Melbourne's Four Pillars Gin has continued a great week for Australian spirits by snagging a prestigious double gold medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition just six months after its launch.
“We are one for one. This is the first competition we have entered, domestic or abroad. We might retire from entering them now with a perfect record,” Four Pillars co-owner Stuart Gregor quipped after the result was announced.
The award, the equivalent of receiving a scholastic high distinction
The annual San Francisco World Spirits Competition this year assessed more than 1400 entries including 92 gins, with only nine gins scoring the double gold award.
The competition judges are yet to release their tasting notes, but Gregor said the distinctive botanicals used and an excellent copper still would certainly have assisted.
“I reckon they really got a handle on the botanicals, particularly the citrusy notes from the whole oranges,” he said. “Also our still, Wilma, is a superb piece of hand-crafted German engineering, so the spirit quality is superb. Good judges can pick that up every time.
“We love proving that with great skill we can make something that sits easily among the world's best. Cam (Mackenzie), our distiller, is a bit of a legend.”
Gregor said the award was an affirmation that he and Mackenzie had taken Four Pillars “in the right direction”.
“It means that we and our modern Australian gin style have been validated by some pretty serious US judges,” he said.
“We have already had great support from the Australian bartenders, the liquor trade and drinkers, who have bought our gin direct, or on (crowd-source funding website) Pozible.
“They can celebrate with us that they showed such discernment before we become just ever-so-remotely famous. It's like they bought the first album when no-one had heard of us.
“It will also help with our plans to export. We have already had some inquiries in the past few months but we think they might hasten over the next little bit. Well, that's the plan, anyway.”
Gregor said the awards to Four Pillars Gin and Sullivan's Cove whisky would continue to open the world's eyes to Australia's craftsman-produced spirits industry.
“We are very, very small industry but we are passionate and as talented as any in the world. We have great natural resources for base spirit, as well as for botanicals for gin especially,” he said.
“We know we can make some of the best wines in the world, why shouldn't we do the same in spirits?”