Review: Forty Spotted Gin Summer Release

Forty-spotted-gin-summer-releaseIts reassuring to know that you can match your gin to the seasons.

Beyond the main styles of gin such as London Dry, Old Tom, Sloe, Aged etc, there is also a newish sub-category of gin that I’ll dub ‘Seasonal Gins’.

The idea is that they are a variation on the main gin product for a distillery that incorporates new botanicals that suits the sort of drinking for a particular time of the year.

So for Winter you might be looking for a richer + sipping style of gin, perhaps on the rocks. In Summer, its cocktails and G+T time and you’re looking for a fresh flavour profile to mix it up.

But its important to note that these gins should be seen as products in their own right, but often share plenty of characteristics of their siblings from the distillery.

So recently I was sent a sample bottle of the Forty Spotted Summer Release. Regular readers may recall my review of their first release this year and coming from the legendary Lark Distillery in Tasmania one can be assured of the professional and thoughtful approach to distilling. They also released a Spring version that is coffee infused plus a Winter number.

With its bright pink label its hard to mix and you’ll notice the slight colour tint.

IMG_3495.JPGWhilst they don’t specify the additional botanicals used on their website, I’m thinking they used rose water  and you get the some of the spicy pepper hit as the original release which used Tasmanian Pepperberry which has popped up in some other Australian labels this year though not as pronounced as Forty Spotted original.

It is produced in small batches of 280 bottles each, and my review bottle was #157 from Batch No. 001.

Tasting Notes

  • Neat: Pleasant mildly perfumed nose, and it tasted subtly of musk  for me and is gently spiced, very soft on the palette. A clean finish and no hit of alcohol.
  • Martini: My rule is that the more intense or particular the gin flavour profile, the less Vermouth – why have one compete with the other? Anyways, using the austere Dolin dry vermouth, I didn’t really expect this to work but had to try.
  • I opted for a thin grapefruit garnish to tease out spices in the botanicals, but you could certainly experiment I think with some non-conventional garnishes.  I don’t think an olive or dirty version would be appropriate, its too exotic and delicate for that. The resulting cocktail was a fragrant and gently spiced Martini, quite festive really!
  • Gin and Tonic: this is where the gin shines. Aim to get a decent Tonic Water like Fevertree or Capi so it doesn’t dominate the gin. You can get playful with the garnishes and think about rose petals, rosemary, fresh summer berries, or cucumber. I think this gin would also be quite happy to be sipped on ice.

The Take Home

  • A fun extension of brand that gives you a delicious + flavoursome gin to play with in a variety of combinations.  4 stars.


  • Available at selected Dan Murphy’s shops in Australia
  • Via the Distillery online shop 
  • RRP: AUD$85.00 for 700ml bottle

Disclaimer: This review was the result of an unsolicited sample bottle provided by the distillery. Views are my own.