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Striped Lion's Distilling Success At The Bartender Spirits Awards

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12/04/2024 Discover the award-winning excellence of Striped Lion Distilling's rums at the Bartender Spirits Awards.

Founded by rum enthusiasts Kevin and Erin Wright, this New Jersey-based craft distillery is dedicated to creating exceptional rums using only the finest ingredients and a whole lot of heart. Their dedication was recognized by the prestigious Bartender Spirits Awards 2023, where their Striped Lion Overproof Rum earned a well-deserved Silver Medal and an impressive score of 85 points!

Image source: stripedlionrum

A Journey of Discovery and Determination

Kevin and Erin's story with rum began in 2006, sparking a passion that led them to collect over 300 rums and delve deep into rum production. “We started this journey as rum enthusiasts,” says Kevin, “with our discovery of the beauty of aged rum in 2006 spurring a passion for the diversity of rum as a spirit and an ever-growing personal collection of more than 300 rums.” Their scientific backgrounds and love for crafting cocktails fueled a dream of creating their rum. 

However, this dream was put on hold for years due to limitations in New Jersey's craft distilling regulations. These limitations made it difficult for small distilleries to get off the ground. For instance, there were bureaucratic regulations inherent in the liquor manufacturing industry, restrictions on production capacity, limitations on direct sales to consumers, and complex licensing procedures.

Finally, with the tide turning on legislation, Kevin and Erin seized the opportunity.  Their journey to launch Striped Lion Distilling was challenging from securing funding to navigating pandemic-related delays. But their perseverance paid off, and in December 2020, Striped Lion Distilling opened its doors.

Image source: stripedlionrum

Since opening, Striped Lion Distilling has garnered a loyal following and rave reviews for its diverse range of rums. But critical acclaim from the Bartender Spirits Awards is a particularly sweet achievement. “Having our rum recognized by the prestigious Bartender Spirits Awards validates its high quality on an international stage,” Kevin Wright says with pride. “Combined with excellent reviews from consumers, these awards solidify our confidence in the quality of what we produce.”

This competition is judged by “industry experts, on-premise trade buyers, beverage directors, and bartenders” who understand the importance of high-quality spirits in crafting exceptional cocktails.

Why the Bartender Spirits Awards Matter

Winning at the Bartender Spirits Awards is more than just a trophy for Striped Lion Distilling. The competition provides valuable feedback in the form of detailed tasting notes. This insider information allows them to refine their marketing message for both consumers and retailers.

“We use the award certificates and stickers to showcase the quality of our rum,” says Erin Wright. “They spark conversations with customers and act as talking points when we meet with bars and restaurants.”

Image source: stripedlionrum

The impact goes beyond their physical store. Kevin Wright adds, “The awards grab attention at trade shows, attracting consumers, retailers, and distributors. Highlighting the Bartender Spirits Award recognition, especially the focus on cocktails, demonstrates the versatility of our rum to industry professionals who understand the importance of great spirits for mixology.” This validation has demonstrably led to increased sales and stronger partnerships with various accounts.

Their diverse range of rum is distributed in various states including New Jersey, New York, and Florida.  Rum enthusiasts can also enjoy Striped Lion rum in select bars and restaurants, including LaLou, Hav and Mar, Momofuku Ko, and Contento in New Jersey.

The Future is Bright for Striped Lion Distilling

Winning a Silver Medal at the Bartender Spirits Awards is a significant achievement for Striped Lion Distilling. It signifies their commitment to excellence and positions them for continued growth. With their passion for rum and dedication to quality, Kevin and Erin are sure to continue creating award-winning spirits that will delight rum enthusiasts for years to come. 


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