Founded in 2000, the San Francisco World Spirits Competition strips away by enforcing a blind tasting of all entrants in its competitions, by 20+ judges of varied backgrounds in the beverage business.

Throughout four days of blind tastings, judging panels taste every product without any information on producer or price point. During this stage, judges determine which entries are worthy of a Gold, Silver, or Bronze medal. Entries that receive a Gold medal from all judges on a panel earn a Double Gold award.

This was the case for Newfoundland Distillery Co.’s flagship offering: their Seaweed Gin. They also took home a silver for their regular gin, which has bakeapples in its recipe.

According to the competition’s website, “Double Gold” designation crowns spirits as being among the finest in the world. The Silver designation isn’t too shabby either; they’re for “outstanding spirits that show refinement, finesse, and complexity; these winners are among the best examples of their categories.”

It was a record year for the contest, which had over 2,200 entries, and as a point of reference, last year, only 2 Canadian spirits were awarded a double gold medal.

NL Distillery Co.’s Seaweed Gin is made using seaweed harvested from the Grand Banks, with local juniper and a hint of savoury. “It is a unique gin that blends the classic flavour of juniper with the taste and freshness of the ocean air on a windy shoreline,” says proprietor Peter Wilkins.

As for the Cloudberry Gin, it also has local juniper, cloudberries (bakeapples), and a dash of savoury. “This has the classic gin taste, enhanced by citrus and fruit notes to give a complex and smooth gin. With both gins we’ve focused on the key local botanicals and let the flavour to the talking.”

As a Double Gold Winner, the Seaweed Gin will be listed in an upcoming issue of The Tasting Panel, which reaches over 65,000 beverage-trade decision makers.

All of Newfoundland Distillery Co.’s products are available at NLC and fine bars near you. They also make a nice vodka and Aquavit.