As we have come to expect, the quality of Australian spirits has been highly commended on the world stage, this time in the 15th annual SIP Awards, which saw a record number of participants.
The SIP Awards is an annual international spirits competition that is judged by consumers, in the aim of reducing industry bias in judging and putting the consumer first. This year’s judging panel was comprised of over 310 spirit enthusiasts, and the awards saw entries from a record-setting 1,382 international spirit and mixer brands.
Australian distilleries received eight total Best of Class Platinum awards, 13 platinum awards, and 23 double golds.
Following the long-running trend of the popularity of Australian gins, Australian distillers were well-represented in the gin and flavoured gin categories. Granddad Jack’s Greenhouse Gin was awarded Best of Class Platinum in the gin category. The distillery also received Best of Class Platinum for its Barbershop Coffee Liqueur in the coffee liqueur category. Jessica Hartley, Grandad Jack’s marketing manager, expressed her gratitude at the wins.
“We are immensely grateful to the SIP Awards for providing a platform that not only recognises excellence in the spirits industry but also amplifies the voice of consumers. It is an honour to have our spirits celebrated among the best, and we are committed to continually pushing the boundaries of taste and quality,” Hartley said. “These awards are a testament to the craftsmanship, attention to detail, and passion that goes into every bottle of Granddad Jack’s spirits. Each product represents a part of our family’s story and is lovingly crafted, distilled, bottled, labelled, and waxed by hand at our distilleries.”
In the Australian/New Zealand whiskey category, the Best of Class Platinum was awarded to Cape Byron ‘The Original’ Australian Single Malt Whisky, a whiskey matured in American oak ex-bourbon casks within the subtropical rainforest in the Byron Bay hinterland. Eddie Brook, Cape Byron co-founder and distiller, was ecstatic to receive news of the win.
“We are ecstatic to receive the news that our Cape Byron Original Whisky has won Australia’s best whiskey,” he said. “To be awarded a Platinum Medal, Best of Class is a huge accolade and speaks volumes to the quality of our whiskey… we’ll be raising a few glasses in the distillery tonight!”
The rising popularity of the rum category was evident, with Beenleigh Artisan Distillers receiving the Best of Class Platinum for gold/dark rum with its Double Cask Rum and double gold for aged rum with its Tawny Barrel Rum. In the white rum category, Archie Rose was awarded Best of Class Platinum for its White Cane spirit.
Beenleigh Distillery’s Head of Marketing, Chris Illman, expressed his gratitude and excitement.
“We are humbled and thrilled to be recognised by the prestigious SIP Awards. These accolades serve as a testament to our unwavering commitment to the art of distillation and the exceptional craftsmanship behind our rums. It is a true honour to see our efforts acknowledged on such a grand scale, especially as we continue to recover from the hardships faced over recent years,” Illman stated.
New distillery Aubrey Liqueurs dominated the liqueur category, with its Mango Liqueur receiving the Best of Class Platinum for other liqueur, a double gold for the Lychee Liqueur, and a gold for the Cold Drip Coffee Liqueur. It was great news for Jake Gautreaux, director of Thirsty Group, the parent company of Aubrey Liqueurs.
“We’re over the moon to see Aubrey take home top honours for Liqueurs this year. It’s a true testament to the time and energy the team has put in to develop Aubrey’s range of flavours,” said Gautreaux.
Banks Botanical’s Yuzu, Basil and Tonic Non Alc RTD won Best in Class Platinum in the non-alcoholic spirit category, which elated Banks Botanicals co-founder Yolanda Uys.
“We were blown away and very surprised! We knew we created something unique but did not realise that the response would be so overwhelmingly positive. When we opened the email and saw the Platinum win we were overjoyed – it’s only later when reading it again that we realised we also won best in show. Our team felt humbled, proud and energised by the win!” Uys commented.
RTDs dominated the awards for the non-alcoholic category, which Uys attributed to the convenience and flavour balance provided by pre-mixed drinks.
“RTDs are hitting the sweet spot when it comes to lowering the barriers to exploration,” Uys explained. “As we see more consumers step into exploring non-alcoholic drinks we believe that RTDs will be the gateway.”
In the category of other cocktail mixer, Mr. Consistent French Martini Mix won Best in Class Platinum, as well as a Platinum for the Margarita Mixer, and a slew of other awards across the mixer category.
Mikey Sebire, Mr. Consistent Product Director, was pleased by the results.
“Everyone’s ecstatic. We all put a lot of effort into making our drinks – from the earliest conception of a new mixer, through the production process, to marketing and selling them. We’re fortunate to have a team who are all really passionate about what we do and we’re all really proud of our products so any praise or accolades are always welcome. To receive so much recognition from a panel as credible and distinguished as the SIP Awards is really surreal and we’re all genuinely over the moon about it,” said Sebire.