Choosing what gin to buy is nothing short of overwhelming.
We’re in the midst of a global gin boom, as you’d certainly know if you listened in to Episode Two of the Drinks Adventures podcast.
There are now well over 100 small gin distilleries in Australia and we have unprecedented access to myriad gins from overseas, too.
Below are some recent gin releases to consider as 2018 draws to a close. You can also listen to our recent interview with Fairfax Hall of Sipsmith Gin in the media player above.
What gin to buy
Underground Spirits Gin
Juniper, coriander seeds and angelica root are the base ingredients for this gin distilled by Canberra outfit Underground Spirits, which was founded by leading fertility specialist Toby Angstmann. Also on the recipe bill are native botanicals lemon myrtle, river mint and Tasmanian pepperberry, along with locally sourced sustainable basil. Poppyseed, cinnamon and black pepper complete the structure, resulting in a gin that is elegant, complex and supremely balanced for easy mixing.
Archie Rose Summer Gin Project: Coast
What gin to buy that evokes the summer? How about Summer Gin Project, a two-part gin series from Archie Rose showcasing the character of Australia’s most iconic season and natural environments: Bush and Coast. The latter showcases sustainably sourced botanicals including wild sea lettuce, local lemon myrtle, peach, coconut and native strawberry gum. Notes of fruit and salty sea spray evoke hot summer days at the beach.
Four Pillars x Herno Dry Island Gin
A clean and pure gin in the classic London Dry style that is the product of a unique collaboration between Australian distiller Four Pillars and Hernö. The Swedish distiller’s founder Jon Hilgren, visited Four Pillars co-founder and distiller Cam Mackenzie at the Four Pillars Gin distillery in Healesville to create this one-off release, distilled using juniper (of course!), coriander, river mint, roasted wattle seed, strawberry gum, lemon myrtle, meadowsweet and fresh lemons. The result is bright and lifted with beautiful citrus notes and a lovely floral cut-grass character. The palate is weighty with a fresh pine-forest note.
Orbium is a reimagining of Hendrick’s Gin by master distiller, Lesley Gracie, containing additional extracts of quinine, wormwood and blue lotus blossom. Two of these botanicals are traditionally associated with classic gin libations; quinine is found in tonic (gin & tonic), while wormwood is found in vermouth (martini cocktail). Orbium derives from the word ‘orb’, the plural of Orbis and the Latin for circle. The name signifies the spherical round taste that Lesley refers to, when describing the Hendrick’s house style. NB: Orbium is available on-premise only in Australia, so you’ll have to try it at your local gin specialist bar or restaurant.
The Botanist Islay Dry Gin
Distilled on Islay, the home of peaty Scottish single malt whisky, The Botanist is a regionally expressive gin created by Bruichladdich Distillery. Dubbed an Islay Dry Gin, it employs “achingly slow” distillation to carefully integrate 22 locally foraged botanicals with nine berries, barks, seeds and peels.
Nikka Coffey Gin
One of two high profile Japanese gin releases in Australia during 2018, Nikka Coffey Gin has a bright and zesty aroma originating from four kinds of Japanese citruses; yuzu, kabosu, amantsi and shequasar. These flavours complement the traditional gin botanicals of juniper berries, angelica, coriander seeds, lemon and orange peels. Nikka attributes the gin’s silky texture to its use of the Coffey still, a traditional type of continuous still named after its Irish inventor Aeneas Coffey.
Stone Pine Distillery Decade Dry Gin
Bathurst, NSW distiller Stone Pine has served up a special gin to mark its tenth anniversary. Seeking to add an Australian nuance to the London Dry Style, this celebratory gin named Decade Dry Gin features four native botanicals supporting its juniper forward flavour. There are ten botanicals in all, one for each year Stone Pine has been in business: Juniper, lemon myrtle, saltbush, orris, coriander, angelica, licorice, finger lime, black pepper and ironbark.
Suntory Roku Gin
Meaning ‘six’ in Japanese, Roku incorporates six traditional Japanese botanicals which are infused, distilled and blended by the Japanese artisans of Suntory Spirits in Osaka, Japan. Roku’s flavour profile is achieved by balancing six unique Japanese botanicals with eight traditional gin botanicals. The six Japanese botanicals – Sakura flower, Sakura leaf, Yuzu peel, Sencha tea, Gyokuro tea and Sansho pepper – are harvested in accordance with ‘shun’, the tradition of enjoying each ingredient at its best by only harvesting at its peak of flavour and perfection. You can read more about Roku in my article for Executive Style here.