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  • Writer's pictureJose Martinez

THE SPIRIT OF CRAFT AWARDS UNVEILS ITS INAUGURAL LIST OF AWARDEES

The Spirit of Craft Awards (SOCraft Awards), which offers global craft spirit makers an exclusive platform for recognition and validation, recently announced its inaugural contingent of awardees for 2024/25. The winning list was determined by a panel of 36 judges over six judging rounds, consisting of Asia’s bar elites, spirits experts and drinks critics.

 


Officially launched in January 2024, SOCraft Awards is Asia’s first awards that honor the art and craft in the world of artisanal spirits. It also sets a pioneering precedent by integrating environmental responsibility as a key judging pillar. Over three months, entries from across 15 countries – Australia, Cambodia, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Scotland, Singapore, Thailand, New Zealand, Netherlands, and the U.S. – made their way to Singapore for judging, which took place over three days in early May.

An overview of the results is below:

· 43 craft spirits awarded

· 13 craft spirits with 1 STAR

· Five craft spirits with 1 STAR and GREEN RING

· Eight craft spirits with 2 STARS

· 15 craft spirits with 2 STARS and GREEN RING

· Two craft spirits with 3 STARS and GREEN RING  

 


SOCraft Awards assembled a Judging Committee of 12 thought leaders, each representing a key geographical market in Asia’s drinks and spirits industry. Together, the Committee voted for a panel of 36 judges, consisting of independent and acclaimed bar owners and bartenders, spirits writers, importers and distributors from Asia.

To ensure a fair judging process, judging was conducted blindly. Each judge tasted no more than 10 spirits per session, over a 120-minute seating. Judges independently evaluated each spirit based on Aroma and Bouquet (20 points), Mouthfeel (20 points), Taste (20 points), Finish (20 points) and Overall Impression (20 points).  Craft spirits with excellent green efforts were also recognized with an additional GREEN RING. This is based-off a written submission that was reviewed and scored separately by sustainability advocates – Heidi (Yu) Spurrell, Founder of Future Green; and Sasha Wijidessa, Co-Founder of future-forward bar, Fura. Judges assessed entries across Choice of Production Materials (5 points), Waste Management (5 points), Emissions Management (5 points) and Support for Local Community (5 points).

Winners’ List


 

Brand: Arak Bumbung Original

Country: Indonesia

Spirit: Arak

Spirited Notes: Coconut palm is fermented for four to five days, followed by a

twofold and double distillation to produce the final Arak.

 

Brand: Bass & Flinders Ochre Fine

Country: Australia

Spirit: Brandy

Spirited Notes: Ochre is an aged spirit that is double distilled in an Alembic

still on the Mornington Peninsula from Chardonnay grapes. The spirit is matured for a minimum of 5 years in ex-cognac barrels.

 

Brand: Bass & Flinders Orient Gin

Country: Australia

Spirit: Gin

Spirited Notes: Inspired by spices and flavors of the East. Mandarin, Sichuan pepper, goji, jujubes and black sesame seeds blend seamlessly with Australia's native strawberry gum, wattleseed and kaffir lime.

 

Brand: East Indies Archipelago Dry gin

Country: Indonesia

Spirit: Gin

Spirited Notes: The finest Indonesian botanicals balanced with the highest quality Macedonian juniper to make a single shot small batch gin. Mace and nutmeg are added for a powerful spicy gin that is designed for Negronis.

 

Brand: Freimeisterkolletiv - Haselnuss, Wacholder 051

Country: Germany

Spirit: Liqueur

Spirited Notes: This spirit blends the richness of roasted hazelnuts with the invigorating essence of juniper berries, creating a fusion of flavors that elevates the palate.

 

Brand: Hunter Island Tasmanian Poitin

Country: Australia

Spirit: Poìtin

Spirited Notes: Using only Tasmanian ingredients: green barley, malted barley, oats, and pristine water. It is triple-distilled through copper pot stills, giving it a smooth and creamy mouth-feel.

 

Brand: Isle of Raasay Gin

Country: Scotland

Spirit: Gin

Spirited Notes: Based on a London dry recipe, but handcrafted with 10 botanicals such as sweet orange peel and rhubarb root, resulting in a citrus forward gin.

 

Brand: Issan Rum

Country: Thailand

Spirit: Rum

Spirited Notes: Made from hand-peeled, monovarietal red sugarcane that are pressed on the same day. After fermentation, it is distilled with a small copper pot still. Such singularities give the rum a unique flavor and sweetness.

 

Brand: Jason Kong Gin

Country: Cambodia

Spirit: Gin

Spirited Notes: Infused with sustainably sourced organic butterfly pea flowers, and distilled with 11 regional botanicals including indigenous rose-apples and cassia bark from Cambodia’s northern plains.

 

Brand: Juno Monica's Gin

Country: New Zealand

Spirit: Gin

Spirited Notes: This London dry gin has juniper at its heart, with coriander bringing warmth and a hint of lemon. Other key botanicals include orris root, lemongrass, lemon verbena, green cardamom, angelica root and cassia bark.

 

Brand: Luxe Brew Sakura Cherry Blossom Liqueur

Country: Australia

Spirit: Liqueur

Spirited Notes: Extraction of dried sakura blossoms and freeze-dried fruits make this a subtle yet decadent liqueur, reminiscent of the floral and fruity burst of new spring growth.

 

Brand: Maya Pistola Agavepura Anejo

Country: India

Spirit: Agavepura

Spirited Notes: A 100% agave craft spirit aged for 14 months in new American oak barrels. Distilled from the Wild Agave Americana growing naturally in the Indian Deccan Plateau.

 

Brand: Mother of Pearl Vodka

Country: Australia

Spirit: Vodka

Spirited Notes: Made with pinot gris grapes late off the vine for a full-bodied flavor. Filtered through coconut husk and charcoal, which creates a smooth creaminess with less heat on the palate.

 

Brand: Sampan Cellar Series Cognac 2019

Country: Vietnam

Spirit: Rum

Spirited Notes: A very well balanced aged rhum with vanilla notes, a vivid freshness and roundness long lingering on white pepper fragrances. Sweet tropical woody nose with hints of honey and vanilla.

 

Brand: Sintesi

Country: Italy

Spirit: Gin

Spirited Notes: A London dry gin made with eight botanicals that depict the scents and flavors of territories through Italy. From the sea of Salento, passing through the Tuscany hills to the highest peaks of Mont Blanc.

 

Brand: Strange Nature Gin

Country: New Zealand

Spirit: Gin

Spirited Notes: This pure spirit of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is distilled with the only botanical that defines gin - juniper - giving it an unexpected taste profile.

 

Brand: Tanglin Triple Tangerine Mandarin Orange Liqueur

Country: Singapore

Spirit: Liqueur

Spirited Notes: Paying homage to the Singapore Sling, this liqueur is distilled with mandarin orange, calamansi, and kaffir lime leaf, resulting in a great addition to any bar.

 

Brand: Westward Pinot Cask

Country: USA

Spirit: Whiskey

Spirited Notes: Pinot begins with the original Westward, which is matured for up to an additional two years in French Oak wine casks from a handful of award-winning producers in the region.

 

Brand: Avallen Calvados

Country: France

Spirit: Calvados

Spirited Note: Crafted from traditionally grown apples. Young, fresh, vibrant and fruity with apple cider flavor and delicate cinnamon spice. Great for long drinks and cocktails.

 

Brand: Bass & Flinders Monsoon Gin

Country: Australia

Spirit: Gin

Spirited Notes: Bringing flavors of South East Asia together, this is a gin with unique presence. Juniper berries, lemongrass, ginger and ginseng collide, creating a dry gin with a twist.

 

Brand: Dunedin Dry Gin

Country: New Zealand

Spirit: Gin

Spirited Notes: Handcrafted from surplus bread. Classic gin botanicals are steeped in spirits before final distillation. Juniper-forward with a citrus finish, and just enough warmth and spice.

 

Brand: Freimeisterkolletiv - Orange, Bitters, Wein 969

Country: Germany

Spirit: Bitters

Spirited Notes: A fusion of oranges, bitter flavors and red wine, creating a truly European drink. Best enjoyed over ice with a splash of soda and a twist of orange peel.

 

Brand: Hapusa Himalayan Dry Gin

Country: India

Spirit: Gin

Spirited Notes: A Himalayan dry gin made with a unique composition of eight Indian botanicals, including Himalayan Juniper, Raw Mango, Gondhoraj, Fresh Turmeric, Ginger, Cardamom, Almonds, and Coriander Seeds.

 

Brand: Juno Extra Fine Gin

Country: New Zealand

Spirit: Gin

Spirited Notes: This London dry gin has juniper at its heart, with coriander bringing warmth and a hint of lemon. Other key botanicals include orris root, kaffir lime leaves, green cardamom, angelica root, manuka and cassia bark.

 

Brand: Le Rhum Par Neisson

Country: Martinique

Spirit: Rum

Spirited Notes: Le Rhum par Neisson is the fruit of a long maturation over four months of work, during which the rums are stirred and aired daily. Particularly pampered, this production benefits from a slow and careful reduction.

 

Brand: Lochlea Distillery Our Barley

Country: Scotland

Spirit: Whisky

Spirited Notes: Produced using a combination of first-fill Bourbon, Oloroso Sherry and STR casks. Vibrant summer notes of marmalade, freshly cut grass and pear syrup, with flavors of macadamia nuts, cream soda and rye bread.

 

Brand: Luxe Brew Moonshadow Chocolate Liqueur

Country: Australia

Spirit: Liqueur

Spirited Notes: A luscious and indulgent chocolate liqueur that brings together the rich, decadent flavors of chocolate, Australian dairy cream and sweet tropical rum.

 

Brand: Macaloney An Loy

Country: Canada

Spirit: Whisky

Spirted Notes: A ‘Whiskymaker’s Signature Selection’. Selected single malts from a combination of 60% first use Bourbon casks, 15% Portuguese STR red-wine barriques and 15% Oloroso / 10%

PX Spanish Sherry casks.

 

Brand: Macaloney Cath-Nah-Ave Single Malt

Country: Canada

Spirit: Whisky

Spirited Notes: This sherried classic single malt has a huge body with a creamy mouthfeel. Plums, raisins, and spices, are complemented by structured tannins and oakwood notes.

Maya Pistola Agavepura Joven India Agavepura 2 Y A 100% agave craft spirit blended from aged and unaged pure 100% agave. Distilled from the Wild Agave Americana growing naturally in the Indian Deccan Plateau.

 

Brand: Maya Pistola Agavepura Reposado

Country: India

Spirit: Agavepura

Spirited Notes: A 100% agave craft spirit aged for 4-5 months in ex-bourbon and new American oak barrels. Distilled from the Wild Agave Americana growing naturally in the Indian Deccan Plateau.

 

Brand: Roots Dry Gin

Country: New Zealand

Spirit: Gin

Spirited Notes: A ‘London Dry’ style gin. Made from six seasonally sourced botanicals. Juniper-forward palate, followed by fresh grapefruit and hop zest, balanced against an aromatic kawakawa and gorse nose.

 

Brand: Seekers Mekong Coffee Liqueur

Country: Cambodia

Spirit: Liqueur

Spirited Noters: Produced with premium Arabica and Robusta beans. Expect apricot and toffee notes to plum and black pepper hints, wild berry fruitiness with deep dark chocolate, toasted nuts and tangy wild Jackfruit.

 

Brand: Stranger & Sons Gin

Country: India

Spirit: Gin

Spirited Notes: Crafted with nine Indian botanicals that are distilled with the single-shot method. Demineralized water is added to cut to bottling strength, and left to rest for five weeks.

Tanglin Black Powder Gin Singapore Gin 2 N This gin has distinct umami with a depth of flavor, and a slight sweetness and warmth. Peppery herbal notes for a long and lingering finish that is gentle and smooth.

 

Brand: Taylor & Smith Dry Gin

Country: Australia

Spirit: Gin

Spirited Notes: The fresh spirit of Tasmania's ancient Huon Pine, iridescent abalone shell and pristine waters. A nod to a London dry, featuring the four key botanicals of sage, abalone shell, Huon Pine needles and red grapefruit.

 

Brand: Taylor & Smith Gin

Country: Australia

Spirit: Gin

Spirited Notes: 17 Tasmanian botanicals are added, including sweet-scented kunzea, hand-harvested kombu, Tasmanian pepper berries, leatherwood honey, juniper, coriander, orris, angelica, and blood orange.

 

Brand: Varchas Reserve 102 Straight Bourbon

Country: USA

Spirit: Bourbon

Spirited Notes: Produced with local fresh grains and column distilled with cuts made to develop more flavor during the aging process. Showcases the finest of Varchas' single barrels based on

nose, flavor, and mouthfeel.

 

Brand: Vesta Coffee Vodka

Country: New Zealand

Spirit: Vodka

Spirited Notes: Freshly roasted coffee and hints of chocolate on the nose. The palate is clean and dry with freshly roasted coffee, chocolate and berry notes, and a rich creaminess that lingers with chocolate notes.

 

Brand: Westward American Single Malt Cask Strength

Country: USA

Spirit: Whiskey

Spirited Notes: Westward single malt reimagined and offered at cask strength. Accentuates the rich, locally malted barley, the flavorful beer created in-house, and the newly charred American Oak barrels matured to perfection.

 

Brand: Westward American Single Malt Stout Cask

Country: USA

Spirit: Whiskey

Spirited Notes: Stout Cask Finish pushes the boundaries of flavor. It begins with an original Westward Whiskey, and is then aged for one year in Stout casks, resulting in a rich, complex character that is both fruity and robust.

 

Brand: Isle of Raasay Single Malt

Country: Scotland

Spirit: Whisky

Spirited Notes: Made using a unique six cask recipe. Peated and unpeated spirits are matured separately in first fill French Bordeaux, first fill ex American Rye and Virgin Chinkapin oak, before being vatted together.



Brand: Launceston Distillery Single Malt Tawny Cask Matured

Country: Australia

Spirit: Whisky

Spirited Notes: Matured in French Oak casks previously used to age tawny fortified wine. The nose is sweet and pleasant with dark chocolate, berries, raisins and toffee; smooth rich mouthfeel, coupled with robust tawny influenced flavors of Christmas.

 

 

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