The Cartel Hour
The Cartel Hour
Nov 11, 2020
Cartel Hour by Cask Cartel 31: Judging the LA Spirits Awards with Nicolette Teo, Amanda Victoria, and Joseph Solis
Play • 1 hr 27 min

The world of spirits judging to most consumers means medals, recommendations, and this idea that someone knowledgeable somewhere said they liked it. But it’s far more complicated than that, as we learn on this episode with the LA Spirits Competition. When the San Francisco World Spirits Competition Managing Director Nicolette Teo decided to branch off and launch a spirits competition in Los Angeles, she knew she needed to keep all of the integrity that competition was known for while putting her own spin on it. We now have the first year of the Los Angeles Spirits Awards that focuses on diversity of judges, marketing support for the winners, and awards that hopefully better represent the wider consumer population


Along with Nicolette, we brought on two of the actual judges from the competition Amanda Victoria and Joseph Solis, both incredibly accomplished in the field of judging but also in the wider world of spirits. They guided us through exactly what they do during a competition, and we received the samples labeled exactly how they get them, tasting through multiple different categories of the best in show winners including best rum, best mezcal, best bourbon, best blended malt whisky and best single malt whisky.


We put our palettes against the best of the best at the LA Spirits Awards, and it was an absolute blast.

Click on any of the following links to purchase the spirits. Here is a full list of what we drank:



Ten To One Caribbean White Rum



Mr. Mezcal Mezcal



Heaven Hill Bottled-In-Bond Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon



The Busker Single Malt Irish Whiskey



Kamiki Blended Malt Whisky



Lagavulin 16 Year Old Single Malt Scotch


See the full list of winners from the 2020 LA Spirits Awards:


To learn more and to enter into the LA Spirits Awards:


You can always find us at for additional information on the podcast, and of course, you can visit for America’s largest online premium spirits marketplace.


Follow us on social media @CartelHour where you can find information about upcoming episodes, and live tastings at The Infusery.


And speaking of those live tastings, for those living in or visiting the Los Angeles area that truly are intrigued, if you’re interested in drinking along with us, we would love to have you to come enjoy an evening at the Infusery to drink through a carefully selected assortment of spirits. We offer custom flights and have a robust library of over 750+ spirits to choose from. And you get to drink with Seth and I, pick our brains, learn a ton, and generally have a blast. Visit for more information.


And, if you’re a spirits brand that would like to be featured on the podcast, please visit


Thank you everyone for listening and remember to drink responsibly, and in good company.

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