- Mark Fisher Staff Writer
While a tiny slice of Hollywood comes to Dayton to film a movie, a tiny slice of Dayton went to San Francisco and scored quite an honor of its own.
Belle of Dayton co-founders Murphy and Mike LaSelle said the award marks the first Double Gold medal awarded to an Ohio distillery. The competition began in 2000.
RELATED: Daytonians of the Week: Michael and Murphy LaSelle, founders of Belle of Dayton (October 2016)
It wasn’t immediately clear whether there were any other local or regional medal winners in the 2017 San Francisco competition. Full results will be posted in about two weeks at sfspiritscomp.com/results/browse.
More than 2,100 spirits were judged this year, representing the largest number of entries received in the competition’s 17-year history. A double-gold medal is awarded to the small percentage of entries that are rated as gold by all members of a tasting panel.
The Belle of Dayton gin is a relatively new product, making its debut in October 2016. Its ingredients are somewhat non-traditional and include rye and locally grown hops from Mankato Farms in New Carlisle, Murphy LaSelle said. The gin retails for $26.95 a bottle.
“We spent 10 months and 93 distillations (hence 93 proof) crafting the Dayton Gin, and we are honored to be recognized as one of the best in the world,” Belle of Dayton Head Distiller Tim LaSelle said in a release. Co-founder Mike LaSelle said, “In an industry dominated by marketing companies and non-distiller ‘craft’ companies- it’s nice to see true artisan products like ours recognized.”
RELATED: Dayton distillery unveils 3 new spirits, expands footprint (May 2016)
Belle of Dayton greatly expanded its product line and sales footprint last fall, when it released its award-winning gin and two other spirits, Single Barrel Bourbon-Cask Rum and a 4-Grain Single Barrel Rye Whiskey.
At the time, Murphy LaSelle told this news outlet that 2016 would be Belle of Dayton’s “statement year.”
“We’re coming of age,” LaSelle said.
Belle of Dayton opened in 2014 at 122 Van Buren St. at Wayne Avenue, in Dayton’s Oregon Historic District. The distillery also Small Batch vodka and Hells Vodka, which is infused with seven varieties of chili peppers.