NZ Distilleries in Excellent Spirits after International Wins!

(  NZ distilleries are producing world-class spirits with a number of boutique operations out-performing the global greats in the recent International Wine & Spirits Competition (IWSC) held in London.

In particular NZ was well represented in the medal haul for Gin, Rum & Vodka. Of the 20 categories, seven Kiwi distilleries were awarded 11 medals between them – 7 Bronze, 3 Silver and 1 Gold.

Perhaps the most remarkable achievement was from relative newcomer Black Collar Distillery. Based in the Bay of Islands the company won Gold (95/100) for their Black Collar Vodka which has only been on-shelf for 18 months. They were also awarded Bronze for both their Black Collar Rum & Gin which they only took to market last year.

Distillery owner Jonathan Mclean attributes the success of their hand made products to Black Collar’s traditional production methods and equipment “Frankie, our 100% copper pot still, is the true recipient of our awards – we’re just her assistants!”

Whilst he’s proud that their spirits “are on par with the world’s top brands” he remains modest and says the sale of his first case of vodka to the local Liquor World in Waipapa was the most memorable 6 bottles he’s ever made.

Not one to rest on his laurels, Black Collar has recently launched a new Spiced Rum and has a number of Limited Edition releases planned for later in the year.

As for long term goals, Black Collar is focused on building brand awareness nationwide and getting New Zealanders to understand that what is produced locally is as good as or better than anything they’ll find overseas. 


Media Release 6 August 2019.