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Want the ‘world’s best’ whiskey? Look no further than Bainbridge Island

KITSAP COUNTY, Wash -- Looking to sip on some of the world's best whiskey?

No need to travel for it.

According to two international whiskey competitions, some of the world's best whiskey comes from right here in the Puget Sound.

In late March, Bainbridge Organic Distillers won the "World's Best Wheat Whiskey" at the London-based World Whiskies Awards. Then in April, the local distiller won "Best Wheat Whiskey" at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

All-in-all, the distiller has won 13 awards since the beginning of the year. And this is the company's sixth world's best award.

Not bad for a spirits company that's been in business for just 10 years, says owner Keith Barnes.

"There's intense interest for our whiskeys," Barnes said. "But there's intense interest for a lot of whiskeys."

Not many thought Barnes could make a go of an all-organic distillery when he first started out, Barnes said. But by carefully picking ingredients, Bainbridge Organic has become a hit. In part, because much of what's in the bottle comes from right here.

"Our products come in as grain from fields down in Walla Walla or up in the Skagit Valley," Barnes said. "They're ground here and they're mashed here and they're bottled here."

It's nice to win awards when up against some of the biggest names in whiskey - such as Jim Bean and Glenfiddich.  Every time the company wins an international award, products fly off the shelves.

"We get a spike in traffic," Barnes said. "We get a spike in distributors calling us from other states. And we get a spike internationally for people who want us to ship whiskey to their countries."

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