The judging for the fifth NZ Spirits Awards began today in Auckland and whilst gin is still the predominant entry in the NZ Spirit Awards, there has been a significant increase in the number of dark, aged spirits from New Zealand distillers.
“There’s been about a 20 percent uptick in rum and whisky entries this year compared with last year and over two-thirds of all the entries are from New Zealand distillers,” said Spirits NZ Chief Executive, Robert Brewer.
“It’s pretty obvious that, just by the structure of entries alone, the New Zealand industry is beginning to mature as distillers look to take aged product out of cask and into bottle. This has always been the plan by most and it’s beginning to come off,” said Brewer.
However, the love affair with gin continues, of the 435 total entries, 214 are gin and 174 of those are New Zealand products. There are a record breaking 50 rum and 71 whisky entries.
Medal winners will be announced soon after judging ends with trophy winners announced during an awards dinner held in Auckland in June.