Spirits news

Spirits And Innovation Win at 2020 NZ Spirits Awards

They may not have been able to get together in person, but Distillers across New Zealand celebrated in virtual style at this year's NZ Spirits Awards

In spite of not being able to celebrate face to face, the trophy winners at this year's NZ Spirits Awards were still delighted with their success.

For the second year running the whisky trophy went to the Talisker 10, while Champion Vodka went to 42 Below Passion. Herradura Lutra Anejo tequila was named Champion Botanicals and Other Spirits, and two distillers shared the Champion Whisky title - Thomson Whisky South Island Peat Single Malt and Talisker 10 Year Old. Dancing Sands

“We heartily congratulate all our trophy and medal winners and thank all our world-class entrants from here and afar for supporting what is becoming a hotly-contested competition. The crafting of fine spirits respects long-standing history and tradition, but it’s important for the industry to embrace innovation, new flavours and techniques, and to keep an open mind and challenge the status quo,” says Sue James, Chair of Distilled Spirits Aotearoa.

After a delay of several months, COVID-19 wasn’t going stop Kiwi distillers competing against some of the world’s most recognised and long-standing brands. Judging took place under Alert Level 1 in July in Wellington with 54% of entries from New Zealand and 46% from overseas. Medal winners were also acknowledged recently.

“For what is a relatively young industry in New Zealand, we are seeing sophisticated spirits being produced here, and they are standing up strongly against some of the most recognised brands in the world. A quality spirit is part art and part science – and a whole lot of passion and hard work. We are delighted to give distillers the recognition they deserve and hope that the Awards bring some awareness to these skilled craftsmen and women. This industry has a really bright future, growing both local and export markets,” says Robert.

“Right now we are seeing a renaissance in spirits and a shift to premiumisation – that’s people drinking less but perhaps spending a little more to enjoy a quality beverage. Whether Kiwis are getting out and exploring the regions through their palate and meeting local distillers on the New Zealand Spirits Trail, imbibing a decadent cocktail in a city bar, or having a wee dram at home in front of the fire, maximum enjoyment comes from taking a moment to simply sip and savour your spirit,” say Sue and Robert.

For a full list of winners click here.