The 2017 Australian Distilled Spirits Awards (ADSA) open for entry today with two new trophies added to the prestigious program.
Acknowledging the increasing trend toward innovative, experimental micro batch spirits and liqueurs, the 2017 ADSA sees the introduction of a trophy for Champion Australian Micro Batch Spirit.
Also new to the ADSA is a trophy for Aromatic Bitters, intended to assist emerging producers with benchmarking and developing their botanic-infused flavour enhancers.
Mark O’Sullivan, CEO, The Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria, the organisation behind the ADSA, as well as the renowned Royal Melbourne Wine Awards and Australian International Beer Awards, says the new additions are about ensuring the awards are innovative and representative of industry.
“We are continually evolving and improving the Australian Distilled Spirits Awards by introducing categories that reflect current trends, are relevant to the industry and create more and greater opportunity for distillers who participate.”
Other new initiatives for this year’s program include the redefinition of the Small Batch Spirit Trophy, a restructuring of the Gin category with eight classes identified and a reduction in the quantity of product required from participants for judging of most categories.
“RASV has always valued the feedback of our Exhibitors and these changes will enhance the experience for those who enter the awards,” Mr O’Sullivan said.
The 2017 Awards also welcomes the appointment of Sam Bygrave, Editor Australian Bartender Magazine, to the role of Head Judge.
“It's a great honour to again be involved in the Australian Distilled Spirits Awards, and to be appointed to the role of Head Judge,” Bygrave said.
“The local spirits scene has gone from strength to strength in recent years, and an event like this helps to spotlight the great work the industry is doing and promote it to a wider audience.”
Bygrave will oversee an expert judging panel of industry professionals including liquor consultants, writers, barkeepers and retailers.
Including the new additions, a total of 11 Champion trophies are on offer this year covering the categories of Whisky, Gin, Vodka, Brandy, Rum, Liqueurs, Alternative Spirits, Aromatic Bitters and Small and Micro Batch Spirits, culminating in the Champion Australian Distiller Trophy which recognises the most highly-awarded distiller.
James Young, Head Distiller, Old Young’s Distillery, whose Pure No. 1 was named Champion Australian Vodka at last year’s awards, said the win had helped build the profile of their business.
“The awards provide us the opportunity to benchmark ourselves against other Australian distillers and importantly to receive independent and constructive feedback on the quality of our products. It has given us greater recognition amongst my peers in the industry and has opened many doors, in particular with a national retail chain.”
Entries close on Friday 3 March and can be completed online at www.rasv.com.au/spirits. #AuSpiritsAwards