157 categories of spirits tasted

21 March 2020

The Lyon International Competition has 157 categories for tasting spirits. Categories include: Whiskeys, Bourbon, Brandies, Soju, Shochu, Baijiu, Gin, Vodka, Rums, Cachaça, punches, cocktails, liquorice-flavoured drinks, creams, liqueurs and sherries.
The competition follows strict rules concerning its organisation, optimal storage conditions, classification of spirits based on numerous criteria, blind tasting, verification of the tasters selected, a 100-point marking scale, etc.
This diversity means consumers can rely on the Concours International de Lyon, its tasting and medals, to guide them in their choices of spirits.


The Competition’s commitments

Jurors’ expertise

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Communication on all fronts

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Influential, committed partners

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Famous honorary presidents

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Official validation and verifications

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Marketing tools

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Professionals in the field guarantee conformity of the sample, while enlightened amateurs represent consumer tastes.


Tasting spirits is not easy, but what a pleasure to do so under such optimal conditions: the hall is well-lit, all is calm and concentration, and the spirits are well classified. The tasting sheet is concise and easy to use. I enjoy participating in this tasting because there are always some nice surprises and things to discover!


Master Sommelier
Wine merchant

It’s always a pleasure to come to the Lyon International Competition tasting. The venue is ideal for a well-organised, serious, serene tasting. This tasting is different from wine-tasting. You take just a drop of the product, click your tongue to spread it all around the inside of the mouth, then spit it out and attribute a mark. You have to drink a lot of water with each sip to reestablish the pH of your saliva. I start with the brandies that have the least alcohol, then I taste the calvados, gins, etc. It’s really a special moment because the products we taste here are straightforward, well-defined and faultless.


Meilleur Sommelier de France 1980
Demi-finaliste du Meilleur Sommelier du Monde 1992

I have been tasting spirits for Armonia for a few years now. It’s an exercise I find a bit more complex than commenting wines, and as a result that much more stimulating and enriching. Spirits are an up-and-coming sector, so it’s indispensable for sommeliers to continue their training in this area. The international nature of the competition has led me to make some astonishing discoveries. Since the last tasting, for example, I have had the taste of an exceptional Mirabelle plum brandy on the tips of my taste buds...



Each year it’s a real pleasure to taste the selections of the Lyon International Competition.
I’m a wine taster, and for me the competition really provides a great opportunity to compare domains within a single vintage and thus get to know our vineyard better.
Tasting brandies and spirits is more technical and requires greater concentration, but tasters are rewarded with the many discoveries they make and the olfactory voyages this fascinating exercise takes them on.

Laurent DERHE

Meilleur Ouvrier de France Sommellerie 2007
Président de l’Association des Sommeliers Lyonnais et Rhône-Alpes