These Aussie brands have swept up at recent major awards events 

June 18, 2024
By Cody Profaca

Canstar Blue Most Satisfied Customers Awards

Results from the annual Canstar Blue Customer Satisfaction awards have revealed First Choice Liquor Market to be Australia’s most trusted liquor retailer, Brown Brothers to be the most trusted wine brand, and James Boag to be the most trusted beer brand.

2024 marked Brown Brothers’ third time taking home the Canstar Blue’s top accolade for Australian wine.

“We are so proud to be recognised as Canstar Blue, 2024 Most Satisfied Customers Award for Australian Wine,” said Emma Brown, Brown Brothers Head of Innovation and 4th generation Brown family. 

“The consumer is at the heart of everything we do at Brown Brothers, so to have this endorsement directly from the consumer across satisfaction in taste, value for money, variety and packaging means the world to us.”

Trailing Brown Brothers was Jacob’s Creek, Yellow Tail, Wolf Blas, De Bortoli, and Penfolds. 

First Choice Liquor Market led out Dan Murphy’s, Aldi, Liquorland, BWS, Cellarbrations and the Bottle-O.

Reflecting on the win, Coles Liquor’s Head of Brand Sarah Wilson said, “to be named the country’s top liquor retailer for 2024 is a tremendous honour and we couldn’t be prouder to be Australia’s first choice for the second consecutive year.

“This win would not be possible without the efforts of our team members who have clearly shown they go above and beyond to deliver exceptional experiences for our customers. Offering excellent service and great value deals has once again proven to be a winning combination.” 

International Wine & Spirits Challenge 2024 

In addition to the strong performance of Australian spirits products at the 2024 IWSC already covered in this Drinks Trade article – which includes Four Pillars Barrel Aged Bloody Underhill Shiraz gin being named the highest scoring gin in the world – Drinks Trade has picked up on some certain other successes that have flown slightly under the radar.

Whilst not strictly Australia, Grant’s Triple Wood, which retails for less than $50, received a score of 98 points, the highest score of any blended Scotch whisky. According to the judges, the Triple Wood profile displays a “harmonious blend of sweet pear, balanced by a touch of smoke.”

Another notable result was Curatif being awarded four 95 point gold medals alongside taking home the title of the producer with the most scores over 90 at IWSC 2024. Curatif products that achieved 95 points include Espresso Martini, Pina Colada, Pineapple Daiquiri and the Blue Hawaii Special Edition. 

Matt Singer, Curatif’s Founder, said he feels proud “that our world-class and increasingly world-famous cocktails continue to be recognised at a global level by the International Wine & Spirits Competition, showcasing Curatif as a producer that stands out in an increasingly competitive landscape.”

“We believe our cocktails are something special, and we’re immensely proud of how well our house favourites, like Espresso Martini and Piña Colada, are received.”

In addition to Curatif’s Espresso Martini, two other Australian coffee-based spirits products also brought in scores 95+ Gold Medal scores. This includes Melbourne Martini’s Salted Caramel Espresso Martini receiving 95 points and Grada Coffee + Spirit receiving 96 points, the highest ever score for a coffee liqueur in the IWSC’s history.

Drinks Trade recently caught up with Michael Bascetta, Grada’s Co-Founder, to discuss the product and its IWSC win.

 “I knew that we sat a little aside from other coffee liqueurs because of the abv [because] I’ve done a little bit of spirit and wine judging in the past,” he said. 

“With my background in wine, I thought that the products would, you know, obviously get lined up against the other coffee liqueurs and the IWSC might decide something that was a bit out of place because of that ABV lacking, so when the score came through, I was a little bit in shock to be honest. Then I looked at it again: oh, no, this is real. Then we looked at the history of the scores and noticed that yeah, we’re the highest ever!

“We then looked at the tasting [notes] that they provided which really nailed exactly what we’re going after… a lower abv and extremely well balanced coffee liqueur. Balance is something that we seek in all of our products.”

Grada’s Coffee liqueur follows a coffee-first approach, having been made by Michael Bascetta, founder of Bar Liberty and Capitano, and Tim Varney, ex-roaster for Tim Wendelboe and co-creator of the World AeroPress Championship. 

“This is such an awesome result for us and a great affirmation that we are making a really unique and delicious drink,” said Bascetta. 

“The hundreds of hours in development by the team, especially Tim, really got us to where we are today. A landmark day for us.”

Drinks Trade’s conversation with Michael Bascetta, which covered everything from coffee liqueurs, Espresso Martini trends, and Grada’s plans, will be made available soon.

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Australia’s strong results at the International Wine Challenge 2024 can be viewed here.

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