Gin, gin! Raise your glasses to Defiance - the world champions!

Date published: 30 March 2020

Defiance Gin, which is distilled in Lees, has been voted the best in the world at this year's San Francisco World Spirits Competition (SFWSC).

Up against more than 3,000 entries, Defiance Navy Strength won the ‘Best in Show, Unaged White Spirit’ category.

The SFWSC was established in 2000.

It is considered one of the oldest and most prestigious competitions of its type in the world.

Defiance is the first British product to win the award since 2006.

Paul Sheerin, founder and head distiller of Defiance, said: “The spirits are submitted to a blind tasting by a panel of experts from around the world.

"Entries are evaluated on an individual basis and judges determine those that are worthy of bronze, silver or gold medals.

“A spirit given gold by all the judges on the panel, automatically earns a ‘Double Gold’ award. 

“On the final day, selected Double Gold winners are judged again, this time by all competition adjudicators, to determine ‘Best in Class’ and, the highest category of all, ‘Best In Show’.

“Defiance Navy Strength cleared the board, winning ‘Double Gold’, ‘Best Gin’ and, finally, ‘Best in Show’.”

Paul added: “We are totally blown away to be awarded ‘Best in Show’ at SFWSC 2020.

"It really is the most important and celebrated honour in the industry.

“In these unprecedented and uncertain times with the coronavirus pandemic absorbing the media, we all need some good news.

"That a small, niche distillery in Lees, Oldham, took on the might of the world’s biggest and best distillers and came home with the highest accolade possible is not just impressive, it is heart-warming and something that the country and the local community can all be proud of.”

A spokesperson for SFWSC said: “Defiance is the first UK winner in the Best Unaged White Spirit sector since Tanquerey No.10 won in 2000, 2001 and 2004 and Plymouth Gin in 2006.”

For further details about Defiance gin, visit: or to shop:

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