A pair of gins by a Grand Rapids distillery were among the top winners at a global gin-tasting competition.
Long Road Distillers’ Michigin and Bartender’s Blend were awarded Double Gold at The Fifty Best’s 2017 gin tastings, which blind tasted 62 gins.
Long Road Dry Gin was awarded a gold medal. Last year, Long Road Dry Gin took home the highest honor from the event.
“Gin continues to be one of our favorite spirits to make and share with others," said Kyle VanStrien, co-owner, Long Road Distillers. "It's a category that gives distillers a lot of freedom to experiment and try new things. All three of our gins are distinct from what's in the market now, and from each other, and we're more committed than ever to innovate and explore new flavors in the future."
Michigin was also named to the top of the competition's list, earning the “Best Gin in the World” title at the event.
Michigin is made with 100-percent Michigan ingredients, including the primary botanical juniper, which was handpicked on Beaver Island. The spirit also uses lemon verbena and fennel from Visser Farms in Zeeland, lemon balm from Creation Farms in Beulah and galena hops from Michigan Hop Alliance in Northport.
“Michigin was long in the making,” said Jon O’Connor, co-owner, Long Road Distillers. “We had a plan for it even before we opened our doors, but it took us nearly two years to find all of the ingredients for our first batch. Once we discovered the quantity and quality of juniper on Beaver Island, that we needed to serve as the primary botanical, we knew we were onto something special.”
Journeyman Distillery in Three Oaks was awarded a gold medal for its Bilberry Black Hearts.
Double Gold award winners were also from Maine, New York, Denmark and the U.K.