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Media Release Sunday, 9 February 2014

Australian Spirits are Top Shelf


Five Champion Trophies and 41 medals were awarded at the inaugural Australian Distilled Spirits & Liqueurs Awards, part of the 2014 Royal Melbourne Fine Food Awards Australian spirit producers have put in a stellar performance at the inaugural Royal Melbourne Fine Food Awards (RMFFA) Australian Distilled Spirits & Liqueurs competition conducted by the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria (RASV). Twenty-eight exhibitors from across Australia entered more than 90 products, with five Champion Trophies and 41 medals awarded. The top accolade, Champion Trophy for Best Australian Distiller was won by Tasmanias Lark Distillery, which also took home the Champion Whisky Trophy for its Lark Tasmanian Single Malt Whisky Small Cask Strength, Whisky Aged, Sherry Cask, Cask No 412. Champion Trophies were also awarded in the gin, rum and other spirits categories to The Tailor Made Spirits Company, WA, for West Winds Gin The Cutlass, Hoochery Distillery, WA, for its Ord River Rum Over Proof and Wildbrumby, NSW for its Premium Pear William Schnapps. The esteemed panel of judges included Australian Bartender of the Year Sebastian Raeburn; top wine and spirit writers Michael Harden, Christopher Hayes and Franz Scheurer; and Dr Graham Jones from the University of Adelaide, a distillation expert. RASV CEO, Mark OSullivan said the introduction of an Australian Distilled Spirits and Liqueurs category to the RMFFA has been a huge success, with an overwhelming number of entries received in its inaugural year. The RASV is proud to give distillers the opportunity to benchmark their products against national competitors in the first competition of its kind for Australian based spirit and liqueur producers. The Royal Melbourne Fine Food Awards is designed to promote and celebrate excellence and we are delighted to have successfully introduced this program to the distilling industry. We would like to thank all exhibitors who entered and our esteemed judges, and congratulate Lark Distillery for winning the Best Australian Distiller Award, said Mr OSullivan.

The winners of the Australian Distilled Spirits and Liqueurs Awards, part of the 2014 Royal Melbourne Fine Food Awards (RMFFA) were announced on Sunday, 9 February at a presentation ceremony held at Top Shelf Boutique Drinks Festival. Spirits enthusiasts can taste some award-winning spirits from the 2014 RMFFA at Aqua Vitae, an exclusive tutored tasting event. Producers and distillers will share their stories and showcase their products in a two-hour workshop held on Saturday, 8 March, from 1:00pm 3:00pm at Transit Cocktail Lounge, Melbourne. For more information, visit http://www.rasv.com.au/finefoods and follow the RMFFA on Twitter at @RMFFA. [ENDS] For media enquiries and images, please contact Wrights on behalf of the RASV: Vanessa Hollidge of Wrights on 0405 277 562 or at vhollidge@wrights.com.au Erin Mitchell of Wrights on 0406 151 340 or at emitchell@wrights.com.au

Notes to Editors:
About the Royal Melbourne Fine Food Awards Conducted by the RASV, the seasonally focused RMFFA is Australias premier fine food awards, promoting and celebrating excellence across the industry and recognising boutique producers, regional specialists and commercial manufacturers. The Australian Distilled Spirits and Liqueurs Awards is one of four new additions to the RMFFA Autumn program, which is conducted annually by the Royal Agricultural of Society (RASV). Winners of the 2014 RMFFA Autumn and Spring Programs have the unique opportunity to showcase their products at the 2014 Royal Melbourne Show in the Taste of Victoria Pavilion or as part of the popular Royal Melbourne Fine Food Deli Bags. About Top Shelf Top Shelf is a boutique drinks festival that is newly arrived in Melbourne, where visitors can sample hundreds of wines, beers, spirits and mixers and meet the people who make them. Held 9 10 February at Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton. For more information visit: www.topshelf.com.au About Aqua Vitae: For more information email events@rasv.com.au