Ballard’s Captive Spirits Distilling wins international award


By Joe Veyera

A Ballard-based distillery has taken home top honors at the 2014 International Wine & Spirits Competition (IWSC), the premier competition of its kind in the world.

Captive Spirits Distilling‘s (1518 NW 52nd St) Bourbon Barreled Big Gin took home Gold Outstanding in the Contemporary Gin category, making it the first American gin to win a Gold Outstanding in the history of the IWSC. The distillery’s flagship Big Gin received a silver medal.

Captive Spirits was launched by third generation distiller Ben Capdevielle with partner Todd Leabman after working 15 years in the bar industry. In March 2011, Big Gin was first created in a 100-gallon Vendome pot still at their Ballard distillery. Bourbon Barreled Big Gin was released in Spring 2013.

“At this point, Big Gin can be found in 12 states and 4 countries,” wrote co-founder Holly Robinson in an email. “Pretty good, for our tiny Ballard spot!”

The distillery is also included on the Short List for Boutique Distiller of the Year — the lone U.S. nominee. The winner for that award will be announced at the 2014 Annual Awards Banquet on November 12th at The Guild Hall in London.

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