Judges for the Australian Distilled Spirits Competition are selected from across Australia and are engaged for their industry knowledge and expertise.

Judges are sourced from a broad base and include distillers, wine and spirits writers, bar persons and retailers of alcoholic beverages. 

All entries are blind taste and scored out of one hundred points, assessed against the following criteria: colour/ appearance, nose, palate, balance and finish. 

Any entry that is awarded 90 - 100 points will receive a gold medal, 82 - 89.9 points a silver and 74 - 81.9 points a bronze.

2019 Head Judge

Sam Bygrave, Australian Bartender Magazine

Panel Chairs

Fred Siggins, Sullivans Cove, TAS
Julian White, Whisky + Alement, VIC
Seb Costello, Bad Frankie, VIC
Sebastian Raeburn, The Craft & Co., VIC
Lee Potter Cavanagh, Rosenbaum & Fuller, NSW


Geoff Fewell, Lee Ho Fook, VIC
Luke McCarthy, Whisky + Alement, VIC
Michael Chiem, Ps40, NSW
Michael Madrusan, Made in the Shade, VIC
Nick Peters, Mamasita, VIC
Ollie Margan, Maybe Mae, SA
Orlando Marzo, Worksmith, VIC
Russell Johnson, Russell Johnson Consulting, SA
Sacha La Forgia, Adelaide Hills Distillery, SA
Shaun Byrne, Good Measure Liquor Consultants, VIC
Tim Stones, Manly Spirits Co., NSW

Associate Judges

Alissa Gabriel Mjolner, NSW
Brogan Carr, Brogan's Way Distillery, VIC
Lex Poulsen, Hippocampus, VIC
Mitch Wilson, Maison Ferrand, NSW
Evelyn Liong, Mr. Harry's Marketing Department, VIC
Nick Miles, Lucky Duck Club, QLD
Nick Rose, Dan Murphy's, VIC
Nicole Kimlin, Dan Murphy's Cellar, VIC
Shay Chamberlain, Black Pearl, VIC
Tim Gniel, Tarac Technologies, SA

Judging for the 2019 Awards took place in Melbourne on Tuesday 5 and Wednesday 6 March. The results will be announced at the 2019 High Spirits celebrating the Australian Distilled Spirits Awards event on Thursday 4 April in St Kilda. Open to everyone, tickets include specialty cocktails, delicious canapés and good tunes.