Hellyers Road Distillery has been announced as the Champion Australian Distiller at the Australian Distilled Spirits Awards (ADSA) in Melbourne, hosted by The Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria (RASV).

The distillery was previously awarded the Champion Whisky trophy for its Slightly Peated 10yo Malt in 2018.

Held at Captain Baxter on Thursday 4 April, the ADSA presentation saw industry leaders and experts from across the country celebrate Australian spirit producers, with nine champion trophies awarded on the night.

This year the awards commemorated Raymond ‘Spike’ Dessert, a pioneering distiller, leading voice within the industry and co-founding member of the Australian Distillers Association. Awarded for the first time in 2019, the Raymond B ‘Spike’ Dessert III Trophy for Champion Rum went to Ord River Rum Single Barrel Selection, from Spikes own Hoochery Distillery in Western Australia.

South Australian distillers took home three of the top awards with Champion Whisky going to Fleurieu Distillery for the Fountain of Youth, Champion Gin to Thebarton’s Imperial Measures Distilling for Ounce Gin Bold, and Adelaide Hills Distillery taking home Champion Brandy for Apple Brandy.

Victoria was also well represented with the Citrus Vodka by Victorian-based Alchemy Distillers winning Champion Vodka, while Melbourne’s own Anther Experimental  Distillation won Champion Australian Micro Batch Spirit for Honey Old Tom Whisky Barrel Aged Gin.

For the second year in a row Melbourne’s Marionette were awarded Champion Liqueur with Dry Cassis.

Champion Australian Small Batch Spirit went to Batch Zero Gin from South Coast Distillery in New South Wales.

Head Judge Sam Bygrave, led a panel of industry experts to assess the products, said the 14 per cent increase in entries and 30 new exhibitors in 2019 highlights the growth the distilling industry in Australia.

“The standard of entries this year has been exceptional, with the judging panel assessing over 330 Australian distilled spirits, liqueurs and aromatic bitters from close to 100 producers over the two judging days in March,” says Bygrave.  “2019 marks my fifth year involved with the Australian Distilled Spirit Awards and I can attest to increased standards of entrants and entries each year, with the winners setting a quality benchmark recognised locally and internationally.”

2019 ADSA Champion Trophies:

Champion Australian Distiller presented by Mastercask
Hellyers Road Distillery, Tasmania

Raymond B ‘Spike’ Dessert III Trophy for Champion Rum
Ord River Rum, Single Barrel Selection – Hoochery Distillery, Western Australia

Champion Whisky presented by Cryer Malt
Fountain of Youth – Fleurieu Distillery, South Australia

Champion Gin presented by Labelhouse
Ounce Gin – Bold – Imperial Measures Distilling, South Australia

Champion Vodka presented by Plasdene Glass-Pak
Citrus Vodka – Alchemy Distillers Pty Ltd, Victoria

Champion Brandy
Apple Brandy – Adelaide Hills Distillery, South Australia

Champion Liqueur
Marionette Dry Cassis – Marionette Liqueur, Victoria

Champion Australian Micro Batch Spirit
Honey Old Tom Whisky Barrel Aged Gin – Anther Experimental Distillation, Victoria

Champion Small Batch Spirit
Batch Zero Gin – South Coast Distillery, New South Wales

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