LYNCHBURG – Cool Smoke from Richmond, Va., claimed the title of Grand Champion at the 25th annual Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue held in Lynchburg on Saturday Oct. 26.
As Grand Champion, Cool Smoke received $10,000, braggin’ rights as winner of what many competitors consider to be the most prestigious barbecue contest in the world and the chance to defend their title in 2014. Cool Smoke also placed second in ribs and seventh in chicken.
“This is unbelievable,” said Cool Smoke’s Tuffy Stone. “This is our fifth year being here. Everyone in the country who does competition barbecue hopes you can come here and cook; that’s a dream come true. To get one ribbon, that’s another dream come true. To win the Jack, is unbelievable.”
In celebration of the silver anniversary, the Winner’s Circle – a separately judged competition of The Jack’s 23 esteemed champions of years past – was added to the festivities. Pig Skin BBQ from Rockwell, Iowa, 2012 Grand Champion of The Jack, took home $2,500.
To compete at 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 (Memphis in May, American Royal Open or Houston World’s Championship Bar-B-Que) that qualify a team for an automatic berth. Each team competed in seven categories – Pork Ribs, Pork Shoulder/Butts, Beef Brisket, Chicken, Dessert, Cook’s Choice and Jack Daniel’s Sauce.
“For barbecue enthusiast around the world, winning the Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue is a dream come true,” said Jack Daniel’s Master Distiller Jeff Arnett. “Each year, The Jack gets better and better, and we were reminded of just how good the competition has been with this year’s Winner’s Circle.
These competitors work so hard throughout the season to get here and we want to congratulate Cool Smoke on winning the Grand Champion title today, and our friends Pig Skin BBQ on winning the Winner’s Circle. I’m already looking forward to next October.”
A Boy & His BBQ from Grimes, Iowa, also finished strong as the Reserve Grand Champion, taking home a cash prize of $2,500.
Other teams who had a great weekend at this year’s Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue included Blazen BBQ (Hillsboro, Texas) who finished third; Insane Swine BBQ (Worcester, Mass.) placing fourth; and QUAU (Brimfield, Ill.) claiming fifth.
Completing the top 10 among the nearly 100 competitors were 4:20 Q (Clear Spring, Md.) in sixth; Jo-Bawb’s BBQ (Rozet, Wyo.) in seventh; Killer B’s BBQ (Evans, Ga.) in eighth; Gilly’s BBQ (Taylorville, Ill.) in ninth; and I.A.B. 30 BBQ (Chandler, Ariz.).
Seventy-six championship teams from the U.S. and 23 international teams from Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Holland, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Puerto Rico, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom fought for the title. The highest finishing international team was Bunch of Swines from the United Kingdom that placed 32nd overall.
In addition to honoring the Grand Champion, Reserve Grand Champion and Winner’s Circle Champion, the Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue 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 are: Pork Ribs – Southern Krunk BBQ Society, Hot Springs, Ark.; Pork Shoulder/Butts – QUAU, Brimfield, Ill.; Beef Brisket – A Boy & His BBQ, Grimes, Iowa; Chicken – Little Pig Town, Owasso, Okla.; Dessert – Killer B’s BBQ, Evans, Ga.; Cook’s Choice – Prairie Smoke & Spice BBQ, Pilot Butte, Saskatchewan, Canada; Jack Daniel’s Sauce – Polish BBQ Kings, Poland.