The Australian Gin Distillers Association Inc. is offering a bench-marking opportunity open to Australian and New Zealand’s independent bottlers and small craft distillers.

Everyone is a Winner

  • All trophy winners feature at the Presentation Dinner where 160 guests will be served their gin with a three course meal to match.

  • All trophy gins feature at the Bill Lark Masterclass at the Sydney Gin Palooza 23 November.

  • All trophy winners receive a trophy, display certificate plus media attention in Restaurants & Bars.

  • All trophy winners receive a full colour page in the AGA Results Book.

  • All gins receive written reports from the judges.
  • All medal winners receive beautiful display certificates useful for promotion.

The Chairman

“I am pleased that I have accepted the role as Chairman of the judging panels for the second season of the Australian Gin Awards 2019. I am also pleased to advise that our excellent panel of judges will be back this season building on their experience of the success of the inaugural awards competition. We were all overwhelmed with the large number of excellent Australian gins entered and we look forward to experiencing the growth of Australian Gins.

The Awards event was established by Judith Kennedy who successfully and professionally steered the Australian & NZ Boutique Wine Awards and the Six Nations Wine Challenge for the past 20 years. I have every confidence that these awards will deliver what the rapidly emerging Australian Gin industry is looking for and celebrate the enormous success its producers have achieved in recent years”

Bill Lark – Chairman, Australian Gin Awards 2019.

Carefully note closing dates

ON-LINE ENTRY FORMS may be submitted between MONDAY JULY 1 and TUESDAY 8 OCTOBER.  MAINFREIGHT will pick up samples from BRISBANE, HOBART, MELBOURNE, ADELAIDE and PERTH between JULY 15  and SEPTEMBER 15 and deliver them to Sydney at no cost to you. After that time your samples need to go direct to OzeWine in Sydney at your own cost. FINAL ACCEPTANCE DATE FOR SAMPLES into Sydney’s OZEWINE NO LATER THAN Tuesday 8 October. All delivery labels are on the Application Form page and you MUST use these labels in all cases for all boxes please. We DO NOT send labels – please send the bottles as they are and the Stewards will label each bottle ready for judging. All gins are numbered by the Stewards and judged blind.

The Application Form includes entry for the gin awards and the bottle design awards plus bookings for the Presentation dinner tickets so please read on.

Previous Winners


kis O GIN
Kangaroo Island Spirits
South Australia


Small Batch Distilling
South Australia


Cedar Fox Distilling Co


Great Ocean Road Gin


Hunnington Distillery

Award 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).

(Australian) – Often referred to as London Dry Gin) – 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 of 37% a/v. Classic Dry 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 traditional gin. Must be bottled at a minimum of 37% a/v. 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 of  37% a/v. 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 licorice 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 of 37% a/v. 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% a/v as per the World Gin Awards however these awards recognise the opportunity for producers to showcase their gin at a strength above 50% a/v which best highlights a gin’s characteristics, typical of a higher strength.

A Distilled Gin that has been flavoured with fruit or other botanicals, typically via infusion or maceration and may be sweetened such as Sloe Gins or Gin Liqueurs. Must be bottled at a minimum of 20% a/v.

Trophies and Medals

At the Australian Gin Awards, every gin entered has the possibility of winning a trophy or a medal. There’s no limit to the number of gold, silver and bronze medals that can be awarded in each category. In the event of any category having at least one gold medal Gin, that category also awards a Trophy. If a gold medal is not awarded in a category, the top scoring Gin in that category will be titled Best in Class and wins the outstanding $10,000 prize from Sabre X of a Profile Showcase Video Production. The video will include filming your distillery, interviewing the key personnel within the business and showcasing your unique approach to Gin Distilling.
Sabre X are becoming the most innovative Digital Marketing, Advertising & Film Production Agency in Australia. Sabre X are offering a Profile Showcase Video Production valued up to $10,000 created by their very own Sabre Productions team.
Sabre Productions are leaders in branded storytelling helping businesses deliver their message though captivating video.


Ronnie Kreher and Rachael Pratt, Kangaroo Island Spirits’ Distillers, accepting their trophy for Best in Show from Bill Lark at the Presentation Dinner.

Design Awards winner Rory Smith of Nosferatu Distillery and Design Chair Elly Baxter with CCL Sponsor Steve Morris.

Chef’s Special Icecream served with Treat Dreams dark chocolate bon bons filled with Adelaide Hills 78˚ gin ganache served with Schibello Coffee’s Nero Nitro.

The Judges

Bill Lark has chosen his judging teams. He and the awards CEO Judith Kennedy are keen to instill confidence in all entrants by building teams with strong technical knowledge, who possess a high level of sensory analysis and an educated eye for the market. There will be no conflict of interest between any judge and any product known to them.

Confidential written reports prepared by the team leaders will be provided for ALL entries following the release of the results. Following the release of the results on 21 November 2019 the reports will be posted out with a copy of the Results Book and any certificates.

Chairman and Judge
Bill Lark

Founder & Brand Ambassador Lark Distillery

Genise Hollingworth

Rum distiller and co-owner at Black Gate Distillery.

Lyn Lark

Co-Founder, Lark Distillery.

Philip Moore

Master Distiller, Owner Distillery Botanica.

Hayley Laurendet Saint

Bartender at Archie Rose Distilling Co.

Mikey Enright

Director Barrelhouse Group, The Barber Shop York Street, The Duke of Clarence, The Barber Shop Barangaroo

Lindsay Silcox

Owner Gin Lane. A distillers subscription service.

Glenn McPhee

Co-Founder, The Gin Boutique

Scott Fitzsimons

The Oak Barrel. Whisky and Spirits Specialist.

Awards CEO
Judith Kennedy AM

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. A 28 page full colour Results Book will be produced and 4000 copies printed for distribution all around Australia. Advertising space will be available to you to further promote your success. All medal winners will receive certificates suitable to frame and display in the distillery cellar door.

The Judging Process

Two x 700 or 750mL 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 labels provided on the entry form page. The judging will take place in a secret location in Concord NSW during the last few days of October 2019. 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 Gin of 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.

All Trophy and Best in Class winners will be notified immediately and asked to make arrangements to attend the Trophy Presentation Dinner and to supply 12 bottles, each a minimum 700mL of product for the dinner and the masterclass. The dinner will take place at the Paddington Town Hall on Thursday 21 November and the masterclass will take place on Saturday 23 November at the Sydney Gin Palooza.

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 and results books.

Australia’s Best Gin Bottle Design


Sponsor CCL will present a $5000.00 production prize to the Best Australian Gin Bottle winner at the Presentation Dinner in November. The  framed certificate AND the $5000.00 production prize will be announced and presented by CCL’s GM Steve Morris. The publicity opportunity is obvious so when entering your gin, enter the bottles at the same time.


Buy a still, make the gin and sell the product. Sounds easy but of course it’s not! Brand development is all important unless you want to drink all the gin you make yourself – of course not. So how will your brand stand out from others? Will it? Won’t it? How will it look lined up with other brands? Let the experts give you their opinion and maybe a medal or even a trophy. Make the most of the opportunity to add another medal to your bottle and by so doing expose your brand further to increase sales.


Linda Sultmann General Manager Signwave Australia (Chairman) / Steve Morris CCL General Manager Wine & Spirits NSW / Jade Angelopulos Marketing Manager Schibello Coffee / Marty Widholm Professional designer and Kate Meyer committee member Australian Gin Distillers Association Inc.


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


During the Trophy Presentation Dinner on November 21, the trophy for Australia’s  Best Gin Bottle will be presented to the winner . Gold, silver and bronze medals will have been awarded during the design judging and will be recorded in the Results Book.  Australia’s Best Gin Bottle will be given a full page article in the book and images of each Gold medal winner will also feature. Certificates will be produced and mailed out for all medal winners with a copy of the Results Book and the judges’ comments.

Pictured: Previous Best Gin bottle design winner – BLOOD ORANGE GIN, Nosferatu Distillery, Melbourne, Victoria