Review: Hobart No.4 Gin

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When award winning expert Single Malt distillers turned their minds to crafting a gin you can expect a singular spirt.

Tasmania Distillery, who produces Hobart No. 4 Gin are the team who create the world’s best Single Malt Whisky, Sullivans Cove.

I’ve heard cynics say that making a gin is a good business strategy to generate cash flow whilst you’re waiting a decade or more for the liquid gold can be released into the market.

I certainly don’t think this is the case here,  nor do I buy the argument that a specialist in one spirit expression can’t approach another with due regard. After all, it doesn’t help anyone to release an spirit that is compared unfavourable with the there labels in your stable.

That said, what I’m seeing emerging in the craft gin scene is a sub-genre of what I’ll call sipping gins. These are typified as those with a complex flavours, richness in their body and can shine on their own, say chilled or over ice. Examples I’ve experienced of that style would be Ferdinand’s Saar Dry GinBerlin Brandstifter, or Blue Bottle or Four Pillars Rare Dry Gin.

It takes quality in craft to be able to pull this off. I’d also place most Aged gins in this category too. Any gin is fine in a G+T – that’s a no brainer.

Even I will admit that not every gin belongs in a Martini glass.  I know….

Which brings me back to the gin at hand.

Hobart No.4 Gin Bottle ShotQ + A with the Makers

With the gin boom still going strong, what was your inspiration to bring your gin to fruition? 

Here at the Tasmania Distillery we don’t pretend to specialise in white spirits – it’s not our area of expertise. We actually set out to make an easy drinking and relatively safe craft gin that would easily fit into the popular, but increasingly crowded gin market.

What we quickly realised was that our strength or expertise in crafting high quality malt spirit was too much to ignore.

The gin brief transformed from playing it safe, to showcasing our Tasmanian Barley derived Malt Spirit, through the addition of native Australian Botanicals.  Four natives were chosen – lemon myrtle, anise myrtle, lanceolata & wattle seed – hence ‘Hobart No.4 Gin’.

How do you see the future of Australian craft gins evolving in the next couple of years? 

Gin is versatile, not just in the sense that it can be consumed in a whole host of different ways, but also the breadth of the category.  What it means to be an ‘Australian Gin’ is still evolving and whilst that push continues I can’t really see it slowing down anytime soon.

As with whisky, there is a gin out there for every palate, the fun is finding out what suits you, and most importantly – discussing it!  Hopefully this remains a feature of the gin movement over the next few years.

Why is Tasmania such a hot spot for quality spirits? 

The Whisky movement has really lead from the front, showing people that different isn’t necessarily bad and that quality should always win over quantity. These philosophies have been whole heartedly adopted by the Tasmanian distilling community.

There is no ‘us’ verses ’them’ mentality down here – more of grow the whole pie, so that everyone ends up with a bigger slice.

Do you have any advice to professional bartenders in approaching your gin? 
As with every new product – experiment!  We’ve found a ‘less is more’ approach works quiet well.  Classics with a twist, that way the complexity of the gin is on show, as opposed to muddling up many flavours.
Is there a challenge when making craft spirits ensuring a consistent result for each distilling batch?  
Yes is the short answer.  At Tasmania Distillery we don’t strive for a constancy of flavour or aroma so much (it is important to an extent), rather we look for constancy of quality across all our products.  If it’s ‘good’ we will release it.
How do recommend people drink your gin?
There are some serving suggestions listed on our website.  Personally, it’s hard to go past a traditional Pink Gin, or a French 75.
Tasting Notes

 

Neat:  Mildy spicy nose with the native Myrtles making their presence felt (see Q+A below) lending a delicate perfume and sweetness, which is also informed by the malt spirit base.  No alcoholic sharpness. A bone dry finish with a touch of musk forward and anise at the back. Overall very delicate.

Gin + Tonic: Absolutely. Yet again, I insist you opt for a Capi, Fever Tree or other premium tonic water  so you can actually taste the gin. I’d opt for a thin slice of lemon for this combination

Martini: As I said above, I’m not persuaded this is the best use for this excellent gin. If you did, I’d opt for the lightest look at a bottle of the austere Dolin Dry Vermouth – rinsing the cocktail mixer to lend a little je ne said quo and a citrus garnish.  See their website below for an interesting recipe!

The Take Home

A very refined package over all that plays to the natural strengths of the makers, with first class base spirits, technique and thoughtful use of botanics that integrate perfectly.

5 stars.

Details

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Image courtesy of distillery.

2 thoughts on “Review: Hobart No.4 Gin

  1. Pingback: Australian Gin List | The Martini Whisperer

  2. Pingback: Article Index | The Martini Whisperer

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