UWC Judges

F. Paul Pacult
F. Paul Pacult
Chairman of Judging. Author, Journalist and Educator
F. Paul Pacult

Called “America’s foremost spirits authority” by Forbes.com and “…a spirituous oracle” by Imbibe magazine, F. Paul Pacult was the publisher/editor of F. Paul Pacult’s Spirit Journal for 28 years.

Paul is the author of seven best-selling books, including Kindred Spirits (Hyperion, 1997); The Beer Essentials (Hyperion, 1997); American Still Life: The Jim Beam Story and the Making of the World’s #1 Bourbon (John Wiley, 2003); A Double Scotch: How Chivas Regal and The Glenlivet Became Global Icons (John Wiley, 2005); Kindred Spirits 2: 2,400 Reviews of Whiskey, Brandy, Vodka, Tequila, Rum, Gin, and Liqueurs from F. Paul Pacult’s Spirit Journal 2000-2007(Spirit Journal, Inc., 2008); The New Kindred Spirits: More Than 2,000 All-New Reviews of Whiskey, Brandy, Rum, Agave Spirits, Vodka, Gin, Amari, and Liqueurs (BenBella Books, 2021); and Buffalo,Barrels, & Bourbon: The Story of How Buffalo Trace Distillery Became the World’s Most Awarded Distillery (John Wiley, 2021). 

From 1982 to 2009, he contributed to scores of national and international publications, including Playboy, Wine & Spirits Magazine, Cheers, Connoisseur, MarketWatch. Travel & Leisure, Men’s Journal, Beverage Dynamics and many others. Most prominently, for 17 years he wrote about spirits, cocktails, travel, and wine for the New York Times Magazine, was the Delta Sky wine/spirits/cocktail columnist for 13 years, and for 9 years was Wine Enthusiast magazine’s spirits columnist/spirits tasting editor.

Paul is a founding member of the award-winning spirits and mixology training company Beverage Alcohol Resource LLC (BAR). He is likewise a founding member and the judging chairman of Ultimate Beverage Challenge LLC.

He is the only journalist worldwide to concurrently be a life member and Master of Keepers of the Quaich whisky society (Edinburgh, Scotland), a life member of Kentucky’s Bourbon Hall of Fame, a life member of the Kentucky Distillers Association’s Order of the Writ, and a life member of France’s Compagnie des Mouquetaires d’Armagnac (Company of Armagnac Musketeers). In September 2011, the Bureau National Interprofessional du Cognac (BNIC) in France honored Paul as the Cognac Personality of the Year 2011. In January 2012, he was awarded the Cheers Conference 2012 trophy for “Raising the Bar” in spirits education.