Last week the winners of the World Gin Awards 2021 were announced.
These awards are special to me as I was honoured to win Gin Communicator of the Year in 2020, but more importantly, I had the privilege of being a judge this year.
It was a challenge, given COVID meant we had to do the judging virtually. Hundreds of samples were sent to me and we conducted the judging virtually via zoom. I judged alongside gin experts from Germany, Norway, Ireland and of course, the UK. I learned a lot from my peers, which is always fun.
Do awards make a difference? In my recent gin survey, consumers placed awards 3rd (after supporting a small business and reviews) as motivation for purchasing a gin.
For the distillers, though, it’s a different story. While a medal might not increase sales, it might mean that a retailer decides to range them, or importers might contact them with export opportunities. At the very least it’s good publicity.
Personally, every time an Australian gin or distillery wins an award, I give a little (who am I kidding, BIG) cheer, as for a long time our industry was not taken especially seriously. Now, we have a prominent position on the global gin stage, which is fantastic to see.
So, on to this year’s results!
World’s Best Signature Botanical gin
Winner: Four Pillars Olive Leaf gin
What else is there to say on this one? An absolute smash hit since it was released, Olive Leaf gin is the perfect martini gin. One of my Top Australian gins of 2020.
78 Degrees Better Gin
Big Tree Cumquat Infused gin
Winner: Ester Spirits Strong gin
Founded in Sydney, but made at Craft & Co. in Melbourne, Ester Spirits Strong gin is uses native finger lime, juniper berry, coriander and cardamom as the dominant botanicals culminating in a gin that is big, smooth & spicy.
South Coast Distillery Breakwater gin
Old Young’s Common gin
Prohibition Liquor Co. Navy gin
Earp Distilling Co. Portside gin
World’s Best Classic Gin
Country Winner: Never Never Distilling Co. Southern Strength gin
Never Never Distilling Co. are going to need a bigger trophy cabinet!
Their overproof Southern Strength gin is a masterclass in juniper-forward overproof gins.
Old Young’s GinGin gin
Archie Rose Distiller’s Strength
Big Tree Elegant Dry Gin
Cuprum Distillery Signature gin
78 Degrees Classic gin
Granddad Jack’s Distillery Two Pencils gin
World’s Best Contemporary Gin
Country Winner: Hellfire Bluff Summer Gin
Back to back wins for this gin, having already picked up a Gold Medal in the World Gin Awards 2020.
The team uses brown boronia flower, Tasmanian leatherwood honey and Tasmanian mountain pepper berries to create a spicy, complex gin.
Hellfire Bluff Distillery Piquant gin
Ester Spirits Dry gin
MY gin Kaleidoscope
Adams Distillery Dry gin
Giniversity Botanical gin
Lawrenny Van Diemen’s gin
Botanic Australis Northern Gem gin
Forty Spotted Citrus gin
Brisbane Distillery Game of Eucalyptus gin
78 Degrees Desert Gin
Prohibition Liquor Co. Bathtub Gin
Imperial Measure Ounce Signature gin
Old Young’s Six Seasons gin
Botanic Australis Bushfire Smoked gin
World’s Best Flavoured Gin
Country Winner: Brookie’s Slow Gin
Brookie’s Slow gin is a tasty spin on the traditional sloe gins. Local Davidson plums are steeped in gin to produce a tart, crisp gin that is balanced enought to use in cocktails.
(Available at The Ginporium)
Never Never Distilling Co. Ginache gin
Adams’ Distillery Blueberry and Lavender gin
Spring Bay Pink gin
Forty Spotted Tassie Bush Honey
South Coast Distillery Five Islands Oolong Old Tom
Manly Spirits Amber Spiced gin
78 Degrees Sunset gin
World’s Best London Dry Gin
Country Winner: West Winds Sabre
One of the OG Australian gins and one the first I ever tried. A classic dry gin that is super-approachable and works in a variety of drinks.
Brisbane Distillery Queensland Dry Gin
Earp Distilling Co. Just Juniper
Earp Distilling Co. No. 8 gin
Old Young’s Distillery 1829 gin
Native Spirits Adelaide Classic gin by 23rd Street Distillery
Brookie’s Byron Dry gin
Native Spirits Melbourne Classic gin by Patient Wolf gin
Native Spirits West Winds gin
World’s Best Matured Gin
Country Winner: MY Barrel-Aged gin
Prohibition Liquor Co. Shiraz Barrel-Aged gin
Earp Distilling Co. Barrel-Aged Portside gin
Manly Spirits Barrel-Aged gin (Whisky 04)
World’s Best Old Tom Gin
Country Winner: Old Kempton Distillery Embezzler gin
World’s Best Sloe Gin
Country Winner: Adams Distillery Barrel-Aged Sloe gin
You can find the full list of winners here.