Adelaide Hills producer, Ambleside Distillers, has received the award for “Best in Show” from Australia at the International London Spirits Competition 2022 for its Big Dry Gin.
It was awarded a further three medals for other spirits in its portfolio – an immense achievement for a family-owned distillery that launched less than six years ago on a small plot in a valley near Hahndorf.
The London Spirits Competition is one of the world’s leading awards programs in the category, but goes beyond just rewarding through tasting, and rates for quality, value and packaging by considering what will appeal to consumers and current trends. A judging panel comprising top level spirits buyers and other experts from the on and off trade assessed submissions based on these three criteria. In 2022, a record number of entries were received, with Ambleside competing with around 2,500 spirit brands from over 80 countries.
The Big Dry Gin from Ambleside Distillers scored 93 points, winning a Gold medal and Best in Show for Australia, beating dozens of other entries from Australia including some of Australia’s top gin brands. Ambleside’s No. 8 Botanical Gin, Mandarin Gin and Small Acre Gin all won Silver medals.
The Ambleside team carefully consider the botanicals to be selected for their spirits to create balanced but big, bold spirits and the Big Dry Gin from Ambleside is distilled with jalapeño, lime leaf, sage, rosemary and thyme. It’s big, dry and peppery, but not too spicy. It features intense and robust botanicals complemented by bold juniper notes to create a warm mouth feel.
It’s not the first time Big Dry has been recognised on the global stage. In recent years it has won numerous accolades, including Gold at the 2020 San Francisco World Spirit Awards and Gold at the 2021 SPI awards.
Ambleside Distillers was founded in 2016 by Matt, Trudy and Steve Dickson and has since grown into one of South Australia’s most-loved and highly awarded spirits brands. In late 2021, it expanded its production space to factor in future demand and to diversify its offering beyond gin with the installation of a 1,250-litre whisky still.
Located on the family acreage, Ambleside Distillers was built “from the garden up,” with an emphasis on ingredients and flavours that thrive in the Adelaide Hills including botanicals grown in the onsite garden.
“We’re still on cloud nine to have had the news about winning Best in Show from Australia at what is such a respected international competition. We take pride in the crafting of our spirits, and how our packaging and brand philosophy will appeal to consumers so it’s hugely rewarding to have this recognised by a panel of experts,” Ambleside Distillers’ Matt Dickson said.
“Last year we launched our expanded distillery space, and we’ve recently unveiled new branding, so to win big at an international award is further testament to the team’s hard work and shows we’re punching well above our weight on the global stage as a family-owned Adelaide Hills business.”