A gin-inspired spirit distilled from honey took home Best in Show honors at the National Honey Board’s third annual Honey Spirits Competition. Egg Harbor, Wisconsin-based Hatch Distilling Co.’s Gin was one of more than 80 entrants into the free competition, which recognizes the best spirits in the United States that use honey either as a sweetener, flavor or distillate.
This year’s categories included vodka, brandy, moonshine, liqueurs, spirits distilled from honey and spirits distilled from honey with flavors added. Nine spirits won gold medals, including a design gold that recognized the best honey or honey bee-related label graphics. More than 50 spirits took home silver and bronze medals. An expert panel of spirits judges evaluated the submitted spirits on their appearance, nose, palate and the role honey played in the spirit.
“We talked to quite a few distillers about whether we should host this year’s competition due to the impacts of COVID-19 on the spirits industry,” Catherine Barry, National Honey Board’s director of marketing, says. “Since this is a free competition that promotes distillers, we moved forward knowing that the industry could use some positive press for making some amazing products. The quality of spirits at this year’s event was remarkable, and we were excited to award more gold medals than we ever have before.”
The Gold Medal winners of the 2020 Honey Spirits Competition:
2020 Gold Medal Recipients
- Spirits Distilled from Honey – Flavored: Gin – Hatch Distilling Co. (Best in Show), Egg Harbor, Wisconsin
- Bourbon/Whiskey: Western Pacific American Honey Whiskey – Western Pacific Winery & Spirits, Oakland, California
- Honey Liqueurs/Specialty Spirits: Amaro – Admiralty Distillers, Port Townsend, Washington
- Honey Liqueurs/Specialty Spirits: Hazelnut Honey Bourbon Ratafia – Mountain State Spirits, Bridgeport, West Virginia
- Honey Liqueurs/Specialty Spirits: Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur – Honey House Distillery, Durango, Colorado
- Spirits Distilled from Honey: Yellow Label – Domeloz Somel, Madison, Wisconsin Spirits Distilled from Honey: Barrel Finished Honey Spirit – Up North Distillery, Post Falls, Idaho
- Spirits Distilled from Honey: 12th Hawaii Distiller Distillers Reserve – 12th Hawaii Distiller, Kailua Kona, Hawaii
- Spirits Distilled from Honey – Flavored: Dawn Fire – White Winter Winery, Inc., Iron River, Wisconsin
- Design/Packaging: Detroit City Distillery Honey Bourbon – Detroit City Distillery, Detroit, Michigan