Australian gin has stirred up an impressive international reputation in recent years. Despite being a relative newcomer to the gin world, Australia is making a name for itself with some seriously exceptional bottles. Producers standing out from the rapidly saturated crowd are championing native botanicals – from pepperberry to lemon myrtle – in their ginmaking. One such Australian gin producer is North of Eden. This New South Wales maker uses kurrajong seeds grown on the distillery’s farm to create The Admiral Gin, a Gold medal winner at the IWSC 2022.
Since the early 1990s, when whisky maker Bill Lark helped overturn prohibition laws, setting up the first distillery in Tasmania in 150 years, distilleries have been cropping up all over the country and turning their hand to gin. The great variety of the country’s flora is reflected in these new-wave gins, which use both classic and indigenous botanicals to help shape this fresh, new identity for Australian gin.
There was an impressive selection of Australian gins at this year’s IWSC, with Granddad Jack’s Craft Distiller’s 65 Miles Gin standing out for a palate ‘led by cinnamon, pepper and liquorice,’ characteristics that helped earn it 98 points from the judges. Another 98 points went to the Australian gin Musician’s Cut Gin from Seppeltsfield Road Distillers, which was praised for its ‘complex aromas of grapefruit peel, sherbet and delicate florals.’
Moving in a zestier direction, Kylie’s Summer Gin from Queensland distillery Kalki Moon also received a Gold medal and 96 points from judges, as well as praise for its ‘appealing fresh lime and cordial notes, citrus vibrancy and hints of pine.’
The Australian gins in this list were all tasted blind by a panel of industry experts, including Cambridge Distillery‘s master distiller William Lowe MW, Sacred Spirits distiller Siobhan Feeley and co-founder of Crossip Drinks Tim Blake. Keep reading below for award-winning Australian gin recommendations from this year’s IWSC and tasting notes from the experts.
HOW DO WE JUDGE THESE SPIRITS?
We run a tightly structured, rigorous spirits tasting process. That means that each spirit sample is pre-poured into numbered glasses and assessed blindly by the judges. Most importantly, our IWSC spirit judges are experts in their field, who work across all sectors of the drinks industry. For evidence, see our full list of judges.
HOW DO WE SCORE THESE SPIRITS?
Only the best spirits sampled receive a Gold or Silver award. For example, to win Gold, spirits have to score between 95 and 100 points. Meanwhile, Silver wines range from 90 to 94 points. Click here to read more on our scoring system.
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