Australia’s first ‘corporate’ gin: for good or for ill?
Before the current gin craze there was a long distinguished history of distilling brandies and other fortified products in Australia.
Unlike many craft spirits in Australia this gin is the product of long established wine and distilling dynasty and there is no particular person identified as the maker.
Its been a team effort from Angove Family Winemakers, based in Renmark, South Australia. Established in 1925 its been making world class brandy ever since through the St Agnes distillery. The Blind Tiger Gin is distributed by Vintage House Wine and Spirits.
Just when I thought I’d seen all the new gin releases in Australia in 2015, as I was shopping a few days before Christmas Day there was a new bottle in my local shop. How could I resist?
About the Gin
It is produced and bottled in Renmark, South Australia. According to their website, distilling is done in small batches with the botanicals that is later blended with a base of organic wheat spirit and handpicked organic botanicals based on the classic London Dry style mix. The botanicals are sourced from sustainable and organic farms, the Juniper Berry is from Bulgaria, Angelica Root from the UK, Coriander from India and the Summer Savoury is from Spain.
According to their website, “A quality product starts with quality ingredients and we believe that using ingredients only from certified organic sources ensures that Blind Tiger Organic Gin not only has a purity of flavour but also that we are using sustainable resources.”
- Nose: fragrant and fresh with a pleasing spice, no alcoholic kick.
- Neat: soft, clean and light on the palette, botanicals well integrated and subtle leaving delicate juniper and coriander notes.
- Martini: elegant and restrained with a firmness on the finish that made a killer cocktail. If you like Martin Millers, Sipsmith, Jensen’s or Portobello Road, you’ll really dig this number for its restraint and complexity.
What’s in a Name?
Well, the term Blind Tiger is from the Prohibition Era and refers to an establishment known to illegally sell alcohol.
So in the modern era of dozens of new gin releases every few months around the world its perhaps not surprising that you’ll get an overlap in a name now and again.
Thus there are current three Blind Tiger Gins.
Note there is NO RELATIONSHIP between any these companies, each was developed independently:
- The gin featured in this review
- One from Belgium (see their branding here) produced by Deluxe Distillery
- A soon-to-be released gin from Boulder Colorado, the Blind Tiger Gin Company.
Oh, and a US creative agency that does branding for distillers and brewers, of the same name!
There are seperate brand registers in each country of course, so that doesn’t mean there can’t be different products with the same name. Just thought you’d like to know.
The Take Home
This is one of the best Australian gins I’ve tasted to date.
It possesses a finesse and elegance that sees it on par with the finest international London Dry style brands.
- Blind Tiger Organic Gin website
- Price: AUD about $70 for 700ml bottle plus postage etc
- ABV 42.7%
- Purchase directly from their website, plus online via Nicks + Gin Heaven
- Also readily available from Dan Murphy’s stores around Australia.
- Note in the bottle: the gin comes in a handsome and solid bottle, but the glass stopper is tricky to open if damp, say from being in the fridge, so watch out for flying tops- I think there is a case for a new method of sealing!