Dunsmuir residents often boast that they have the best water on earth. Last month, those convinced of the city's superior spring water got a big shot in the arm.

Dunsmuir residents often boast that they have the best water on earth. Last month, those convinced of the city’s superior spring water got a big shot in the arm.

Water bottled at Dunsmuir’s Castle Rock Bottling Company won first place for best tasting bottled water at the 24th annual Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting Competition, held in West Virginia.

“We think the water is the best on the planet and we’re thrilled that the judges have reached the same conclusion,” said Castle Rock’s president, Thomas Greither.

Castle Rock won gold over 32 entries for the title, according to a competition press release. Two bottled waters were tied for second place: Eldorado Natural Spring Water from Eldorado, Colo. and Samaria Natural Springs Water from Crete, Greece. Bronze went to Mountain Drop from Linthicum, Md.

This is the second year Castle Rock entered the competition, said company spokesperson Warren Michaels. They didn’t win anything last year, but were “very excited” about this year’s recognition.

The waters are judged on look, smell and taste, similar to what’s done for wine competitions.

Water is tested blindly and rated for attributes such as appearance (it should be clear, or slightly opaque for glacial waters); aroma (there should be none); taste (it should taste clean); how it feels in the mouth (it should feel light); and aftertaste (it should leave you thirsty for more).

The tasting is done over two days and results were announced at a black tie affair on Feb. 22. Entries came from 18 states, three Canadian provinces and 12 foreign countries, including Serbia, Tanzania, South Korea, New Zealand, China and Thailand, according to the release.

Castle Rock Bottling Company opened in 2011, utilizing water from Mossbrae Spring and prides itself on using glass bottles that’s more than 50 percent recycled.

“We’re renewing a tradition that began nearly 125 years ago from the source of the water to the use of glass bottles,” said Greither. “We decided to bypass single-use plastic bottles in favor of glass, which is better for the environment. Glass bottles are more readily reusable and recyclable, and better for the person drinking the water since glass doesn’t infuse the water with anything unwanted.”

Greither said almost all the water bottled in America is sold in plastic bottles. Water from Mt. Shasta was once served in New York’s most fashionable hotels like the Waldorf Astoria, the Biltmore and the Ritz-Carlton, he said.

Daily passenger trains carrying thousands of people between Seattle and Los Angeles in the late 1800s used to make brief stops at the base of Mt. Shasta so people could sip its famous water, he said, and Castle Rock Bottling Company is carrying on the tradition.

Other winners

Best Municipal Water

Best in the World – Clearbrook, BC, Canada

Best in USA – Santa Ana, CA

2nd – Hamilton, OH

3rd – Greenwood, BC, Canada

4th (tie) – Dickinson, ND and Montpelier, OH

5th – Emporia, KS

Best Bottled Water

1st – Castle Rock Water, Dunsmuir, CA

2nd – Eldorado Natural Spring Water, Eldorado, CO

Samaria Natural Springs Water, Crete, Greece

3rd – Mountain Drop from Linthicum, MD bottling Berkeley Springs water.

4th – Avita Premium Artesian Alkaline Water, Roscommon, MI

Element, Vrnjacka Banja, Serbia

Best Sparkling

1st – Canadian Gold Sparkling Mineral Water, Marchand, MB, Canada

2nd. Jackson Springs Natural Premium Spring Water, MB, Canada

3rd – Antipodes, Whakatane, New Zealand

4th – Tesanjski Dijament, Tesanj, Bosnia

Naked Luxury Artesian Water, Bay of Plenty, NZ

Tesanjski Kiseljak, Tesanj, Bosnia

Best Packaging

1st – Hallasu, Republic of Korea

2nd – Bama Tianshou Spring, Bama, China

3rd – Waiakea, Kea’au Aquifer, HI

4th – Cerebellum H2O, Hoboken, NJ

5th – Marvelus Sparkling Mineral Water, Ocala, FL

Best Purified Drinking Water

1st – Mountain Drop from Linthicum, MD bottling Berkeley Springs water

2nd – Indigo H2O, Elkhart, IN

Bar H2O, Richmond, MI

3rd – Berkeley Springs Purified Water, Berkeley Springs, WV

January Springs, North Hatley, QC, Canada.

4th – Rain Fresh Oxygen-Rich Purified Water, Garland, TX