FERNDALE – The largest and most prestigious annual spirits competition in the United States just wrapped up, and it brought great news to Ferndale’s Valentine Distilling Co.

Valentine’s Liberator Gin won “Best of Category – Gold Medal” at the American Distilling Institute (ADI) 7th Annual Judging of Artisan American Spirits and the Beverage Testing Institute (BTI) International Review of Spirits Competition. It also received the prestigious “Best of Class” award.

Sixty-six American gins were entered and judged by a panel of four judges, in a blind tasting based on nose, palate, finish and balance.

The organization’s website, Tastings.com wrote the Valentine gin 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.’”

Liberator Gin is named in honor of the B-24 Liberator Bomber, which was built at the Willow Run factory in Ypsilanti.

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