Australian spirits shine at IWSC

27 July, 2018 by Andy Young

Australian distilleries have once again shone on the international stage, with over 80 medals being won at the International Wine and Spirits Competition (IWSC).

The strong performance included six Gold medals, 44 Silver medals, eight Silver Outstanding medals and 25 Bronze medals. Australia’s first IWSC Gold medal for a spirit only came last year, with Distillery Botanica’s Gold for its Moore’s Dry Gin.


Of the Gold medal winners, Archie Rose collected two: one for its yet-to-be-released Rye Malt Whisky and one for the Distiller’s Strength Gin. Archie Rose sent a work-in-progress cask sample of the Rye Malt Whisky a full year ahead of its scheduled launch, and it clearly impressed the IWSC judges. The Gold for the Distiller’s Strength Gin follows a Double Gold in San Francisco, Godl in Los Angeles and Gold previously in London.

Owner Will Edwards was understandably delighted with the win, saying: “We’re honestly blown away by the result. We know internally that this Rye Whisky is incredibly special – we were the first distillery in the country to source the malted rye required to produce it, weathered a nine-month global supply shortage in 2015, replaced our entire mash tun in 2016 to handle the viscosity of the brew, and have waited (and continue to wait) since 2014 for it to reach peak maturity; but to be the only Australian Whisky to win Gold and be judged Australia’s Best Whisky for a spirit that we feel is still not quite mature is incredible.

“It’s also been one hell of a year for gin, with the quality and diversity of local and international gins continuing to rapidly increase – with that in mind, for our Distiller’s Strength Gin to pick up top honours for the fourth time in as many months is awesome. We put an immense amount of time, energy and effort into our products, R&D program and production processes, so it’s always fantastic to be recognised on the increasingly competitive global stage.”

Kangaroo Island Spirits (KIS) also collected a Gold medal, for its Old Tom Gin and owners Jon and Sarah Lark said they were “tickled pink” with the result.
“We are very proud that our modest craft distillery on Kangaroo Island has been able to achieve such big things internationally,” Jon Lark said.

The KIS win follows Golds for Golds for Old Tom Gin and for Whisky Barrel Gin at the Melbourne International Spirits Competition. The Mulberry Gin also won a Silver.

The distillery was named Australian Distillery of the Year for 2018 at the fifth annual Melbourne International Spirits Competition (MISC) held recently.

“We continue to be overwhelmed by the high level Australian and international awards we receive, and we love to see others enjoying what we are passionate about,” Sarah Lark added.

“We invite everyone who visits Kangaroo Island to come into our rustic-charmed cellar door and enjoy our range including the gins, along with vodkas and other liqueurs – all produced on-site.”

Australia’s other Gold medals went to Kalki Moon for its Classic Gin, Manly Spirits Co for its Terra Firma Botanical Vodka and Poor Toms Gin for its Fool Strength.