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Valentine Distilling Co. Wins Double Gold Awards for Mayor Pingree Bourbons

San Francisco World Spirits Competition Announces Winners

Ferndale, MI– Two of Valentine Distilling Co.’s bourbons ranked  in the highest class at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition last month. The competition is one of the oldest international spirits competitions of its kind, blending passion and professionalism with its highly esteemed judges.

Forty-three spirits experts participated at the Hotel Nikko April 20-23 where judges saw more than 2,100 entries. Through blind tasting, judges award the bronze, silver, gold and double gold medals. Valentine’s 10-year Mayor Pingree Blue and Black Label bourbons received the most prestigious medal awarded, the Double Gold. The Double Gold is awarded to the best of the very few entries that receive a gold medal rating by judges, which ranks Valentine among the finest products in the world.

“We only enter international spirits competitions to show the world what Detroit has to offer. To be awarded these highest honors means so much to us,” said Rifino Valentine, Founder and President, Valentine Distilling Co.

Valentine’s Mayor Pingree ‘Blue label’ is a Single Barrel Straight Bourbon that is bottled from a single cask sourced from the former Lawrenceburg, Ind. distillery at full proof and non-chill filtered. Aged for  10 years, these selections reflect some of the oldest casks to ever age in the state of Michigan. Together with Valentine’s finest retail partners, the company is honored to share some of these special barrels with the public in its purest form— straight from the barrel and uncut.

Valentine was recently featured in  Tasting Panel Magazine  which included reviews by industry tasting expert Meredith May of the award-winning spirits. The ‘Blue label’ “has a luxuriously enticing nose of magnolia blossom and brown-buttered apples. The warmth spreads across the mouth, savory tea tannins alight with mango, Asian pear and a thread of toffee.” May rated it 96 points out of 100.

Valentine’s Mayor Pingree ‘Black label’ Bourbon is a limited release bottling deftly married from a special inventory of casks also sourced from the former Lawrenceburg, Ind. distillery. The inaugural 2016 Small Batch blend was designed to showcase the ‘outlier’ profiles of barrels that have matured distinctive notes from those of its peers. Masterfully married for depth, layered flavor and complexity, she described the ‘Black label’ as, “A powerful 113.8-proof spirit that sends out a perfumed calling of spiced nutmeg-oak, saddle leather and tangerine. A distinct wash of satin carries an array of notes—from spiced orange peel to a spellbinding toffee latte, giving the ‘Black label’ a rating of 95.”

“When selecting a single barrel, you’re looking to deliver fans a unique profile they’re unable to find in regular shelf expressions, while the Black Label is an opportunity to create, through marrying, notes that do not exist by themselves in single casks,” said Justin Aden, the Distiller & blender of Valentine.

These recent awards have Valentine even more excited about the upcoming release of a new member to the Mayor Pingree family. Keep an eye out for the Mayor Pingree ‘Orange label’ Rye Whiskey coming out this June.

‘Blue label’ Single Barrel Straight Bourbon and ‘Black label’ Bourbon are available in Michigan in limited quantities for $89.99 per bottle. The award-winning Mayor Pingree family also features a ‘Red label’ Bourbon whiskey which is selected from exceptional barrels of our own Ferndale, MI triple pot distilled bourbon, married with the finest Lawrenceburg, IN traditional column-distilled straight bourbon casks.

Valentine honors the enduring spirit of ‘Old Ping’ with a bourbon for the people with the family of Mayor Pingree bourbon products. Hazen S. Pingree, mayor of Detroit (1890-1897), is considered one of the greatest mayors in US history. He was a champion for the Detroiter, fighting monopolies and corruption.


About Valentine Distilling Co.

Established in 2007 and among the nation’s first craft distilleries, Valentine Distilling Co. is an American pioneer of small batch, handcrafted spirits.  In early 2016, Valentine Vodka was announced as winner of “World’s Best Vodka” by The World Vodka Awards in London. And most recently, Valentine Distilling Co. shared its first television commercial with viewers around the world to celebrate this award. The company’s award-winning vodka, gin, and bourbon are available in seven states, Western Europe and Ontario. In the tradition of Detroit’s manufacturing leadership, Ferndale, Michigan-based Valentine Distilling Co. is dedicated to American ingenuity, quality manufacturing, and small batch distilling using old world techniques that create superior products.


Valentine Distilling Co. | 965 Wanda Street – Ferndale, Michigan

Valentine Distilling Co. Cocktail Lounge | 161 Vester Street – Ferndale, Michigan





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