A GIN made by a Darlington distillery has bagged gold at an international competition judged by blind tasting.

The Little Quaker Distillery's Quaker Gin has won a gold CWSA 2020 medal where judges are not told where the spirit is from, shown the label and are not allowed to discuss findings with other judges.

The China Wine& Spirits awards, which has run for seasons, is known for its strict blind tasting standards to ensure accurate results at the independent tasting.

Little Quaker came out on top of thousands of brands from across the world, including Maison Castel, Wakefield Taylors Family, and Courvoisier.

Paul Colman, 44, who owns The Little Quaker Distillery with wife Leanne, 41, said: "For us it’s absolutely amazing. Quaker Gin was our the first gin we made, it's special to us. Winning the award last year was fantastic but now the gold medal opens up doors to exporting to the Far East, which is potentially an amazing opportunity.

The Northern Echo:

"The CWSA triple blind tasting formula means that every product entered is judged on equal merit. This is a very tough contest and the spirit needs to perform.

"Winning a gold medal means our hard work and technical knowledge is recognised at the highest level.

The Northern Echo:

"This coming on the back of the Ruby Red award has given us an amazing couple of weeks, especially after the uncertainty of lockdown, and sets us up for our move to the new distillery which work begins on next week.

"We are absolutely astounded at the recent success and all our hard work is starting to pay off."