The Australian Distilled Spirits Awards 2023 were held on 3 August 2023 in Melbourne with Prohibition Liquor Co winning Champion Australian Distiller and Puss and Mew Distillery picking up Champion Victorian Distiller.
The Melbourne Royal Australian Distilled Spirits Awards 2023 attracted a record 970 entries from 246 exhibitors across 11 categories.
This year, 20 trophies were presented with South Australia’s Prohibition Liquor Co taking out Champion Australian Distiller. From humble beginnings in an inner-suburban backyard garage to becoming an Adelaide institution, Prohibition is now under the guidance of Head Distiller Hugh Lumsden.
Victorian distillers took home over a third of the top gongs this year, including Puss and Mew Distillery being awarded Champion Victorian Distiller presented by Drink Victorian. The Nunawading distillery was inspired by the legend of Captain Dudley Bradstreet who invented the world’s first liquor vending machine.
Best Victorian Gin presented by Agriculture Victoria went to Naught Distilling for their Naught Classic Dry Gin. The Eltham-based distillery took home the same award in 2022 with their Sangiovese Gin.
To further the success of Victorian spirits, Port Melbourne’s New World Whiskey Distillery was awarded Best Grain or Blended Whiskey, presented by Bintani with their Starward Two-Fold.
Reed & Co Distillery from Bright, Victoria took home Best New World / Contemporary Gin, presented by BevChain, for their Neo New World Dry Gin.
Taking out the Best Navy Gin was Nagambie Brewery & Distillery with their 3608 Navy Strength Gin and Best Other Gin went to Collingwood’s The Craft & Co Old Tom Gin from Gypsy Hub.
The Victorian winners continued with Seaford’s JimmyRum being awarded Best Cane Spirit, presented by Crafted ERP, with their JimmyRum Navy.
Best Alternative Spirit went to Act of Treason Greta from Top Shelf International in Campbellfield and Best Bitter was awarded to Mordialloc’s Saint Felix Distillery for their Bitter Citrus Aperitivo Aromatic Bitters.
Closely following the successes of Victorian distilleries was that of South Australia. Awarded for their Triple Juniper Export Strength Gin was the much-loved Never Never Distilling Co taking out Best London Dry Gin. Last year, Never Never was awarded Champion Australian Distiller for the third year in a row.
Best Single Malt Whiskey presented by Cryer Malt went to Fleurieu Distillery for The Hunting Of The Snark and Best Brandy was awarded to Renmark’s St Agnes Distillery for their St Agnes XO for the second year in a row.
Meanwhile, The Hills Distillery won Best Vermouth for 78 Degrees Rose Vermouth Semi-Dry.
New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory took home two awards each.
Best Fruit or Wine/ Grape Gin was awarded to Big River Distilling Co for their Syrah Gin and Local Spirit Group took out Best Flavoured Vodka, presented by Plasdene Glass-Pak, with the Local Spirit Caramel Vodka.
Coastal Cane Pure Single Rum from Winding Road Distilling Co was awarded the Raymond B ‘Spike’ Dessert III Trophy for Best Rum and Scylla Distilling Company took home the Best Liqueur for Scylla Raspberry Liqueur.
Tasmania’s Hartshorn Distillery took home the Best Pure/ Contemporary Vodka, also presented by Plasdene Glass-Pak, for their Hartshorn Distillery Sheep Whey Vodka.
The newest award to the program, Best Design, was awarded to Western Australia’s 30 Knots Spirits for their 30 Knots Southerly Gin.
Three Consistency of Excellence awards were presented on the night. Two went to Archie Rose Distilling for their Rye Malt Whiskey and Bone Dry Gin, while one went to Imperial Measure Distilling for their Ounce Gin Bold.
You can view last year’s winners here.