Australia’s best gins revealed

02 September, 2020 by Andy Young

The results and winners of the 2020 Australian Gin Awards were revealed earlier this week, at a small socially distanced and COVID-safe presentation event at the Barber Shop in Sydney.

The awards reflected the growing popularity and high quality of Australian gins, with 74 per cent of the 250 entrants being awarded a medal. The event saw Chairman Mikey Enright, who stood in for usual Chairman Bill Lark who was unable to travel from Tasmania, award crystal trophies to the six category winners.

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It was a special night for new kid on the block Ester Spirits with Best in Class for the Australian Navy Gin, named “Strong Gin”. NSW-based Ester also won the Joint Best in Show trophy, sharing the top spot with popular South Australian distillery Never Never Distilling Co.

Awards CEO Judith Kennedy said: “All judges took part in the final round of tasting to determine the Best in Show.

“Two gins were neck and neck and no amount of arguing, voting and friendly shouting would put one gin in front of the other. An executive decision was made and both gins, one from a well-known successful distillery and one a new comer, were given the joint title.

“Excellent decision.”

Ester owners Felix and Corinne Clark were thrilled with their success, and Felix said: “This is truly amazing. Our company is only five months old – we knew this gin was good however we didn’t expect this much success so soon.”

The awards follows Ester Dry winning a silver medal in the International Wine & Spirits Competition, marking a very successful launch for the pair.

The judges described Ester’s Strong Gin as “A super gin, full flavoured and great body”, and Never Never was described by the judges as “Big juniper, pure and clean”.

The Six Category trophy winners are:

  • Classic Dry: Never Never Distilling. Southern Strength Gin
  • Contemporary Style Gin: Imperial Measures Distilling. Ounce ‘Signature’ Gin
  • Matured Gin: The West Winds Gin. Sur Lie Gin
  • Old Tom Gin: Settlers Spirits. Old Tom Gin
  • Australian Navy Gin: Ester Spirits. Strong Gin
  • Flavoured Gin: The West Winds Gin. Wild Plum

Enright said: “It was a great pleasure to be Bill Lark’s temporary replacement this year, due to the Covid 19 travel restrictions.

“We had two excellent days judging 250 gins across all six categories with a talented and varied judging panel.

“We managed to deliver written feedback to every entry and I’m delighted to say that 74 per cent of entries won a medal as there were 22 Gold, 67 Silver and 97 bronze medals.”

South Australia’s Prohibition Liquor Company won the Australian Gin Awards Design Competition and the CCL $5000 production prize with their Navy Gin bottle.