Results were announced at the Palinka Festival (28-30. April 2017) in Gyula, Békés County, Hungary. Szicsek Distillery won the title of ‘the best commercial distillery’ at the Brillante-2017 distillate competition at the 18th Palinka Festival in Gyula, Hungary. The best commercial palinka was chosen to be the red Williams Pear Palinka (year 2015) of Szicsek Distillery and it was chosen from among 158 samples of 17 distilleries.
The aims of the competition were the following: the popularization of palinka consumption and palinka, as a hungaricum and, of course, the recognition of the high-quality work of Hungarian commercial distilleries.
A few words about the palinka contest
Each contestant should submit two samples (minimum 0.35 l) and each contestant can submit any number of samples. The jury is public. The evaluation and test methods (alcohol, copper, cyanohydride, methyl alcohol content, added sugar) of samples are defined by governmental rules and regulations.
The methyl alcohol test is performed randomly. Only those can be part of the jury who are capable of formulating unbiased, correct criticism and are in proper condition. Judges are obliged to appear in good health on the days of sensory judging. If a judge is suffering from some respiratory problems, allergic rhinitis or other chronic sensory illness that may affect smelling and tasting skills he or she cannot be part of the jury.
The members of the sensory jury are invited by the organizer of the competition, taking the list of the Palinka National Council into account. The three-person jury teams will judge the samples given to them by the competition director with the help of a computer.
This year during the ‘blind tasting’ the 24-member professional jury judged the purity, character and harmony of the samples. Criticism is made in a 20-point evaluation system. In case of an excellent sample, the highest scores are the following: fragrance purity (3 point), fragrance character (5 point), taste purity (3 point), taste character (5 point), harmony (4 point). The following medals may be awarded to the best samples and products: gold (18-20 point), silver (16-17 point), bronze (14-15 point).
The Palinka Festival and competition is organised annually in Hungary and invites guests and palinka lovers from all around the world.