Never Never named Champion Australian Distiller

Melbourne Royal announced the trophy winners of the 2021 Australian Distilled Spirits Awards at a cocktail awards presentation held on Wednesday 1 December.

Eighteen trophies were presented with McLaren Vale’s Never Never Distilling Co. awarded Champion Australian Distiller and Victorian distillers taking home half the top gongs.

This year a record 90 gold, 241 silver and 269 bronze medals were awarded from the 765 entries.

“The Australian Distilled Spirits Awards is regarded as Australia’s first and largest national award program that proudly recognises the long tradition of distilling in Australia, and the emergence of the new generation of spirits, liqueurs, aromatics and this year, vermouths,” said Melbourne Royal CEO, Brad Jenkins.

“Since being established by Melbourne Royal in 2015, the interest and growth of the Australian Distilled Spirits Awards has been extraordinary and this year there were a record 765 entries from 191 distilleries, which is a 20% increase on 2020.”

McLaren Vale’s Never Never Distilling Co, not only won Champion Australian Distiller, but also Champion Navy Gin for its Juniper Freak Gin and Champion London Dry Gin for their Triple Juniper Export Strength Gin.

Eltham based Naught Distilling won the Champion New World / Contemporary Gin as well as the Champion Victorian Gin, both for Naught Australian Dry Gin.

Made by former professional basketball player and Melbourne local, Chris Cameron is known for his fastidious, relentless and attentive approach to creating meticulously made gins.

Boatrocker Brewing and Distilling in Braeside took out the Champion Alternative Spirit award for its Boatrocker Coolship Rye which is Boatrocker’s first foray into Rye Spirits, and aged in high char American Oak for ten months.


Dromana’s JimmyRum won the Champion Victorian Distillery award. Created by former marine engineer James McPherson, JimmyRum also took out the new trophy, Champion Cane Spirit, for its JimmyRum Silver.

In other results:

  • Ivanhoe’s Imbue Distillery picked up the Champion Other Gin for its Suburban Barrel Aged Gin;
  • Somerville’s Chief’s Son won Champion Australian Small Batch Spirit for its Cask Expression Release 4 Imperial Stout;
  • Cap & Bells in North Melbourne took out Champion Aromatic for its Marionette Bitter Orange Curacao, as well as the Consistency of Excellence Medal, for its Marionette Dry Cassis;
  • Archie Rose won Champion Whisky for its Rye Malt Whisky;
  • Mobius Distilling Co 38 Special Vodka was named Champion Vodka, while its Moreau Apple Pie Liqueur won Champion Liqueur;
  • Regal Rogue won the new trophy for Champion Vermouth, for its Regal Rogue Lively White;
  • South Australia’s Ginny Pig Distillery was awarded the trophy for the Champion Australian Micro Batch Spirit for its Botanic Gin;
  • St Agnes Distillery in Renmark won Champion Brandy for St Agnes XO Imperial 20-year-old; and
  • Queensland’s Bundaberg received the Raymond B ‘Spike’ Dessert III Trophy for Champion Rum. for its Master Distillers’ Collection – Small Batch Reserve.

Archie Rose whisky innovation with distiller Dave Withers: S3E7
Base spirit matters in gin, says brewer & distiller Simon Brooke-Taylor: S10E6
How an Australian created Pink Pepper Gin in Cognac: S9E2

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