required for single entries but will be read by judges if uploaded. In the case of a campaign category, enter the campaign’s materials and any explanation or recap that would be provided to a client to communicate the campaign’s performance.

During the entry process, you will be given the opportunity to include a URL if the entry is online. Otherwise, you will be prompted to upload or mail in your entry after checkout. Most formats are accepted. In the rare event the file can’t be opened, you will be contacted. You can revisit your entry to upload and edit files at any time after checkout by logging back into your My Account.

Send one sample to:
John Barleycorn Awards
127 Pittsburg St.
Dallas, TX 75207

We recognize the need for confidentiality and will not display or comment on any entries without prior permission from the entrant. During the entry process, entrants will be asked to check a box granting permission to possibly display the entry file on our blog, gallery and/or winner list. Even if permission to display the file is not granted, the winner’s name and client will still appear on our winner’s list unless the winner requests to have their name removed from the list. John Barleycorn assumes that entrants have rights to materials and the authority to enter them, so there is no need to enclose that information with entries.