Value-priced scotch, vodka and gin from Liquorland, First Choice and Vintage Cellars among world’s best

The cost of a classy post-lockdown cocktail party just got a lot cheaper, with a Scotch whisky, gin and vodka sold exclusively by Liquorland, First Choice and Vintage Cellars for a fraction of the price of their top-shelf competitors winning gold medals at the world’s most prestigious spirits competition.

John Samson Blended Scotch Whisky, Old Lions Dry Gin (both $33 per 700mL bottle), and Volsk Vodka ($35 per 700mL bottle) were among 16 spirits exclusive to Liquorland, First Choice and Vintage Cellars to be awarded medals at the competition.

As gold medal winners, John Samson, Volsk and Old Lions were all assessed by the judging panel as “exceptional spirits that are near the pinnacle of achievement” – ranking them as equal or even better than competitors selling for much higher prices.

The San Francisco World Spirits Competition is one of the world’s most respected liquor shows, with judges spending four days blind-tasting over 3,000 entries. Without the distraction of brand names and packaging, the judges’ evaluation is based purely on the quality in the glass.

Also winning big at the competition was Loch Lomond 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky, which received its third consecutive Double Gold medal, earning it a Platinum honour – one of just seven awarded across the Scotch Whisky category.

With a deep fruity character and hints of peat and smoke, the Loch Lomond 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky is sold for $75 a bottle and beat whiskies selling for more than $300.

The judges also awarded a Double Gold for Loch Lomond 18 Year Old Single Malt and Silver for Loch Lomond Original Single Malt, both available exclusively from Liquorland, First Choice Liquor and Vintage Cellars for $130 and $60 respectively.

Coles Liquor General Manager of Merchandise Brad Gorman said the medals from San Francisco bring the number of awards and medals the Coles Liquor range has collected since the start of the financial year to 346 – including 70 Gold and 7 Double Gold medals.

“Coles Liquor is committed to being Australia’s most-awarded liquor retailer, and these latest accolades show that our customers can drink the best of the best without sacrificing value,” he said.

Looking to shake up your cocktail game? Try these cocktails – perfect for a post-isolation cocktail party!

Southside Fizz

  • 60ml Old Lions London Dry Gin
  • 25ml lime juice
  • 12.5ml sugar syrup
  • Soda water
  • 6 mint leaves and slice of lime to garnish

Shake all of the ingredients together and then strain over ice in a cocktail goblet.

Top with soda and garnish with mint leaves and a slice of lime.

Classic Vodka Martini

  • 60ml Volsk Vodka
  • 10ml dry vermouth
  • Orange twist to garnish


Add all of the ingredients to a tall glass and stir.

Strain into a martini glass and top with orange twist.


Add all of the ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice.

Shake well and strain into a martini glass and top with orange twist.

Cinnamon, Orange and Whisky Smash

  • 60ml John Samson Blended Scotch Whisky
  • 1 cinnamon stick or ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 30ml orange juice
  • ½ tsp orange zest
  • Soda water
  • Orange slice to garnish

Crush cinnamon stick into pieces and add to a cocktail shaker with orange zest and juice. Add whisky and shake well.

Add ice to a tumbler and double strain the cocktail into the glass. Top with soda and garnish with orange slice.

Lemon Pie-Ball

  • 60ml Loch Lomond 12 Year Old
  • 1 teaspoon lemon curd
  • 5mL lemon
  • Lemonade
  • Lemon wedge to garnish

Shake the whisky, lemon curd and lemon juice. Double strain into a highball glass with fresh cubed ice.

Top with lemonade and garnish with lemon wedge.

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