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Australian Icons Of Whisky 2021 Revealed In Virtual Announcement

Furneaux Distillery. Supplied.

The 2021 Australian Icons Of Whisky awards have been announced via a virtual pre-recorded ceremony on social media this week.

The awards were last staged in October 2019, but the global pandemic meant that a physical event was not staged in 2020. Run by Whisky Magazine publishers Paragraph Publishers, this year’s awards were largely run by the UK office with little-to-no involvement by the previous Australian-based promoters.

The announcement took place 9pm Tuesday 2 February AEDT, with the nominations for each category not known before the video.

A number of familiar names featured in the awards, and notably Brown-Forman’s Thalita Alves was once again named American Whisky Ambassador Of The Year, a category she won the global accolade for last year.

Distiller Of The Year went to Tasmania’s Lark Distillery, while newcomers Furneaux Distilling Co took out Craft Producer Of The Year.

Curiously, Hall Of Fame inductee Patrick Sullivan of Sullivans Cove was named Master Distiller/Master Blender Of The Year, despite the fact that Heather Tillott has held that role at the Tasmanian distillery for a number of years. She was recognised for her work at the previous awards.

Icons Of Whisky Australian Awards 2021


Distiller Of The Year
Winner: Lark Distillery
Highly Commended: Archie Rose Distilling Co

Nominated: Adams; Backwoods; Sullivans Cove; Whipper Snapper

Craft Producer Of The Year
Winner: Furneaux Distillery Co
Highly Commended: Riverbourne Distillery

Nominated: Archie Rose; Backwoods; Craft Works; Highwayman; Joadja; The Aisling

Sustainable Distillery Of The Year
Winner: Lord Byron Distillery
Highly Commended: Joadja Distillery

Nominated: Belgrove, The Aisling

Brand Innovator Of The Year
Winner: Archie Rose Distilling Co
Highly Commended: Furneaux Distillery Co

Nominated: Craft Works; Dark Valley; Highwayman Whisky

Visitor Attraction Of The Year
Winner: Starward
Highly Commended: The Aisling Distillery

Nominated: Archie Rose; Union Brewery & Distillery


Master Distiller / Master Blender Of The Year
Winner: Patrick Maguire, Sullivan’s Cove
Highly Commended: Timothy Duckett, Heartwood

Nominated: Alex Poulsen, Gospel Distillers; Dave Withers, Archie Rose

Distillery Manager Of The Year
Winner: Jane Overeem, Overeem Distillery
Highly Commended: Michelle Burns, The Aisling Distillery

Nominated: Erin Cole, Old Kempton; Tom Ambroz, Furneaux; Trynt Xavier, Archie Rose

Scotch Whisky Brand Ambassador Of The Year
Winner: James Macrae, Ailsa Bay
Highly Commended: Matt Bailey, SMWS

Nominated: Casey Gray, Spirits Platform

American Whiskey Brand Ambassador Of The Year
Winner: Thalita Alves, Brown-Forman Australia
Highly Commended: Simon Hopkins, Angel’s Envy

Irish Whiskey Brand Ambassador Of The Year
Winner: Andy Ratcliff, Bushmills
Highly Commended: Martin Lynch, Teeling Whiskey

Nominated: Jonathan Minihan, Les Nouveaux Distillers


Single Outlet Retailer Of The Year
Winner: World of Whisky (NSW)
Highly Commended: Casa de Vinos (VIC)

Nominated: Farrah’s Liquor Collective (ACT), The Oak Barrel (NSW)

Multiple Outlet Retailer Of The Year
Winner: Dan Murphy’s
Highly Commended: Plonk

Nominated: Celebrations Superstore

Online Retailer Of The Year
Winner: Casa de Vinos
Highly Commended: The Old Barrelhouse

Nominated: Nick’s Wine Merchants, The Single Malt Whisky Club, Whisky & Dreams

Whisky Buyer Of The Year
Winner: Brad Wright,
Highly Commended: Sven Almenning, The Speakeasy Group


Bar Manager Of The Year
Winner: Garrett Kinder, Helvetica (WA)
Highly Commended: Julian White, Whisky + Alement (VIC)

Nominated: Alexandra Dahlenburg, Speakeasy Group (NSW); Lachlan Watt, Whisky & Alement (VIC); Simon Audas, Archie Rose (NSW); Tom Price, Baxter Inn (NSW)

Bartender Of The Year
Winner: Daniel Gregory, Evolve Spirits Bar (TAS)
Highly Commended: Bill Ng, Tokyo Bird (NSW)

Nominated: Miranda Lidgerwood, Whisky & Alement (VIC)

Whisky Bar Of The Year
Winner: Elysian Whisky Bar (VIC)
Highly Commended: Helvetica (WA)

Nominated: Archie Rose (NSW); The Baxter Inn (NSW), Whisky & Alement (VIC)

Whisky Hotel Bar Of The Year
Winner: Grain Bar, Four Seasons Hotel Sydney
Highly Commended: The Whisky Room, The Clock Hotel Sydney

Whisky Bar Group Of The Year
Winner: The Speakeasy Group
Highly Commended: Swillhouse


Communicator Of The Year
Winner: David Ligoff, Alchemist Events
Highly Commended: Andrew Derbidge, Whisky & Wisdom

Nominated: Luke McCarthy, Oz Whisky Reviews; Matt Bailey, SMWS; Oliver Maruda, The Whisky List

Advertising Agency Of The Year
Winner: Buffet Digital

PR Agency Of The Year
Winner: Agent99 PR

Design Agency Of The Year
Winner: Zendoke Design


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