Barr Hill Gin from Montpelier, Vermont-based Caledonia Spirits, took home Best of Show honors at the National Honey Board’s second annual Honey Spirits Competition. Ninety made-with-honey entrants from distilleries throughout North America were scored, with seven garnering Gold Medal awards. Those included a vodka, specialty spirits, brandy and spirits distilled from honey. Additionally, Tenth Ward Distilling Company’s Honeyjack took home the Gold Medal in the design/packaging category.
Barr Hill Gin, an ode to the bees of the Northeast, is distilled in Caledonia Spirits’ custom-build botanical extraction still. The corn-based spirit is made with juniper and honey, and has a crisp, creamy, floral and balanced taste. It is 90 proof, gluten-free and kosher, and it also received double gold honors at the 2012 New York International Spirits Competition.
The Honey Spirits Competition was judged by nine judges from North America and featured 11 made-with-honey categories. The submitted spirits were judged in flights based on their aroma, appearance, flavor, mouthfeel and the role honey played in the spirit. New to this year’s competition was the design/packaging category.
“In only our second year of hosting the Honey Spirits Competition, we’re thrilled to see the growth of entries in all categories and more Gold Medal winners this year,” says Catherine Barry, National Honey Board’s director of marketing. “It’s exciting to see how honey is being used in versatile ways in the spirits industry, adding flavor, floral aromatics and more to the likes of gin, vodka, rum, bourbon, brandy, and specialty liqueurs.”
Gold Medal Winners of the 2019 Honey Beer Competition:
Best in Show: Barr Hill Gin — Caledonia Spirits, Montpelier, VT
Gold Medal: Glass Nectar Vodka — Glass Distillery, Seattle, WA
Gold Medal: Krupnikas Spiced Honey Liqueur — Brothers Vilgalys Spirits, Durham, NC
Gold Medal: Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur — Honey House Distillery, Durango, CO
Gold Medal: Bohemia Honey — R. Jelinek, Newport Beach, CA
Gold Medal: Sweet Sting Honey Spirit — Westslope Distillery, Hamilton, MT
Gold Medal: Limoncello — Hatch Distilling Co., Egg Harbor, WI