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International competition names craft spirit Best of Class

March 20, 2017
| By Pat Evans |
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Long Road Distillers original aquavit spirit bottle
Long Road Aquavit was one of the medal winners at the ACSA Distillers Convention. Courtesy Long Road Distillers

A local distillery has repeated as the Best of Class winner at an international competition.

Long Road Distillers in Grand Rapids said last week it was awarded double gold and Best of Class for its original aquavit at the 2017 Denver International Spirits Competition this month.

The competition received a 70-percent increase in submissions for judging this year. During the blind competition, judges score on a 100-point scale, without knowing what brand they’re tasting.

Long Road also won silver medals for its cherry brandy and old aquavit and a bronze medal for its gin.

Long Road aquavit

Aquavit is a spirit with origins in Scandinavia and uses botanicals for flavor and aroma, similar to gin, but instead of juniper leading the way, it uses dill or caraway.

Long Road’s aquavit uses caraway, dill, dill seed, cumin, star anise and other botanicals.

The Grand Rapids distillery’s aquavit also won Best of Show and Best of Category last month at the American Craft Spirits Association Awards and has won other top honors at competitions in San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles and San Diego.

The spirit shared Best of Show at the 2016 Denver International Spirits Competition with Dewar’s Signature Scotch.

“While Aquavit may be a lesser-known category, it is definitely becoming the thing we're known for around the country and the world," said Jon O'Connor, co-owner, Long Road Distillers.

"We're excited to showcase this Scandinavian favorite, made from West Michigan ingredients right here in our neighborhood!"

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