Croatian Gin Wins Best in World for First Time in History

Daniela Rogulj

The Croatian gin ‘Old Pilot’s Gin’ has been awarded the London Dry Gin Trophy 2019 at the International Wine & Spirit Competition in London!

“What can I say, I was literally jumping from joy. Then we checked the official website a few more times because we couldn’t believe our eyes. Hold on; we won the best gin trophy in the world! Well, we can’t believe it yet!”

Hrvoje Bušić and Tomislav Anadolac have every reason to be excited, for their Old Pilot’s Gin has just achieved the biggest success at the prestigious IWSC competition in London, reports on July 31, 2019.

Namely, Bušić and Anadolac are behind a unique gin belonging to the London Dry category, which, on Tuesday, was named the best in the world thanks to the London Dry Gin Trophy 2019. Thus, in addition to a gold medal at the IWSC (International Wine & Spirit Competition), Old Pilot’s Gin won the trophy for the best London Dry Gin. Jutarnji added that all gold medals re-enter the competition and the best of the best are selected, with the winner being the only one in the world. 

Better yet, this is the first time that a Croatian product has won a distilled trophy at the competition, which has been held since 1969.

However, their success is far from accidental. Although on the market just over a year, in 2018, Old Pilot’s Gin was named the best Croatian craft gin, while at this year’s San Francisco Spirits Competition they won the gold. The mentioned international competitions are indeed the two most important in the world, and the highest honors earned at them have been affirmed by numerous small distilleries.

The story behind Old Pilot’s Gin is even more impressive. Hrvoje and Tomislav met at the Military Pilot Academy some twenty years ago, and have always had a passion for all things distilled. As the gin trend set out to conquer the world, they seriously considered launching their own distillery and well, today, they boast the best in the world. 

The distillery of the symbolic name “Spirit in a Bottle” produces craft gin, which is a fully Croatian product using local flavors such as olive leaves, blueberries from Otočac, sage, lavender, angelica (wild celery) and orange peel. The entire branding and visual identity is the work of Kofein from Zagreb. Their small but very modern distillery is equipped with Dutch technology, which is not surprising since Hrvoje went to the Netherlands to study, where he became a certified distiller.

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