LYNCHBURG, Tenn. — Cool Smoke from Richmond, Va., claimed the title of Grand Champion at the 27th annual Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue held over the weekend here in Lynchburg.
As Grand Champion, Cool Smoke earns $10,000, braggin’ rights as winner of what many consider to be the most prestigious barbecue contest in the world, and the chance to defend its title in 2016. The team placed top 10 in several of the seven categories, including first place in Pork Shoulder/Butts. This marks the team’s second win at The Jack, claiming its first title in 2013.
“It’s a repeat. It’s unbelievable. You can feel the energy,” said Cool Smoke’s Tuffy Stone. “To win The Jack, it’s a dream. We won in 2013, and to come back here and win in 2015 means everything. It takes all you got, it takes love.”
To compete in The Jack, domestic teams must win a state championship with at least 25 teams or a competition of 50 teams, or win one of the premiere barbecue competitions in the U.S. — Memphis in May, American Royal Open or Houston World’s Championship Bar-B-Que — which qualifies a team for an automatic berth.
At The Jack, each team competes in seven categories — Pork Ribs, Pork Shoulder/Butts, Beef Brisket, Chicken, Dessert, Cook’s Choice and Jack Daniel’s Sauce.
Sixty-eight championship teams from the U.S. and a record 26 international teams from countries including Australia, Bahamas, Canada, Estonia, Germany, Japan, Norway, Poland and South Africa convened in Lynchburg to compete for the covered Grand Champion title.
“It’s always exciting to see each team’s passion and dedication at the Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue. They live and breathe barbeque,” said Jack Daniel’s Master Distiller Jeff Arnett. “It’s great to see the competition getting hotter every year, yet the friendly atmosphere remains. We want to congratulate Cool Smoke on winning its second Grand Campion title — that’s an incredible feat.”
Parrothead Smokers from Dakota Dunes, S.D., was named the Reserve Grand Champion, taking home the second-place cash prize of $2,500. Other teams rounding out the top 10 were: 3. Smokin’ Hoggz BBQ, Abington, Mass.; 4. Uncle Pig’s Barbecue Pit, Paulsboro, N.J.; 5. Clark Crew BBQ, Yukon, Okla.; 6. A Fine Swine, Prairie du Sac, Wisc.; 7. CAJUN BLAZE, Gonzales, La.; 8. Under the Radar, Kingsport, Tenn.; 9. The Specialists, Mountain Brook, Ala.; 10. Caveman Cuisine, Carthage, Mo.
In addition to honoring the Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion, The Jack awards first place prizes in seven categories: Pork Ribs, Pork Shoulder/Butts, Beef Brisket, Chicken, Dessert, Cook’s Choice and Jack Daniel’s Sauce.
This year’s winners of these individual categories were:
Pork Ribs – Drunken Brisket, Lampasas, Texas
Pork Shoulder/Butts – Cool Smoke, Richmond, Va.
Beef Brisket – Parrothead Smokers, Dakota Dunes, S.D.
Chicken – Swine Life, Hernando, Miss.
Dessert – Smoke Me Silly, Madison, Ala.
Cook’s Choice – Across the Track, Houston, Texas
Jack Daniel’s Sauce – Iowa’s Smokey D’s BBQ, Des Moines, Iowa