Icons of Gin – 2023

Celebrating gin excellence

The Icons of Gin awards are intent on finding the very best people, products and places within the world of gin. They celebrate the hard work that goes into every bottle, the stories behind each brand, the retailers who open the world up to us and the bars that provide wonderful settings for us discover new favourites. Since their inception, these awards have shown a heartwarming camaraderie between gin professionals – one of the aspects that makes it such a wonderful industry to work within.

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Distiller of the Year

Archie Rose Distilling Co.

Archie Rose Distilling Co. was founded by Will Edwards in Sydney in 2014, with a mission to reignite Australia’s distilling industry and produce high-quality gin, vodka, rum, and whisky showcasing an array of native and local ingredients. Four key tenets underpin its spirit-making philosophy: innovation, quality, authenticity, and education. Archie Rose uses custom-designed pot-column hybrid vacuum stills to produce its gins, which allow botanicals to be cold distilled. Its core gin line-up includes Signature Dry Gin, Distiller’s Strength Gin, and Bone Dry Gin.

Highly Commended

Pete and Danny Cameron
Dyfi Distillery

Master Distiller of the Year

Cameron Mackenzie
Four Pillars Distillery

A former Olympic athlete, Cameron Mackenzie worked in the wine industry for more than a decade before moving into gin (already one of his drinks of choice, due to his understanding of flavour, balance, and texture gleaned from working with wine). Mackenzie, along with co-founders Stu Gregor and Matt Jones, launched Four Pillars and its inaugural Rare Dry Gin in December 2013. Since the release of this daring product – which was a significant departure from the London dry-style gins prevalent at the time – Four Pillars has been a leading light in the Australian gin industry, with subsequent releases including Bloody Shiraz, Modern Australian, Olive Leaf, and Fresh Yuzu helping to establish Australian gin as a distinct and innovative category. 

Highly Commended

David Withers
Archie Rose Distilling Co.

Craft Producer of the Year

Old Young’s

Located in the Swan Valley outside Perth, Australia, Old Young’s was established in 2016 by James Young on a pledge to help people ‘drink better’. Its range of gins is produced from base spirits made from Australian wheat, grapes, and sugarcane, alongside locally sourced botanicals.

Highly Commended

BEG Boutique Distillery

Dyfi Distillery

Sustainable Distillery of the Year

Four Pillars Distillery

In 2022, Four Pillars became the first Australian gin distillery to be certified as carbon neutral across both its products and business operations. The distillery operates a passive cooling system for its condenser water; facilitated by a striking ‘veil’ of copper piping over its distillery, the system reduces energy consumption and saves approximately 80,000 litres of water from being wasted every day. Its new distilling building used upcycled and recycled bricks and concrete in construction and has been fitted with solar panels.

Highly Commended

The Ethical Spirits Co.

Campaign Innovator of the Year

Destilería Moretti

Argentina’s Destilería Moretti is the innovator behind Buenos Aires Gin and Tonic, a ready-to-drink product made to be served on tap in bars. The drink comes in 30-litre kegs, marrying the distillery’s ideal proportions of gin and tonic water, which results in greatly reduced use of glass and aluminium (for each 30-litre keg, the distillery estimates it saves nine 700ml gin bottles and 120 200ml tonic cans or bottles).

Brand Innovator of the Year

Old Young’s

Old Young’s launched its Juniper Society subscription service, a novel concept for an Australian gin distillery, in 2020. Membership of the society grants access to a monthly gin release, created exclusively for society members by the distillery’s founder James Young and head distiller Tim Kempton. 

Highly Commended

Bueno Aires Gin and Tonic

Visitor Attraction of the Year

Four Pillars Distillery

In 2022, Four Pillars opened a new distillery and hospitality experience at its home in Healesville, near Melbourne, which the company hopes will welcome up to 200,000 visitors a year and set a new benchmark for visitor experience at craft gin distilleries globally. Nicknamed Distillery 2.0 and built with sustainability at its heart, the development has nearly tripled Four Pillars’ visitor capacity and includes multiple event spaces, a gin garden, and a large new bar and dining area. The regularly updated drinks menu includes tasting paddles, classic gins, and original cocktails. 

Highly Commended

Broken Hill Distillery

Visitor Attraction Manager of the Year

Paul Hanna
Broken Hill Distillery

Paul ‘Toby’ Hanna and his brother Eric opened Australia’s Broken Hill Distillery, in the popular tourist destination of Broken Hill, New South Wales, in 2021, utilising a disused building on the site of their Tydvil Hotel and Bistro. Since its opening, Paul – who previously worked in construction – has played an integral part in the distillery. He has taken charge of tours and tastings, showing visitors around the small distillery and its gin garden.

Distillery Manager of the Year

Jean-Philippe Bouchard
Distillerie Du Fjord

Jean-Philippe Bouchard is a co-founder of the Distillerie du Fjord, near Saguenay in the Canadian province of Québec, which launched in 2016 as the region’s first microdistillery. Bouchard orchestrates the production of Fjord’s Km12 Gin, a top-selling craft gin in the Société des Alcools du Québec, and is overseeing an expansion at the distillery to increase its gin production. He also won a young entrepreneur award from the Québec Federation of Chambers of Commerce.

Brand Ambassador of the Year

James May
Asian Parsnip

James May is best known for his work in television, most famously as a co-presenter on BBC motoring show Top Gear and Amazon Prime series The Grand Tour alongside Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond. The creation of James Gin came about after May purchased a pub and decided to start making his own gin to sell behind the bar. He joined forces with Hugh Anderson at Downton Distillery in Wiltshire, England to produce the James Gin range, which is inspired by flavours from May’s global travels and includes expressions such as Asian Parsnip (the classic and navy-strength expression of which have both won medals at the World Gin Awards) and American Mustard. As well as helping with recipe development, May acts as a global ambassador for his gin range, which he told the Gin Magazine Awards team was “the most important thing I’ve ever done”. 

Spirits Buyer of the Year

Julie Trewren
Master of Malt

Julie Trewren is the senior buyer at Master of Malt. She has more than 30 years’ experience in the drinks industry, working with supermarkets, wholesalers, and online retailers to help them source and showcase the best of the modern spirits market and latterly of the craft spirits movement

Online Retailer of the Year

Master of Malt

Master of Malt has more than 3,500 gins in stock. One of the biggest changers in the last 12 months has been a complete overhaul of the Master of Malt site to improve customers’ online shopping experience. As well as offering a leading retail and spirit education service, Master of Malt and its parent company Atom Group are also pioneering in the field of gin production.

Design Agency of the Year


As a long-standing partner of Bombay Sapphire, Knockout has supported the world-famous gin brand with packaging designs that crystallise its aesthetic. The agency helped to create vibrant and elegant designs for Bombay Sapphire’s flavoured gins, Bombay Bramble (released 2021) and Bombay Citron Pressé (2022). When Bombay Sapphire entered the ready-to-drink (RTD) market in 2021, Knockout was challenged to design an RTD format that did not erode the brand’s premium feel.

Hotel Bar of the Year

Eagle House Hotel
Bar and Distillery

Over the past five years, the Eagle House Hotel, Bar and Distillery has become a well-regarded part of the hospitality scene in Cornwall, England. Located in a historic building near Launceston Castle, the 14-bedroom hotel offers fine dining championing local ingredients, while its light and airy bar, located in the renovated atrium, is stocked with more than 50 gins and boasts panoramic views over the surrounding countryside.