Australian spirits triumph at IWSC 2023 in London

Australian spirits producers Four Pillars Gin, Grainshaker Vodka and Curatif Cocktails are celebrating a record-breaking night at the International Wine & Spirits Competition in London.

Victoria’s Four Pillars led the honours, winning the International Gin Producer Trophy for a record third time after its back-to-back wins in 2019 and 2020.

Fellow Victorians Grainshaker Vodka – produced by Top Shelf International in Campbellfield – claimed the Vodka Producer Trophy.


And canned cocktails company Curatif picked up the RTD Producer Trophy for a second time, having won the inaugural gong for this category in 2022.

Australian Distillers Association chief executive Paul McLeay said it was another landmark moment for this exciting industry.

“The Producer Trophies are the most prestigious accolades in the IWSC, which is the world’s largest and most influential spirits awards with more than 4,000 entries from distilleries across the globe in 2023,” he said.

“Our spirits manufacturers have once again proven that their products can compete with the very best and triumph on the world stage.

“These results further highlight the export potential for Australian spirits, were they not hampered by the world’s third highest spirits tax, which hit an outrageous $100.05 per litre of pure alcohol on 1 August.”

Four Pillars was awarded 10 medals for its gins in the 2023 Awards, including two gold medals with 98 points for Bloody Underhill Vineyard Shiraz Gin and Single Barrel S36 Gin.

“Back in 2013, we set out with the ambition to make world-class gin, so to win this award three times is simply mind-blowing,” said Four Pillars co-founder and distiller Cameron McKenzie.

“It’s a massive thrill for our team back at home and for the Australian spirits industry overall, and even sweeter that Four Pillars celebrates ten years of making gin this December,” he said.

Meanwhile, Grainshaker Vodka outperformed more than 200 other vodka brands to win the Vodka Producer Trophy, highlighting the quality of its spirits made from Australian wheat, corn and rye.

The IWSC judges declared Grainshaker a leader in the “grain-to-glass” movement, awarding its Wheat Vodka a gold medal with 98 points.

“This is a massive win not just for Grainshaker but the Australian spirits industry,” said Top Shelf CEO Trent Fraser.

“Vodka is one of the most competitive spirit categories, and we’ve shown we can compete on the international stage with the likes of Russia, Poland, France and the USA when tasted blind by the expert judges at IWSC.”

Australian Distillers Association president Holly Klintworth said she is immensely proud of the industry’s achievements at these prestigious awards.

“There are now more than 600 distilleries spread across Australia and they are producing some of the world’s finest spirits,” she said.

“If Australian drinkers ever needed another reason to drink local, this is it.”

“Victoria has proven once again it is the spirits capital of Australia,” said David Irwin, President of Spirits Victoria Association.

“These awards are yet another example of how Victoria is producing world-beating spirits.”

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