The best Australian whisky distillers, people, brands and bars have been recognised at the Australian Whisky Awards, held in Sydney on Sunday.
The awards comprise five categories with a Copper, Silver and Gold winner named in each one and the night also saw a new inductee into the Australian Whisky Hall of Fame.
Hosted by Scott Fitzsimmons and Alexandra Dahlenburg with many people from the whisky industry in attendance, the awards are regarded as Australia’s largest whisky democracy.
This year’s winners are:
- Whisky of the Year
- Gold: Lark – Christmas Cask Release III
- Silver: Overeem – Bourbon 12 Year old
- Copper: Archie Rose – Whisky in Every Port
- Distillery of the Year
- Gold: Lark
- Silver: Archie Rose Distilling Co.
- Copper: Overeem
- Distiller/Producer of the Year
- Gold: Kristy Booth-Lark
- Silver: Crafty Craig Field
- Copper: Lisa Truscott
- Personality of the Year
- Gold: Matt Bailey
- Silver: Bill Lark
- Copper: Crafty Field
- Venue of the Year
- Gold: Archie Rose Bar and Cellar door
- Silver: Whisky and Alement
- Copper: Elysian Whisky Bar
The night also saw Cameron Syme inducted into the Australian Whisky Hall of Fame, with Bill Lark saying Cameron “has achieved over 130 awards and accolades for the spirit he has produced. But for me, he has quietly gone about helping out our industry in more ways than any of us have ever known.”
Cameron said he was “honoured and humbled to accept the induction into the hall of fame.”
“It’s not a short journey to be a simple country kid, to a lawyer, to a founder of three distilleries, to actually making some cracking whisky and gin, to being inducted into our industry’s hall of fame.”
Cameron acknowledged the support of his family and friends, and the teams at the Limeburners, Giniversity and Tiger Snake distilleries.
Finally, Cameron was also keen to encourage his fellow distillers who were just starting out.
“For those earlier in the journey: don’t listen to the nay-sayers, the downers, the negative energy people – surround yourself with positive energy people.
“Be kind, and dole out ‘good karma’, which I know from Bill and Lyn [Lark] particularly.
“And to every kid who grew up in the middle of ‘Bum-fuck Australia’ – remember: ‘dream, believe, achieve.’”