A local craft spirits maker has won the Best Gin honor at a global blind-tasting competition for gin.
The gin by Grand Rapids-based Long Road Distillers won the top honor and a double-gold medal at the recent Fifty Best gin event, which included 17 pre-qualified judges tasting 41 gins.
Holland-based Coppercraft Distillery also took home a silver medal at the global tasting.
Long Road gin
Long Road’s gin starts with a neutral spirit made at 537 Leonard St. NW from locally grown red winter wheat and features an individually distilled six-ingredient botanical blend.
The product was noted as having notes of lemon, lime, cherry, floral, juniper, eucalyptus and more.
“When we started Long Road Distillers, Jon (O’Connor) and I made a promise to ourselves that we would source our ingredients locally, mill, mash, ferment and distill everything on site at our distillery and filter it honestly,” said Kyle VanStrien, co-owner, Long Road Distillers. “I believe our commitment to sourcing ingredients, rather than spirits, and using time-honored techniques without taking shortcuts is what sets us apart from others in the industry and in competitions like these.”
Ten gins were awarded double-gold medals, and Long Road’s gin was rated atop other brands, such as Hendricks gin and other staples from the Netherlands and the U.K.
The double-gold medal for gin joins three double-gold medals recently awarded to the distillery’s aquavit. The gin has also previously been awarded gold, silver and bronze medals at various spirit competitions.
Long Road Distillers celebrated its first anniversary last weekend.
“This has been a huge year of progress for Long Road,” said Jon O’Connor, co-owner, Long Road Distillers. “Every award won and distribution expansion made motivates our team to stay committed to our mission and values. We look forward to what the future has in store for our distillery.”
Judges noted smell and taste notes such as lemon, honey dew, toffee, pine, smoky and licorice when evaluating Coppercraft gin.
Coppercraft Distillery includes 13 botanicals in its gin.