Australian spirits shine again in global competitions

The high quality of local spirits that Australia’s bartenders are able to work with has once again been highlighted on the global spirits competition stage, with impressive results at New York International Spirits Competition coming after a strong showing at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

New York was a particularly good show for the Bickford’s Group with Black Bottle Brandy named Australia Brandy of the Year, and 23rd Street Distillery being named the Australian Distillery of the Year.

The wins come at a crucial time for the distillery with trade heavily impacted by the recent once in a century Riverland flooding event, leaving the distillery needing support now, more than ever.

23rd Street picked up several medals, including two Golds for its Australian Single Malt Whisky and Mulberry Gin and the recently launched Tropical Gin along with famed Violet Gin picked up two Silvers.

The New York competition also saw Beenleigh Rum named Australia Rum of the Year and Lyre’s named Non Alcohol Producer of the Year.

Speaking about the wins, 23rd Street’s Head Distiller, Paul Burnett, said: “The Riverland is the perfect climate for the maturation of our Australian Single Malt Whisky, creating intensity and unique flavour, especially when compared to whisky maturing in cooler climates.”

Adding to the distillery’s accolades, 23rd Street’s Signature Gin was recently awarded a prestigious Double Gold medal at the 2023 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, one of an impressive 43 Double Golds awarded in San Francisco to Australian spirits along with an incredible 289 medals.

Notable recipients include Archie Rose who collected the most medals of any Australian distillery with 14, including two Double Golds for its Signature Dry Gin and the 2022 Australian Liquor Awards’ New Product of the Year, the Bone Dry Gin.

Archie Rose Founder, Will Edwards, said: “Taking home Double Gold for our Signature Dry Gin and Bone Dry Gin, and Gold for Stringybark Smoked Single Malt Whisky along with 11 other medals for our whiskies, gins, vodkas, and rums reflects the innovation and fanatical excellence that the 120 strong Archie Rose team puts into every spirit, every day.

“We will continue to push the boundaries of what’s possible in the world of distilling in line with our goal to bring the highest quality Australian spirits to people everywhere.”

There’s also a notable mention for Bathurst Grange Distillery and Billy Stitch Distillery who each scored Double Gold for Flavoured Gins, Rose Garden Gin and Berry Mojito Gin respectively. These were the only two Double Golds awarded in the whole Flavoured Gin category.

Billy Stitch also won Double Gold for its Dry Gin, while Bathurst Grange collected a Double Gold for its Bourbon Cask Single Malt Whisky.

Bathurst Grange Co-Founder and Head Distiller, Toby Jones, said: “We are honoured that our Whisky and Gin have been recognised internationally, amongst the best in the Industry.

“This puts our artisan distillery on the world stage as one of the best Whisky and Gin distilleries in Australia, and proves that the climatic conditions in Bathurst are ideal for making excellent Whisky.

“Technique is one thing but location is critical to making a good whisky, and our high altitude combined with the temperate Bathurst climate means we’re able to make some bloody good single malt whisky.”

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