2019 Australian Distilled Spirits Awards entries open

Australia’s only national spirits competition focusing on Australian-manufactured spirits, the Australian Distilled Spirits Awards (ADSA), entries are now open.

Recognising the long tradition of distilling in Australia as well as the new generation of emerging spirits and liqueur producers, the Awards, conducted by The Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria (RASV), provide Australian distillers with an essential benchmarking opportunity.

Judged by Australia’s leading experts in spirits and liqueurs, led by Head Judge Sam Bygrave of Australian Bartender, the panel will award up to 11 Champion Trophies including Whisky, Gin, Vodka, Brandy, Rum, Liqueur, Alternative Spirit and Aromatic Bitters.

This year the awards are remembering a legend of the industry, Raymond ‘Spike’ Dessert, with the introduction of a trophy to commermorate him and his contribution to the industry.

Emigrating from California in 1972, Spike established the visionary Hoochery Distillery in Kununurra, where he produced the world-famous Ord River Rum.

A pioneering distiller, Spike was also a voice for the issues faced by the industry, becoming one of the founding members of the Australian Distillers Association in 2004.

Awarded for the first time in 2019, the Raymond B ‘Spike’ Dessert III Trophy for Champion Rum recognises Spike’s lifetime contribution to the Australian distilling industry. 

“We are honoured to be able to recognise Spike’s work in the industry with the Raymond B ‘Spike’ Dessert III Trophy for Champion Rum at the 2019 awards,” said RASV’s CEO, Paul Guerra.

“What better way to honour the legend who took out Champion Rum three years running at these awards than with a trophy in his honour.”

The Australian Distilled Spirits Awards is the first national spirit competition in Australia and recognises the excellent quality and innovative production of spirits, liqueurs and bitters from around the country.

“We would like to say a big thank you to the Dessert family for continuing to support the Australian Distilled Spirits Awards with this trophy and giving us a way to remember the larger than life forerunner of the spirit industry in Australia.”


Pioneering distiller Raymond ‘Spike’ Dessert

Pioneering distiller Raymond ‘Spike’ Dessert