Star Union Spirits in Peru takes home Best in Show for rum

Local distillery receives five medal honors in 2021 event

Star Union Spirits’ Navy Strength Dark Rum received the Best in Class Award in the rum category by the 2021 American Craft Spirits Association at its annual spirits competition.

The Best in Class award represents the highest honor in each of the judging categories and were awarded to a mix of both established, award-winning distilleries and younger newcomers.

The craft distillery, based out of the Westclox Building in Peru, earned five medal honors in the 2021 awards including silver medal winner Navy Strength Dark Rum and bronze medal winners Star Union Spirits Reserve Rum, American Silver Rum, Aged Apple Brandy and Star Union Spirits Vodka.

The individual panelists conducted a blind taste test to evaluate each product that was submitted. Scores were then submitted, tallied and averaged to create a scoring system based on numerical scoring rather than collaborative discussions.

At this year’s event, 550 entries were submitted from 42 states in seven categories including whiskey, gin, rum, vodka and grain spirits, brandy distilled specialty spirits and ready to drink.

This year was the second year of competition for Star Union Spirits. In 2020 the Peru business brought home five medals all in the brandy category. This year’s performance shows the company’s diversity.

Star Union Spirits was established by winemakers Jeff Yoswitz and Bob Windy in November of 2018 and then added Casey Beall as distiller in early 2019. They have made their home in the Illinois Valley since opening.

Star Union Spirits is located at 300 Fifth St., Suite 135, and its tasting room in open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesdays through Fridays, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursdays and 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sundays for craft cocktails. Private tastings are available by appointment.

Star Union can be reached by calling 815-205-1234 or by email at

Jayce Eustice

Covering local government, breaking news and whatever is thrown at me for the La Salle News Tribune