The trophy winners of the third annual New Zealand Spirits Awards have been revealed at a glamorous gala at the Hilton in Auckland tonight.

Of the 14 category trophies on offer, New Zealand spirits producers took home nine.

Two trophies were presented in six of the seven categories – Trophy for Best New Zealand in Category and Trophy for Best Overall in Category.

Sue James, Chairperson of Distilled Spirits Aotearoa, says the medal- and trophy-winning spirits have a combination of appearance, aroma, palate, balance, finish, intensity, complexity and flavour character.

“Everything is packed together in harmony,” she says.

James says this year’s trophy winners all scored well above the rest of the competition.

“The decisions of the judges were pretty much unanimous,” she told The Shout NZ. “The winners were clearly leaders in their categories, delighting the judges.”

Judged in May by 20 industry experts, including The Shout NZ contributors Cameron Douglas MS and Tash McGill, the NZ Spirits Awards received a record 344 entries this year and 313 medals were awarded to local and international spirits, including 10 Double Golds.

Robert Brewer, Chief Executive of Spirits New Zealand, says the Awards are all about acknowledgement of excellence.

“They allow our fledgling New Zealand industry’s products to be judged against their peers but, perhaps just as importantly, judged against some of the strongest global spirit brands. And New Zealand is doing pretty well I must say!”

The 2021 NZ Spirits Awards trophy winners are …

Rum trophy winner – Lunatic & Lover

Vodka
Best Overall in Category – Wild Rain Vodka
Best NZ in Category – Wild Rain Vodka

Whisky
Best Overall in Category – Talisker 10 Year Old
Best NZ in Category – Thomson Local Folk & Smoke Single Cask

Gin
Best Overall in Category – Marlborough Roots Dry Gin
Best NZ in Category – Marlborough Roots Dry Gin

Rum
Best Overall in Category – Havana Club 7 Year Old
Best NZ in Category – Lunatic & Lover Barrel Rested Botanical Rum

Brandies
Best Overall in Category – Martell Cordon Bleu
Best NZ in Category – no trophy awarded

Taizi New Zealand Baijiu

Liqueurs
Best Overall in Category – RATU 8 Year Old Signature Blend
Best NZ in Category – L’Opera

Botanicals & Other Spirits
Best Overall in Category – Taizi New Zealand Baijiu
Best NZ in Category – Taizi New Zealand Baijiu

Other winners on the night…

Master Cask New Zealand Innovation Award
McJaggery White Rum

Viniquip New Zealand Design Packaging Award
Lunatic & Lover Barrel Rested Botanical Rum

Long Story Short New Zealand Emerging Product Award
Mt Fyffe Distillery Botanical Gin

Look out for full coverage of the trophy presentation in the July issue of The Shout NZ.

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