Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Michigan-Made Liberator Gin from Valentine Distilling Tops National Spirit Competitions

It’s been a exciting week for Detroit-based Valentine Distilling Co., with the announcement of results of the American Distilling Institute (ADI) 7th Annual Judging of Artisan American Spirits and the Beverage Testing Institute (BTI) International Review of Spirits Competition – the largest and most prestigious annual spirits competition in the United States.

Liberator Gin not only won “Best of Category – Gold Medal” for the Contemporary Rectified Gin at the ADI competition, but also received the prestigious “Best of Class” award. A total of 66 American gins were entered and judged by a panel of four judges, in a blind tasting based on nose, palate, finish and balance. Best of categories were awarded to the medal-worthy spirits that scored numerically better than other spirits in the same category.

At the BTI competition, Liberator Gin was awarded a Gold Medal (90 point rating). According to the organization’s website,, this product is: “Clear. Attractive aromas of peppery cinnamon, honey cardamom pastry, dried citrus, and candied juniper with a silky, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a zesty melange of citrus, herbal roots, anise, pink peppercorn, cinnamon bark, and chalk notes on the long finish. A well balanced and spice forward gin for all applications.”

“Our goal from the beginning, has been to bring manufacturing back not only to this country, but to Detroit,” says Rifino Valentine, master-distiller and owner of Valentine Distilling Co., in Ferndale. “We’ve always set our sights on crafting spirits that compete on the international level. To win these competitions, topping some of the biggest and best companies in the world, is not only personally satisfying, but also serves the economic purpose of bringing manufacturing back. Our philosophy has always been ‘don’t drink Valentine spirits just because they are local – drink them because they are better.’”

Ten of the world’s finest botanicals were hand-selected to craft this American-made spirit (42% ABV), the latest release in Valentine Distilling’s award-winning portfolio.

“In limited batches, we delicately impart the flavors through our award-winning process,” Rifino says. “The bold flavors are macerated for several days before alembic distillation, while the delicate profiles are infused using a specially designed botanical vessel designed especially for Valentine Distilling Co. by Christian Carl Stills of Germany.”

The result is a well-balanced, multi-layered flavor – beginning with soft juniper, carried through with cardamom and coriander, and finishing with a light cinnamon flavor.

Liberator Gin is named in honor of the B-24 Liberator Bomber. Early in World War II, Ford Motor Company built the Willow Run plant near Detroit to produce the B-24 Liberator – cementing Detroit’s nickname as the “arsenal of democracy.” Carefully hand-crafted, this delightfully-unique gin salutes Rosie the Riveter and all the American workers who helped secure victory.

First introduced to the marketplace in March 2009, award-winning triple-grain Valentine Vodka was Detroit’s first micro-distilled spirit since Prohibition. In 2012, Valentine released the delicate and fragrant White Blossom – infused with the flowers of Elderflower. Soon after its release, White Blossom won a Gold Medal – rated Exceptional – receiving a 92 point rating from the BTI.

Last year, the original Valentine Vodka was recognized by Anthony Dias Blue, editor-in-chief of The Tasting Panel magazine as one of the top vodkas in the world with a 94-point ranking – placing higher than noted international brands like Belvedere, Ketel One, Grey Goose and Absolut. It was awarded a Gold Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2012. In 2011, it received a Double Gold Medal in the “Best Domestic Vodka” category by The BTI also awarded Valentine Vodka with a Gold Medal “Exceptional” in both 2010 and 2011.

Valentine Distilling Co., products can now be found in more than 2000 outlets throughout Michigan, Illinois and Tennessee.

161 Vester Street – Ferndale, Michigan

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