In a significant milestone, the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW (RAS) is set to mark its re-entry into the distilled spirits arena after a hiatus since 1981. The organization will unveil its inaugural Sydney Royal Distilled Spirits Show in September 2024, embracing a standalone competition format.
Guided by the expertise of Stuart Gregor, a stalwart in the Australian drinks industry, the competition aims to propel the growth of the national spirits and drinks sector. Producers will have the opportunity to benchmark their offerings at a national level and present their creations to industry luminaries.
The Sydney Royal Distilled Spirits Show will join RAS’s calendar of competitions, which includes the renowned Sydney Royal Wine Show and Sydney Royal Beer & Cider Show.
The competition will feature an array of classes, including Brandy, Cane Spirit, Gin, Liqueur, Rum, Vodka, Whiskey, Alternative Distilled Spirits, Non-Alcoholic, and a standalone Ready to Drink (RTD) category. A total of fifteen Champion trophies will be awarded.
Stuart Gregor, the inaugural Chair of Judges for the competition, expressed his enthusiasm, stating, “I am thrilled to Chair the inaugural Sydney Royal Distilled Spirits Show. The decision to create a standalone competition underscores the remarkable growth and maturity of the spirits industry in Australia.”
Highlighting the rich history of RAS in spirit judging dating back to 1870, Gregor emphasized the show’s robust nature and the impressive judging panel that will rigorously evaluate the entries.
As an organization committed to promoting Australian agriculture, the competition will spotlight products made with a minimum of 85 percent Australian-grown ingredients, aligning with existing standards in other RAS competitions.
The competition will offer coveted championships, including distinctions such as Champion Cane Spirit or Rum, Champion Single Malt Whiskey, Champion Grain or Blend Whiskey, and various other categories.
Entries for the Sydney Royal Distilled Spirits Show will open in April 2024. Australian producers interested in participating are encouraged to express their interest through the RAS website (www.rasnsw.com.au), with entry submissions commencing in April 2024. Prospective judges can contact the RAS Wine, Dairy & Fine Food team at firstname.lastname@example.org.