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Croatian Old Pilot’s Gin wins gold medal at San Francisco World Spirits Competition

Old Pilot’s Gin

8 May 2019 – Old Pilot’s Gin, which is distilled by two former army pilots in Zagreb, Croatia, has won a gold medal at the prestigious San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

Old Pilot’s Gin, which is created by Hrvoje Bušić and Tomislav Anadolac, won the gold medal for their London Dry Gin.

“This award means the world to us, because not only is an SFWSC medal a testament to the hard work, it’s a universally recognized indicator of exceptional quality and craftsmanship,” the pair said.

(Photo: Old Pilot’s Gin)

There was more success for Old Pilot’s as they also won the brozne medal in the Packaging Design Competition at the San Francisco World Spirit Competition for their bottle design. The bottle was designed by Zagreb agency Kofein. 

“As spirits shelves become more crowded, aesthetics play a larger role in making a memorable first impression. The San Francisco World Spirits Competition pays homage to these unique, thoughtful aesthetics in the Packaging Design Competition. This separate competition evaluates the creativity, impact, execution, and overall effectiveness of an entrant’s packaging design,” organisers said. 

The design of the Old Pilot’s Gin bottle impressed the panel of graphic and packaging design professionals to win the gold medal. 

Hrvoje Bušić and Tomislav Anadolac (Photo: Old Pilot’s Gin)

Bušić and Anadolac met more than 20 years ago at the army pilot academy in Zadar. The gin enthusiasts decided to start a micro-distillery “Duh u boci” (The Spirit in the Bottle) and Old Pilot’s Gin was created.

(Photo: Old Pilot’s Gin)

“Old Pilot’s Gin is a London Dry Gin and a true example of Croatian “craft” spirit distilled with a selection of hand picked Croatian botanicals that grow in the Mediterranean and continental parts of Croatia. The special selection consist of Juniper, Sweet and Bitter Oranges, Lavender, Olive leaves, Sage and Angelica. A single bottle packed with best flavours Croatia has to offer”, is how the pair describe the gin.

“We use special techniques for the preparation and distillation in order to preserve all those botanical oils without dominant alcohol notes. The full process from preparation, distillation, maturation, bottling, labeling and wax sealing is done by hand. Every bottle is unique and special.”

(Photo: Old Pilot’s Gin)

“The shape of the label follows the shape of the plane’s wings, and the plane used for the visual is one of the most recognisable models in history. Every detail on the bottle has a meaning, a role in the story, and all together they unmistakably tell a story that was meant to be told – the story of two passions combined: flying and finest gin spirit,” Kofein, creators of the bottle and brand said. 

Old Pilot’s Gin has already won a number of awards, including Best Croatian Craft Gin, a gold medal at the GinUrWay UK competition and a silver medal from the American Distilling Institute.

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