Kangaroo Island Spirits’ O Gin has been named best contemporary gin in the world at the prestigious International Wine and Spirits Competition in London.
It’s the first time an Australian gin has been awarded a trophy for gin in this highly regarded competition.
Contemporary Gins are gins that have a predominant flavour of anything other than juniper berry. The flavour of juniper is always present, but the gin may also have a character that emphasises other botanicals.
In the case of the KIS O Gin, these prominent botanicals are the Kangaroo Island coastal daisy bush (Olearia axillaris), which was first described by early Dutch explorers in the late 1600s, as well as the Asian long and cubeb peppers, and fresh South Australian orange.
Owner Sarah Lark said: “When we first entered this gin in the IWSC there was no category for Contemporary Gin, this category only emerged in 2014. We believe that Australia is leading the world with innovative and high quality contemporary gin. When such a prestigious competition with 50 years of history and high industry regard like the IWSC places you at the top, you know you’re among the stars.”
All up, Australia took home 33 gin medals, five of them Gold.
The Gold winners were KIS O Gin, Mountain Gin, Kalki Moon Solstice Port Barrel, Four Pillars Spiced Negroni and Archie Rose Signature Dry Gin.
Mountain Gin was launched just 11 months ago by winemaker George Cremasco and beer salesman Michael Harris.
“It’s amazing how an Australian product has been recognised in London, especially from the Macedon Ranges,” Cremasco told The Australian.
IWSC noted: “Gin continues to be an incredibly popular spirit, with countries from around the world winning trophies across the different categories.
“Old Pilot’s Gin from Croatia won the London Dry Gin trophy – a big win for the company as it is such a popular category – while distilleries from Australia and Switzerland also won trophies for their gins this year.
“While gin is certainly not a new trend in the spirits world, the IWSC has continued to see an increase in entries, particularly in the category of flavoured gin.”