Never Never Distilling Co. from McLaren Vale, South Australia have been named as the Champion Australian Distiller at the 2020 Australian Distilled Spirits Awards (ADSA), conducted by The Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria (RASV).
The ADSA were originally postponed in March, but through the great support from the Australian Distillers Association and the ADSA Industry Advisory Group, the RASV innovated their approach to conduct the entire three-day judging program online.
Since commencing in 2015, the interest and growth of the ADSA has been extraordinary and this year there were a record 619 entries from 162 distilleries – an 80% increase on 2019.
Head Judge, Sebastian Costello led the team of 41 judges to award a record 14 trophies, 51 gold, 204 silver and 204 bronze medals to distilleries throughout Australia.
Due to the restrictions on movement and social gatherings, this year’s award presentation was conducted virtually, with the one-hour ceremony filmed at Melbourne Showgrounds Encore Studio and streamed to more than 500 guests throughout Australia.
Victorian Treasurer, The Hon. Tim Pallas and Victorian Minister for Regional Development, Agriculture, and Resources, The Hon. Jaclyn Symes participated in the ceremony that saw South Australia’s Never Never Distilling Co. awarded the industry’s most prestigious award of Champion Australian Distiller.
In addition to taking out the major award, Never Never Distilling Co. also claimed the Champion Alternative Spirit and Champion Gin trophies, whilst their fellow South Australian’s Hills Distillery took out Champion Aromatic with their Bitter Orange and Angove / St Agnes Distillery were awarded Champion Brandy for their St Agnes XO 15yo.
Victorian Distillers had the opportunity to vie for the brand-new trophies of Champion Victorian Gin, awarded to Ballarat’s based Kilderkin Distillery’s Larrikin Gin Buccaneer and the Champion Victorian Distiller was awarded to Yackandandah’s Dandah Distillery.
Other Victorian winners included Melbourne based Brogan’s Way Distillery who took out both the Champion Small Batch Spirit and Champion Vodka with their Batch Zero Vodka and Dandah Distillery were awarded Champion Micro Batch Spirit with their Yack Creek Distillery, Blackstrap Rum 002’
For the second year in a row the Raymond B ‘Spike’ Dessert III Trophy for Champion Rum, named in honour of the pioneering Australian distiller in 2019, went to Spikes own Hoochery Distillery in Western Australia for the Ord River Run Overproof.
The Australian Distilled Spirits Awards, conducted since 2015, proudly recognise and celebrate the long tradition of distilling in Australia and the emergence of the new generation of spirits, liqueurs and bitters.
All results including medal winners are now available at rasv.com.au