McLaren Vale gin distillery, Never Never Distilling Co, has been named Champion Australia Distiller for the second year running at Melbourne Royal’s 2021 Australian Distilled Spirits Awards (ADSA).

Ninety gold, 241 silver and 269 bronze medals were awarded at the ceremony, from 765 entries. Over half of the gold medals were awarded to Victorian distillers, demonstrating the growth of spirits-making in the state. Eighteen Trophies were also awarded, with the Major Trophy of Champion Australian Distiller given to the distillery with the highest average score from its top three entry spirits.

Melbourne Royal CEO, Brad Jenkins, said: “The Australian Distilled Spirits Awards is regarded as Australia’s first and largest national award program that proudly recognises the long tradition of distilling in Australia, and the emergence of the new generation of spirits, liqueurs, aromatics and this year, vermouths.”

Jenkins believes that the uptick in entries reflects the progress Australian distilling has made.

“Since being established by Melbourne Royal in 2015, the interest and growth of the Australian Distilled Spirits Awards has been extraordinary and this year there were a record 765 entries from 191 distilleries, which is a 20% increase on 2020.”

It was a good night for Never Never, which also picked up the Champion Navy Gin gong for its Juniper Freak expression, and Champion London Dry Gin for its Triple Juniper Export Strength bottling.

Other notable winners included Sydney-based Archie Rose, who won the Champion Whisky trophy for its Rye Malt Whisky, and JimmyRum, who was named Champion Victorian Distillery, in addition to securing the Champion Cane Spirit trophy for its JimmyRum silver bottling.

The newly added category of Champion Vermouth was given to Regal Rogue, a company that produces vermouth from exclusively native and Australian ingredients, for its Lively White expression.

In another success for Victoria, Naught Distilling was awarded Champion New World / Contemporary Gin as well as the Champion Victorian Gin, both for its Naught Australian Dry Gin. Naught is located in Eltham and headed by former professional basketball player, Chris Cameron.

The ADSA is judged by experts from distilling, spirits retail and drinks writing, and Jenkins describes it as providing “producers with an essential benchmarking opportunity.”

Winners at the ADSA are given expert feedback, and the right to display the Melbourne Royal seal of excellence on their packaging and marketing materials.

The full list of trophy winners is as follows:

  • Champion Whisky – Archie Rose Distilling Co – Rye Malt Whisky
  • Champion London Dry Gin – Never Never Distilling Co. – Triple Juniper Export Strength Gin
  • Champion New World / Contemporary Gin – Naught Distilling – Naught Australian Dry Gin
  • Champion Navy Gin – Never Never Distilling Co. – Juniper Freak Gin
  • Champion Other Gin (Not LD, NW or Navy) – Imbue Distillery – Suburban Barrel Aged Gin
  • Champion Vodka – Mobius Distilling Company – 38 Special
  • Champion Brandy – St Agnes Distillery – St Agnes Imperial 20 YO
  • Raymond ‘Spike’ Dessert III Trophy for Champion Rum – Bundaberg Distilling Company – Master
  • Distillers’ Collection – Small Batch Reserve
  • Champion Cane Spirit – JimmyRum – JimmyRum Silver
  • Champion Liqueur – Mobius Distilling Company – Moreau Apple Pie
  • Champion Alternative Spirit – Boatrocker Brewers & Distillers – Boatrocker Coolship Rye
  • Champion Aromatic – Cap & Bells – Marionette Bitter Orange Curacao
  • Champion Vermouth – Regal Rogue – Regal Rogue Lively White
  • Champion Small Batch Spirit – Chief’s Son Distillery – Champion Australian Small Batch Spirit
  • Champion Micro Batch – Ginny Pig Distillery – Botanic
  • Champion Victorian Gin – Naught Distilling – Naught Australian Dry Gin
  • Champion Victorian Distillery – JimmyRum
  • Champion Australian Distiller – Never Never Distilling Co.

To see all winners, including medal awardees, click here.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *