Australian Gin Awards 2021 Closed to New Zealand entries.

New Zealand

Applications closed on 10 July.
If you have already entered your sample stock must arrive at the Auckland Mainfreight depot no later than 20 July.

Australian Gin Awards 2021




Results announced 19 November 2021.

Everyone’s a Winner

  • All Best in Class winners will feature at the Trophy Presentation Cocktail Party at the Sydney Town Hall on 20 November 2021.
  • All Best in Class winners receive a trophy, display certificate plus media attention and comprehensive Social Media coverage.

  • All Gins entered into the judging will receive written reports from the judges.

  • All medal winners receive beautiful display certificates useful for promotion.

Message from the The Chairman

“It’s been a tough year for everyone but the signs are looking good. Thankfully for the Australian Spirits Industry we have weathered the storm a little better than some in the hospitality industry and I would like to pass on my thanks to the industry for staying strong and chipping in to help our community with much needed sanitizer and other support where it was possible.

Amazingly the industry continues to grow and we are seeing more new Australian gins coming onto the market and excitingly we see that the Australian consumer is continuing its love affair with Aussie Gins. With that in mind I look forward to seeing familiar faces and gins in this year’s Awards as well as meeting proud new distillers and their exciting new gins.

We also welcome the New Zealand craft gin distillers to the awards and acknowledge the growth in their industry.

On behalf of Judith Kennedy AM and our wonderful, experienced judging panel I wish all entrants the very best and I look forward very much to catching up in Sydney later in the year”.

Bill Lark – Chairman, Australian Gin Awards 2021.

The Judges

Tim Stones

Distiller, Hickson House Distilling Co.

Genise Hollingworth

Distiller, Black Gate Distillery

Philip Moore

Distiller, Distillery Botanica.

Mikey Enright

Bartender, The Barber Shop

Lindsay Silcox

Retailer, Down Gin Lane

Glenn McPhee

Retailer, The Gin Boutique

Scott Fitzsimons

Retailer, The Oak Barrel

Andrew Howell

Retailer, The Gin Boutique

Charles Casben

Bartender, Moya’s Juniper Lounge

Chief Steward:
Christopher Rose

Seven Categories

All Gins must be produced in Australia or New Zealand by producers holding an Excise Manufacturers Licence and must comply with the laws as set by the Food Standards Australia New Zealand Code (FSANZ).

Should be produced using a clean base spirit with a neutral taste which allows the distilled flavours of the botanicals to come through. The gin should be juniper forward where all the botanicals are distilled either soaked in the neutral spirit inside the still or placed in a basket within the still or along the Lyne arm. The botanicals may be distilled individually or together in a single batch. Must be bottled at a minimum Alcohol of 37% and a maximum Alcohol of 50%. This gin cannot be coloured or flavoured artificially.

(New age or new wave gins) – Juniper should still be discernible but flavours from other botanicals such as citrus, spice and floral notes are more prominent than in a London Dry Gin. Must be bottled at a minimum Alcohol of 37% and a maximum Alcohol of 50%. Contemporary Style Gin cannot be coloured or flavoured artificially.

(Barrel Aged Gin) – A distilled gin that has been matured in wooden barrels for any length of time. Judges will be looking at the influence of the wood and barrel characteristics in balance with traditional gin flavours. Must be bottled at a minimum Alcohol of 37%. Matured Gin cannot be coloured or flavoured artificially other than that obtained from the barrel itself.

A distilled gin product to replicate the historical style of “Old Tom” either botanically intense or botanically sweetened. Nowadays Old Tom is a very good gin quite often sweetened by the distillation of larger than normal amounts of liquorice or the like but not added after distillation. Old Tom can also be sweetened with sugar and may be influenced by wood maturation. It is generally considered richer in flavour than London Dry Gin. Must be bottled at a minimum Alcohol of 37%. Old Tom cannot be coloured or flavoured artificially.

A Distilled Gin bottled at a minimum of 50% a/v. Traditionally “Navy Gin” is bottled between 57% and 58% Alcohol.  These awards recognise the opportunity for producers to showcase their gin at a strength above 50% Alcohol which best highlights a gin’s characteristics, typical of a higher strength.

These products are generally influenced by traditional Sloe Gins whereby a dry gin is macerated with fruit and then lightly sweetened. This category may include Sloe Gins and Sloe-Style Gins as well as similar alternatives. Minimum Alcohol of 37%.

These are products that intentionally focus on a flavour other than juniper. Whether achieved through distillation, maceration or some other means, gins in this category may not fit the conventional definitions or perceptions of ‘gin’. Can be coloured and/or sweetened. Minimum Alcohol of 20%. Juniper should still be aromatically present to warrant inclusion.

The Judging Process

Two x 700mL gin sample bottles per entry are required for the judging or a minimum of 1400mL if you are entering smaller bottles. Please use the address label provided below on this page. The judging will take place in a secret location in Concord NSW during the first few days of August 2020. There will be three panels of judges. All gin products will be judged blind and served neat. The mechanics of the judging will be managed by Glass Brassiere Sommelier Chris Rose who is one of the most experienced wine show stewards in Australia. His assistants are all trained sommeliers. The top gin in each category will be rejudged in the final Best in Show judging where all judges will participate. In the event of any category achieving gold medal status, the top gold in that category will win a trophy. Every gin entered has the possibility of winning a medal – gold, silver or bronze. If a gold medal is not awarded in a category, the top scoring gin in that category will be titled Best in Class. The top scoring gin in the whole competition will win the Best in Show Trophy. The Design judging will take place the previous day.

Confidential written reports prepared by the judging team leaders will be provided for ALL entries (including the bottle design judging) following the release of the results. They will be sent as hard copies along with certificates.


All Trophy and Best in Class winners will be notified immediately following the judging and asked to make arrangements to attend the Trophy Presentation Cocktail Party in Sydney on 20 November 2021. Winners need to supply 6 x 700mL bottles for the function which will take place in the Sydney Town Hall on Friday 20 November at 4.00pm. There will be no charge for this event. Chairman Bill Lark will make the presentations and comment on the winning gins. At 5.30pm same day the Sydney Gin Palooza will open to the public and the celebrations will continue.

The CCL Australian Gin Packaging Competition


Entering your gin? Why not enter your packaging at the same time for a chance to win some marketing advantage from our Preferred Label Supplier CCL?

The top three bottles will receive trophies in the form of CCL Label Print and CCL Concept Lab Vouchers, for the total value of $10,000.

Pictured: 2020 Best Gin bottle design winner –
Prohibition Liquor Co. Navy Strength Gin.


The Chairman of Judges:
Steve Morris  CCL General Manager

The Judges:
Kate Moser – Marketing Manager – CCL, Wine and Spirits Australia
Dan Parritt – Brand Director, Molasses Brand Design Consultancy
Kent Stewart – Creative Director, Molasses Brand Design Consultancy
Jade Angelopoulous – Marketing Manager, Schibello Coffee Australia
Kate Meyer – Executive Director, Australian Gin Distillers Association Inc.
Lindsay Silcox – Director, Down Gin Lane, online retail


Visual appeal: Originality / Design quality / Colour scheme / Neck Label / Capsule packaging if applicable
Brand: Logo / Fonts / Label copy / Label stock / Brand story and consistency
Practicality: Bottle design and quality / Closure / Pouring / Bar placement


The winners will be advised following the judging and invited to attend the Presentation Cocktail Party on November 20 at the Sydney Town Hall, during the opening of the Sydney Gin Palooza.

Gold, silver and bronze medals will have been awarded during the design judging. Certificates will be produced and mailed out for all medal winners with a copy of the judges’ comments.

How do I leverage my success?

All medal winners will be offered jpeg and pdf versions of the medal artwork at no cost. You are encouraged to use these on your website and in your social marketing to promote your win. Plus, we have medal stickers for your bottles available to purchase. All results will be issued in our media releases which you can also utilise. You can create your own releases to your personal database to spread the word. All medal winners will receive certificates suitable to frame and display in the distillery cellar door.

“Our aim is to shine a light on the excellence of gin production and for the awards judges to concentrate on one spirit – GIN.”

Ms Judith Kennedy AM
Chief Executive and Chairman.

2021 Application Form