New Zealand gin named world’s best London Dry

A New Zealand gin has been named best London dry gin in the world at the International Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC), recently held in London.

Scapegrace Gold took out the London Dry Gin Trophy, beating more than 600 other entries to take out the overall title in the category – which had a 50 percent increase in entrants compared to last year.

Steve Beal, a veteran judge at the IWSC, described the gin as “staggeringly good”, adding: “Making a gin this good is not easy or accidental, we salute the blender… a magnificent gin.”

Scapegrace was founded by Auckland-based friends Mark Neal, Daniel McLaughlan and Richard Bourke (pictured below) four years ago. In a short space of time, their gin is now available in 35 countries and some of the best cocktail bars around the world.

“The irony isn’t lost on us that our gin is the best London dry gin in the world, even though we’re based on the exact opposite side of the world to London,” says Neal. “We spent years researching and developing our recipe, from day dot we were committed to creating a gin for New Zealanders which we could take to the world.”

Scapegrace Gold is distilled with 13 botanicals: lemon, orange, coriander, cardamom, cloves, juniper berries, nutmeg, angelica root, liquorice root, orris, cinnamon, cassia bark, and tangerine.

IWSC judge Beal said: “[Scapegrace Gold] has the classic juniper burr running through it, joined by powerful but balanced spice and root flavours combining to make a complex, teasing expression demanding of attention on the palate.”

McLaughlan says Scapegrace was designed to shake up the liquor industry by creating something for the new generation of gin drinkers.

“We wanted to shift away from the old classics, the stuff you’ll find in your parents’ liquor cabinet, by introducing a modern and progressive way of doing gin.

“Everything from our ingredients, to the processes used, and even the bottles they come in pays tribute to the craft of gin making; but also to being a bit rebellious from those traditions and paving a new way for the craft. Thus our name, Scapegrace.”

Scapegrace Gold is distributed in Australia by SouthTrade International, and retails at Dan Murphy’s for RRP $94.88.

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