By Andy Young

Sydney distillery Archie Rose has had its consumer experience recognised by leading UK spirits publication The Spirits Business.

In its inaugural Distillery Masters awards, The Spirits Business named Archie Rose as a "Master" for Consumer Experience, alongside Bombay Sapphire and the Cotswolds Distillery.

Archie Rose founder, Will Edwards told TheShout, that he was both surprised and delighted with the recognition.

"We were pretty astonished," said Edwards, "I didn't find out until a couple of our suppliers sent me some emails saying congratulations.

"For us it is something that from the very beginning we have been working on. There are not plenty of distilleries in Australia, but there are plenty of craft distilleries globally and it is getting a little harder to differentiate yourself. So it is one of those things that from the very beginning we've thought 'how can we do things a bit differently', particularly on the consumer side.

"It's one of the reasons that we are so close to the city, because I wanted to find something that was accessible. It's also the reason why, when you walk in, the distillery is right there. It is literally three metres from the bar and it's all open. So it is great to be recognised globally for that."

While Archie Rose offers tastings and tours of the distillery, Edwards didn't feel that was significantly different to what consumers can enjoy at most distilleries. He told TheShout that he thought Archie Rose's tailored spirits offering, which was launched last November, helped push it into the Master league.

"The general stuff is that we try and have as much of the production experience open to the public as possible. We run daily tours and masterclasses in the bar, but they don't really set us apart.

"So the next level up is that we do blend your own gin classes, so you can come in and play with our botanicals and distillates in exactly the same way that we do.

"Maybe the kicker was the tailored spirits offering that we launched in November. That was a hard one and one that we ended up working on for over a year, because we wanted to keep it user-friendly as well.

"As far as I am aware, there hadn't been another distillery anywhere in the world that had offered people the chance to create their own gin or vodka or whisky online, so I think that might have been the kicker that gave us the edge."

The Spirits Business agreed that the blend your own classes and the tailored spirits were a key in awarding Archie Rose a Master, with judge Lucy Richardson saying: "They’re doing something different and I think the younger discerning consumer would engage with that very well. The detail they’ve gone into shows it's very much about educating people."

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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