Blue Mountains Gin Company has won accolades in the prestigious Australian Gin Awards for 2021.

The company’s Mountain Devil Classic and Black Label Gins were both awarded bronze medals in the Classic Dry (Class 1) and Contemporary Style Gin (Class 2) award categories, which were judged in September. The company was also awarded bronze medals for both varieties in the Australian Gin Packaging Competition.

The Mountain Devil Classic creates a distinctive version of the traditional dry gin and brings an exceptional level of smoothness and blended botanical flavours to this increasingly popular style of drink

The Mountain Devil Black Label is a playful dry gin with a bold, lingering tang enhanced with spicy botanicals including native pepper berry, peppercorn and chilli.

This flavour palette was a good fit for the awards’ Contemporary Style category, encompassing ‘new age’ gins that push the boundaries beyond juniper-forward London Dry styles.

The bronze medals are a great achievement for Blue Mountains Gin Company, which has been operating since mid-2021 and is rapidly gaining a following among gin lovers within and beyond the region.

Conducted by the Australian Gin Distillers Association, the gin awards drew 370 entries from 109 Australian and 11 New Zealand companies.

The Association’s CEO, Judith Kennedy, said the awards are an opportunity for both established and new craft distillers to step up and see how they compare with their peers in the same marketplace.

The awards were allocated by an experienced, highly qualified group of judges under strict rules, including ‘blind’ tastings supervised by stewards.

The judging panel was led by chairman of the awards, the esteemed distiller Bill Lark, widely known as the ‘Godfather of Australian Gin’.

Mr Lark, who pioneered craft distilling in Australia during the 1990s, said 2021 had been a tough year for the Australian spirits industry which, nonetheless, continued to grow with a record range of high quality gins in this year’s awards.

‘Wonderful organisation and technology came to the fore and I couldn’t be more pleased to have been part of this competition,’ said Mr Lark.

‘This could only have happened with the tremendous support of our judging team and my special thanks go to them.

‘I would also like to thank the many wonderful Aussie gin producers out there who had the confidence to enter their gins.’

The annual Australian Gin Awards reflect the growth of the spirits drinks industry in Australia, which has been driven partly by rising numbers of artisan distillers specialising in small-batch production with a regional orientation.

During the past year, the number of Australians drinking spirits has increased by 3.7% to nearly 6.3 million, nearly one-third of the adult population.

With wine sales also rising and beer trending downwards, wine and spirits are becoming the tipples of choice for many Australians. Meantime, boutique beers are winning over consumers in that market segment.

These changes mark a shift in public taste towards less-generic alcoholic drinks that offer a great taste experience, that is, people are tending to ‘drink less, drink better’.