The 2023 Dan Murphy’s Decoded Spirit Awards results are in, with Mighty Craft brands shining through amongst strong competition. Leading the charge was Seven Seasons Spirits Green Ant Gin which was awarded Best Australian Gin. 78° Distillery also enjoyed great results, taking out Best Australian Vodka for their 78° Australian Vodka and Best Value Pick Australian Whisky for 78° Australian Whiskey.
Seven Seasons Spirits Native Yam Vodka and 78° Muscat Finish Whiskey were finalists in the Best Australian Vodka and Best Australian Whisk(e)y categories respectively.
The Decoded Spirit Awards are designed to showcase and acknowledge the craftsmanship, quality, and diversity of spirits available to consumers. This year, an expert panel of 14 expert judges tasted more than 450 entrants to crown the year’s most outstanding bottles across whisky, gin, vodka, rum, bottled cocktails, non-alcoholic options and more. Extensive blind tastings ensured no judge was swayed by brand, label or price point, and the panel then determined the absolute cream of the crop.
The awards also serve as an educational platform for consumers. By highlighting award-winning spirits and providing tasting notes and information about the products, the awards help consumers expand their knowledge and appreciation of different spirits. In their own words, the aim of the Dan Murphy’s Decoded Spirit Awards is: “To help you see past the fancy bottles and the marketing spiels, and build a bar cart full of spirits you can rely on, whether to sip neat or craft killer cocktails.”
Dan Murphy’s is Australia’s largest liquor retailer. Aside from the prestige and recognition of winning a Decoded Spirit Award in itself, there are market exposure benefits for our brands and their products. As a result of winning Best Australian Gin, Seven Seasons Spirits Green Ant Gin is now ranged in all 265 stores Australia-wide, which is an increase of 70 stores.
From the Decoded Judges:
Best enjoyed: in a Gimlet, made all the more citrusy by those zesty green ants that go into every bottle.
Green by name, green by nature, our judges chose Seven Seasons Spirits Green Ant Gin as their favourite Australian gin this year for the distinctly herbal and citrusy qualities, imparted by way of local Northern Territory botanicals like Kakadu yams, bush apples, native juniper and actual green ants, which all set it apart from so many other new-world gins.
Founded by Indigenous food entrepreneur Daniel Motlop, the ingredients in the unique gin are harvested by hand by the Larrakia people of the Darwin region, making it one of the few distilleries around that actively maintains and gives back to Country.
Click here to watch Founder Daniel’s award acceptance video.
Best enjoyed: alongside coffee liqueur in a distinctly Aussie Black Russian.
After taking home an honourable mention in our local whiskey category, South Australia’s 78 Degrees distillery also impressed judges with their vodka, which they make with grape marc – the skins, seeds and other leftovers after making wine – sourced from wineries that surround their Adelaide Hills distillery.
The result is all those hallmark characters you find in grape-based vodkas, including a silky-smooth mouthfeel and subtle notes of pepper and citrus.
Click here to watch Brand Manager Chewy’s award acceptance video.
South Australia’s 78 Degrees cut its teeth making quintessentially new-world Aussie gins, and their first mass-market whiskey is distilled with the same approach. It strays away from Scotch-influenced whiskies and instead incorporates a blend of local barley to impart a distinct flavour inspired by those oh-so-Aussie campfire moments.
It’s about as good as Aussie drams get for less than $100 – which, in this case, is very bloody good.