The language of gin is of place, history, personalities, inspired by nature.
We’re living in a golden age around the world for gin that is the result of several factors:
- the availability of technology and high quality ingredients that produces a high quality product consistently
- the return to the ideals of craftin many fields that not only celebrates the virtues of things that are handmade and from a particular place
- a yearning in the market for authenticity in a product, and
- the emergence of a vibrant cocktail culture around the world filled with professionals who are seeking new expressions in a glass through unique ingredients.
Beautifully presented bottles filled with quality spirit made with care, with a distinct personality for each, it really doesn’t get much better than this for lovers of gin.
What makes gin so compelling for me is the distinct personalities that each one offers.
What does run through them all is a nod to tradition going back to the great labels like Beefeater, Gordons and Tanqueray.
They kept the standard aloft during decades of unappreciative markets, but then the new wave of gin appreciation was restarted by Bombay Sapphire in the 80s+90s, then Hendricks opened the door for unique expressions with its terrific gin (which makes the perfect G+T with a slice of cucumber), leading to the craft spirit (so called New Western Style) explosion we enjoy today, many from the USA with labels like Aviation, Brooklyn and others who led the way.
Of course here in Australia gin was made by many one man operations in sheds just for the love of it really, and its wonderful to see them now getting a second wind on the back of the new wave of appreciation for the spirit here, and that’s very much my mission here on the blog, to help give them the exposure they deserve.
My own Tao of Gin is through the crafting of the perfect Martini. No two cocktails are ever be the same, even with the same gin, so as I explore the potential of each product I’m excited about the voice of each one and contemplate on how to help it sing in a Martini glass. I really should get out more.
But before I can do that I like to try the gin neat at room temperature as a first kiss. Get to know it a little au natural as it were. I aim to get an understanding of what the distiller is aiming for and try and suspend my own preferences in style.
Over the past several years of reviewing Australian gins I have found a generally high consistent standard in production across the spectrum.
Each distiller has naturally aimed at expressing themselves for both a point of difference in the market, but also enthusiastic about the potential that modern gin offers for creativity.
Unlike Vodka, which is really (sorry) mostly the same, just degrees of purity, gin is about flavour, spice and texture.
Some are on the edge I think of the envelope of what you can do with it such as Monkey 47 from Germany with its 47 botanicals, Botanic Australis with its 14 natives and Anty Gin (made with Ants!!) and there is something of a debate going on as to what point does Gin cease to be just that.
Whilst others share more in expression to the classic London Dry style, not to mention the Navy Strength and Barrel rested variations, often inspired by local botanicals, resulting in an expression that isn’t that far fro the French idea of Terroir.
So let’s raise a glass (or two) to the dedicated craftspeople who distill their passion, often single handedly, into lovely bottles for us to be inspired in turn.
Here’s to the most noble of spirits, Gin.
To help you discover some new labels you may not be aware of, here’s the list of my reviews to date.
International Gin Reviews
- Berliner Brandstifter ***** read review here
- Japanese Style Gin ***** read review here
- Ferdinand’s Saar Dry Gin ***** read review here
Australian Gin Reviews
- Bass and Flinders Gin (Victoria) -*** / **** read review here of their regular and Monsoon versions
- Botanic Australis Gin (North Queensland)**** read review here
- Four Pillars Gin (Victoria) **** read review here (several versions available)
- Loch Brewery + Distillery (Victoria) **** New in 2015! read review here
- McHenry Classic Dry Gin (Tasmania) ***** (other versions are available) read review here
- Melbourne Gin Company (Victoria) ***** read review here
- Moore’s Vintage Dry Gin, Distillery Botanica, (New South Wales) *** read review here
- Settler’s Gin (McClaren Vale, SA) – two versions, Rare Dry Gin, read review here ***
- Stone Pine Gin (New South Wales) **** read review here
- West Winds Gin: Sabre, Cutlass, Broadside (Western Australia) **** / ***** / **** Read review of the Cutlass here
For the full list of Australian gins available please see here.
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