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Isle of Wight Distillery Wins Gold at San Francisco World Spirits Competition


5/16/2024 1:37:16 PM

Product Development

3 mins read

Isle of Wight Distillery today announces a Gold medal win for Mermaid Zest Gin at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2024, with an outstanding score of 92/100, whilst Mermaid Pink Gin was also awarded a Bronze Medal.

Isle of Wight Distillery has further gained international recognition with a Silver Medal for Excellence in Packaging for Mermaid Spiced Rum at the American Distilling Institute Awards 2024.

Organised by the 'Tasting Alliance', starting in 2000, the San Francisco World Spirits Competition is the largest and longest-running blind evaluation competition in the space, using the guiding principles of legacy, integrity and impartiality in all that they do. Medal winners range from some of the most renowned international distillers to small-batch producers. The SFWSC medal is a testament to their hard work and universally recognised indicator of exceptional quality and craftsmanship. In 2022, the competition cemented its position as the largest spirits competition in the world with nearly 5,000 entries. This year the competition had close to 5,500 entries including, but not limited to, over 300 Vodkas, 450 Gins, 280 Rums, 450 Tequilas, 500 Bourbons, 260 Scotch Whiskies, 200 Brandies, and 250 Liqueurs. The San Francisco World Spirits Competition was led this year by President, Amanda Blue and Chief Judge, Jeffrey Morgenthaler.

The American Distilling Institute’s annual Judging of Craft Spirits recognises the top craft spirits in the US and around the world. Started in 2007, the competition brings together approximately 50 spirit judges to evaluate submissions from small and medium-sized producers. Every spirit entered is tasted and evaluated blind by the expert panel of judges who use a scoring system to decide on what, if any medal should be awarded. 

Xavier Baker, Co-Founder of Isle of Wight Distillery says: “We are delighted with these three medal wins at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition and American Distilling Institute Awards 2024. The medals highlight both the quality of our liquid and our packaging and we are excited to see what will come of these awards in America.” 

About The Isle of Wight Distillery

Rooted in the natural landscape of a unique island, The Isle of Wight Distillery is the island’s first and only distillery. The founders Xavier and Conrad and the small team distill spirits shaped by the stunning surroundings and the unique character of the island. Doing things differently, the Isle of Wight Distillery minimises waste, using ethically sourced and mainly local ingredients to craft a range of smooth, complex spirits. 

The Isle of Wight was awarded Biosphere Reserve status by UNESCO in 2019 and is one of only seven places in the UK to have achieved this. UNESCO Biosphere Reserve status is awarded as a recognition of the unique combination of nature, people and places, where communities and the environment work together in an increasingly sustainable way. The Biosphere Reserve covers all 33 parishes on the Isle of Wight and stretches north across the Solent to the shores of the South of England and south into the Channel.

In keeping with sustainability, Isle of Wight was awarded B Corp certification from non-profit organisation B Lab in 2022.  The distillery was the first business on the Isle of Wight to achieve B Corp status and was the 27th distillery in the world and the 13th distillery in the UK to achieve B Corp status. The Isle of Wight Distillery has engaged in a number of local and global initiatives that reinforce its commitment to sustainability including: 

Zest Beach crop.jpeg
Mermaid Zest Gin

Mermaid Zest Gin is subtly enhanced with grapefruit and Cascade hops. This is gently infused with Island bergamot, lemon zest and wild-foraged coastal rosemary, to produce Mermaid Zest Gin a light yet complex zesty tone with subtle sweetness and herbal notes. Mermaid Zest Gin features the ‘dew of the sea’, coastal rosemary foraged from the Island’s shores. It is also made with fruits grown in the Victorian walled garden of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s Osborne House. 


Mermaid Pink Gin  

Aromatic and refreshing, Mermaid Pink Gin infuses the flavour of fresh Island strawberries grown in the rich and fertile microclimate of the Arreton Valley with the smooth yet complex taste of the award-winning Mermaid Gin. Mermaid Pink Gin uses ‘wonky’ strawberries that would otherwise have gone to waste. Perfectly balanced, subtle yet vibrant, less sweet than most pink gins with no added sugar. 

Mermaid Pure Colada No.2.jpeg

Mermaid Spiced Rum Mermaid Spiced Rum is produced in harmony with the Island’s coastal elements. The Caribbean rums from Trinidad and the Dominican Republic are finished at  the Isle of Wight Distillery. The rum, which is aged between 2-5 years in oak bourbon whiskey barrels, is infused with the Isle of Wight Distillery’s signature botanical rock samphire, fresh white cherries, apricots, honey from their beehives and black salt from the Island’s coastal flood tides. The rum is gently spiced with local holy grass, cassia and vanilla resulting in a smooth yet complex rum with a hint of sea air, delicate caramel notes and vibrant fruity spice. 




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