Winners of the 2021 Tasting Australia Spirit Awards presented by Master Cask have been awarded during the fourth annual spirit awards ceremony on Saturday 16 October. This year’s awards attracted spirits from across the nation, with a record number of entries – 315 spirits from 73 distillers – a 23% increase from the number of entries in 2020.
A new award category was added to the 11 existing awards, the Premier’s Gin Award. Exclusive to South Australian gin entries, the award celebrates the best local gin from the gold winning entries. The winner of this inaugural award was Never Never Distilling Co for their Triple Juniper Export Strength Gin.
“Congratulations to Never Never Distilling Co and all the Tasting Australia Spirit Awards entries from South Australia and beyond,” said Premier Steven Marshall.
“It is wonderful to hold a national competition that celebrates the spirits industry through Tasting Australia presented by RAA Travel. The distillers have shown great innovation in their entries and the growth in the number of products entered into the awards this year is testament to the importance of these awards.”
The winners were decided through three days of intensive tasting by a panel of expert judges guided by the Spirit Awards Patron and World Whisky Award Hall of Fame inductee, Bill Lark.
“It was a privilege for me to oversee the intensive judging process for the Tasting Australia Spirit Awards 2021 and great to be back in South Australia for the awards,” said Mr Lark.
“It is exciting to see the continuous growth of these awards and the creativity and innovation of the distillers year on year. The standard of Australian spirits has really reached a high point and everyone who entered a product this year should be very proud.”
For the second consecutive year, the Tasting Australia Spirit Awards were held outside of the Tasting Australia festival, something which event Drinks Curator Nick Stock says gives entrants added benefits.
“Winners and entrants into the awards will be given the opportunity to be integrated more within the Tasting Australia festival next autumn with plans currently underway for masterclasses featuring the award-winning products,” said Mr Stock.
“A range of products will be on offer to taste for free at various CBD bars on Friday 15 and Saturday 16 October. We encourage the people of South Australia to head out, try some great new spirits and support the local hospitality industry.”
Master Cask Director, Darren Lange has expressed his excitement about the growth of the awards for future years to come.
“Master Cask have been the presenting partner of the awards since inception four years ago and are pleased to announce the continuation of this partnership for future years,” said Mr Lange.
“We look forward to working with the team to continue to evolve the awards each year. We hope to see the Tasting Australia Spirit Awards grow into the biggest of their kind in the country.”
This year, 237 medals were given out including 42 gold medals, 104 silver medals and 91 bronze medals.
2021 Tasting Australia Spirit Awards presented by Master Cask Award Winners:
- Premier’s Gin Award: Triple Juniper Export Strength Gin, Never Never Distilling Co, South Australia
- Best Distiller: St Agnes Distillery, St Agnes XO 15 Year Old & St Agnes VSOP, South Australia
- Best Small Batch Spirit: Overeem Sherry Cask Matured Single Malt Whisky, Overeem Whisky, Tasmania
- Best Independent Bottler: Full Circle Spirits Pty Ltd (owned by The SparkkeChange Beverage Co), Seppeltsfield Road Distillers & Jimmy Rum, South Australia
- Best Whisky: The Jabberwocky, Fleurieu Distillery, South Australia
- Best Gin: Triple Juniper Export Strength Gin, Never Never Distilling Co, South Australia
- Best Vodka: Croc Vodka, FNQ Spirits, Queensland
- Best Rum: The Aisling Riverina Rum, The Aisling Distillery, New South Wales
- Best Brandy: St Agnes XO 15 Year Old, St Agnes Distillery, South Australia
- Best Liqueur: Brix Citrus Got Real, Brix Distillers, New South Wales
- Best Alternate Spirit: Mulligan's Clear Cane Spirit, St Mary’s Wines and Spirits, South Australia
- Best Small Cask Maturation: Overeem Sherry Cask Matured Single Malt Whisky, Overeem Whisky, Tasmania