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TORONTO - Canadian Iceberg Vodka, the new ultra-premium vodka produced with the purest waters on the planet - 12,000-year-old icebergs - beat out the most demanding competition in the world by receiving a superlative 94 out of 100 rating, plus a Best Buy for exceptional value, in the prestigious Beverage Tasting Institute's 1998 World Spirits Championships.

The Chicago-based World Spirits Championships judged 40 of the leading vodkas, Canadian Iceberg Vodka, which was just introduced in the U.S. in September, surpassed all of the top-selling brands on the market, among them Stolichnaya, Ketel One, Wyborowa, Finlandia, Skol, Belvedere, Absolut, Rain, Skyy, and Smirnoff. And at $15.99 U.S., Canadian Iceberg Vodka was awarded still another accolade, a Best Buy rating. This distinction is given by the judges for a vodka's exceptional value based on its ratio of score to price. "The rating validates our whole concept for this spirit," said Gary M. Pollack, president of the Newfoundland-based Canadian Iceberg Vodka Corporation. "The idea to harvest giant icebergs for vodka production," he explained, "was inspired by a single-minded quest for the most naturally pure water on the planet. After harvesting and purifying the water, we blend it with our triple-distilled neutral grain spirits produced from Ontario sweet corn. The result is an extraordinarily pure and exceedingly smooth and refined vodka, with the slightest-hint of sweetness. Obviously the judges agreed about its taste," Pollack said. The Beverage Tasting Institute is the largest professional, independent, full-time, wine and spirits review program in the U.S. In the blind tasting, judges tasted each spirit at least two times and scored it on a 14-point hedonic scale measuring how much pleasure the spirit gives. The score each judge gives to all the spirits is averaged, then calculated and converted to the 100-point scale, the industry standard.