Spirit makers win international medals


Long Road Amaro Pazzo. Courtesy Long Road Distillers

A pair of West Michigan craft spirit makers have won praise at an international competition.

Long Road Distillers racked up two new awards for Amaro Pazzo, the company’s take on a traditional coffee liqueur, at the 13th-annual Judging of Craft Spirits, presented by the American Distilling Institute, or ADI, in Denver.

Long Road’s Amaro Pazzo was awarded the Best of Category Coffee Liqueur and a silver medal.

Amaro Pazzo was created in collaboration with Madcap and uses Madcap’s Reko coffee as one of the primary ingredients in the finished product.

“We’re extremely proud of the best-of recognition Amaro Pazzo received at this year’s competition,” said Jon O’Connor, co-owner and co-founder, Long Road Distillers. “Our team, in partnership with folks at Madcap, worked intentionally to create something unique and truly exceptional.”

Long Road also won a gold medal for Long Road Raspberry Liqueur and silver medals for its Aquavit, Old Aquavit, Barrel Reserve Gin and Nocino.

New Holland Spirits was another West Michigan winner at the competition.

The distillery took home two silver medals for its Beer Barrel Bourbon and Knickerbocker American Gin and four bronze medals for Knickerbocker Blueberry, Knickerbocker Grapefruit, Holland Mule and Beer Barrel Rye.

Over 800 spirits from around the world were entered into the ADI judging, all from independently owned distilleries. The double-blind competition is based on a 100-point scale, and spirits are judged within price categories.

Each year, both U.S. and international entries are tasted blind and evaluated by an expert panel of judges made up of distillers, journalists, bar owners, bartenders, retailers, wholesalers and distributors.

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