A SMALL distillery operating out of a 36sqm shed in the Swan Valley has been named Australia’s best spirits producer for the second consecutive year.
Old Young’s Distillery was named champion Australian distiller at the 2018 Australian Distilled Spirit Awards.
The Swan Valley craft spirits specialist was also awarded two gold medals at the awards, which were held in Melbourne.
Old Young’s Six Seasons Gin took home gold for the second consecutive year, while Common Gin – a new product only launched in the past few weeks – also won gold.
The distillery is operated solely by James Young – a former sports administrator and marketer – and has received dozens of national and international accolades in its first two years of operation, including best international vodka.
Mr Young said to win Australia’s best distillery in the first year could be seen as beginners’ luck – but taking out the award again just showed the distillery was doing something right.
“My philosophy in starting Old Young’s was to work smart, be local, embrace silly and get dirty,’’ he said.
“The last two years have been a whirlwind that has seen us expand, achieve national distribution and also start looking into international markets – not bad for a one-man band.”
Mr Young also has plans to expand his operations at Henley Brook.
He said the distillery’s focus on innovative spirits was paying off.
“Common Gin is a new, navy-strength (57.5 per cent), single botanical gin made solely from our Tuscan juniper,” he said.
“We have quadrupled the amount of juniper from our other gins – it’s a gin for purists and reflects the fascination people have with high quality, interesting spirits at the moment.”
Young purchased the mothballed former Wild Swan distillery in 2015 and launched Old Young’s in May 2016.