South Australian distillery wins at World Gin Awards

28 February, 2019 by
Madeline Woolway

South Australian distillery, Never Never Distilling Co. has just been awarded World’s Best Classic Gin for its Southern Strength Gin at the World Gin Awards gala in London. It’s the first time an Australian Gin has won the award, which pits gins from around the world against each other.

“This is a huge accolade for our young distillery,” Never Never managing director George Georgiadis says. “It’s a much coveted award and firmly puts
Australia and South Australian gin on the world map, in a similar guise to what the World’s Best Whisky award did for Sullivan’s Cove and Tasmanian whisky.”

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The 2019 World Gin Awards showcased the best gins across eight categories: classic gin, compound gin, contemporary style gin, flavoured gin, genever, London dry, matured gin, navy gin, old tom gin and signature botanical.

Judging took place in three rounds. In round one, each gin was tasted in its relevant style against other entries from its country, then in a second round style winners are tasted against each other to identify the best gin in each category. Finally, the best gins in each category were tasted against each other to determine the World’s Best Gin overall.

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The World Gin Awards judging panel included international, leading journalists, specialist drinks retailers and industry experts, who were joined by leading distillers and experts from the gin industry for the final round.

In the first round, Never Never topped the Australian list of classic gins, with Ounce Gin’s Bold, Forty Spotted Gin’s Classic and Spring Bay Distillery’s Spring Bay Gin awarded gold, silver and bronze respectively.

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Never Never then bested a bevy of emerging and established brands, including one of the world’s most popular gins, Tanqueray No. Ten, representative for the United
Kingdom.

According to the World Gin Awards criteria, “Classic gin should have a clean base spirit with a neutral flavour, which allows the distilled flavours of the botanicals to come through. The gin is juniper-forward and other common botanicals include angelica root, coriander seed, orris root, and citrus peel.”

Of Never Never’s Southern Strength Gin, the judges noted “Some pine leaves and resin, with a hint of thyme and a whisper of cinnamon and tree bark. Juniper and citrus are in a nice supporting role. Nice complexity, but the balance impresses most.”

Founded by three friends in August 2017, the distillery has produced several award-winning gins, with the juniper berry at the forefront of every iteration.

“When we started our distillery, we wanted to make waves with a modern take on the classic gin style, but never thought that we would have such a global impact in the short time that we have been in operation,” Sean Baxter, brand director at Never Never says.

Tim Boast, Head Distiller at Never Never, feels that focusing on quality, consistency and innovation, while paying homage to traditional flavour, is what makes their product the edge.

“We’re incredibly humbled and excited by the win,” he says. “It validates the decision we made right from the outset to focus on juniper as the hero of our gins.

“The Southern Strength Gin is a gin with purpose. It was made with a classic or savoury gin cocktail in mind. It’s a little higher in alcohol than our Triple Juniper Gin and botanically richer, so it stands up to tonic and dilution.”