It was thanks to the inestimable Gin Palace in Melbourne earlier this year that I discovered this excellent Gin which was only released in July 2013.
It was the last of a flight of several excellent Martini’s (one is never enough there) and it impressed with his complex palette and finesse.
But I had to wait a little while until I was about to get my very own bottle to enjoy.
To me, each Gin is a distinct personality that you have a conversation with (mind if it starts talking back you may have a problem) – and the new wave of Australian Gins are finding their own confident voice based on craftsmanship, technology and a striving for a world class product.
The Gin is distilled by self-taught Andrew Marks, who has a winemaking background (Gembrook Hills & The Wanderer). It’s a London dry style with juniper and coriander seed along with 11 other botanicals including grapefruit peel and rosemary.
Each botanical is distilled separately and then blended them using copper pot baine-marie alembic still from Portugal, which they used to use for perfume making, and the distillation uses local rain water from the Gembrook area of the Yarra Valley in Victoria.
What this means essentially is that you get a very pure spirit with a clear distinction between the botanicals offing a complex spectrum of flavours.
The nose is a good indication of the complexity to come. Its full, spicy and fragrant, with LOTS going on, but its not a jumbled mess: consistent with the distillation process you can pick out distinct notes.
When I gave a blind scent test to some friends they picked out spicy citrus, Szechuan pepper, and one even thought it reminded her of the old cologne, 4711 which apparently has Bergamot, lemon, orange, lavender and rosemary in its recipe, make of that what you will.
Consistent with the genre of Australian Gins coming out, it has a very individual style, if you like your Gin in the Hendricks or Bulldog style then you’d be very happy with this approach, mild mannered Tanqueray its not.
- The Gin is a full flavoured and rich on the palette. It lends itself nicely to sipping on ice (fab with spicy foods and curry).
- This also has serious Negroni potential.
- Mixed 1:6 ratio with Noilly Prat with olive (Gin kept in freezer overnight).
- This gave me a real Martini with personality. There were lots of appreciative mmm’s went on as the spice on the palette went to work. I think one of these may be enough though. Its a richly flavoured experience, and I got dried orange, pepper, with a smooth alcoholic kick with the flavours forward on the palette and dry finish.
Take Home Verdict
- One of the best Australian Gin’s I’ve had to date. It offers a distinct personality that is very well crafted based on a premium spirit and lots of complex botanical notes.
- Its not a Gin that is demure, its a real presence in the glass and one you pay attention to what it has to say.
- 4.5 / 5 stars