Archive for the ‘Australian Gin’ Category

Four Pillars Rare Dry Gin 41.8%

Situated in Healesville, Yarra Valley, Australia. Four Pillars was created in 2013, and uses a CARL copper pot still called Wilma. the final gin includes 10 botanicals – juniper berries, coriander seeds, cardamom pods, lemon myrtle, Tasmanian pepperberry leaf, cinnamon, lavender, angelica, star anise and fresh oranges. Perhaps most interesting in this line up is the use of whole oranges.

It is quite unusual to use entire fresh fruits (both the peel and flesh) when making gin but distiller Cameron Mackenzie believes that Australian citrus is highly aromatic and the whole fruit supports the spicier botanicals like cardamom and star anise better.

Tasted: Mar 2017

The nose opens with some subtle juniper, followed by a good intensity of oily orange. It has a pleasant warmth and fullness which is apparently down to the pepperberry leaf. Gently spiced and smoky with anise, coriander and with time it develops a light floral character.

The palate has a lovely balance. Again quite full and weighty with pepper, sweet orange and juniper. The spices – coriander, anise and very ‘green cardamom come rushing through on the finish along with a subtle mentholated note.

Four Pillars Navy Strength 58.8%

Made with juniper, organic oranges, finger limes, turmeric, coriander, fresh ginger and star anise

Tasted: Mar 2017

The dusty turmeric is very noticeable on the nose as is the lime and star anise! But the freshness of the spirit really cuts through. This is no shrinking violet. Subtle, smoky juniper and coriander with time.

The palate is very unusual and definitely has the Wow factor. It has a fleshy banana-like feel with lightly coffee’d spice, pepper, coriander, star anise and subtle juniper. Intensely alcoholic, which comes through with an almost biscuity character, but it’s well contained. Long, peppery, botanical/ herbal almost medicinal cardamom finish. Complex and very impressive.

Four Pillars Bloody Shiraz Gin 37.8%

Each year, Yarra Valley whole berry Shiraz grapes are steeped in the gin for 8 weeks. The fruit is then pressed and blended with the Rare Dry Gin.

Tasted: Mar 2017

Obvious, subtly smoky and subtly sweet blackcurrant shiraz notes, but the fresh spirit balances and doesn’t let it get out of shape. Hints of juniper, pine needles, citrus, pepper and grapey spice follow.

The palate is quite mentholated, piney and herbal with more noticeable juniper and orange. The blackcurrant and raspberry notes are subtler and it has a slightly syrupy feel, but there’s enough alcohol to stop it becoming too sweet. Long and very shirazzy with a touch of vanilla, pepper and anise on the finish.

Four Pillars Bloody Shiraz 37.8%

2017 Release/ Tasted: Nov 2017

The nose is very junipery and fresh with hints of anise, coriander, cinnamon and pepper. The Shiraz character is pretty subtle and certainly more subtle than the 2016 release and adds just a touch of syrup coated blackcurrant.

The palate is full and rich with more of the syrup coated blackcurrant. The juniper is subtle but noticeable and the pepper, coriander, cinnamon and anise come through well. Lovely intensity and balance with a long, slightly bitter spice finish but balanced by the toasty Shiraz character.

Four Pillars Bartender Series, Spiced Negroni Gin 43.8%

They upped the amount of Tasmanian pepperberry leaf and cinnamon, then added organic blood orange, ginger, grains of paradise, clove and Sichuan pepper.

Tasted: Mar 2017

Like the Rare Dry Gin it has a lovely warmth on the nose, but a whole load more spice! Dusty clove and anise with a very subtle juniper note.

The palate is big and powerful with the juniper dominating the soft but gently bitter spices. Again there is a fullness and sweetness to the spirit with clove, pepper and coriander notes coming through on the finish.


The West Winds Gin Barrel Expedition Maidenii Voyage 45%

Aged in casks which previously contained Maidenii sweet Vermouth

Tasted: Dec 2016

Nose: Winey red fruit, rose petals and cinnamon to begin, followed by juniper, grapefruit and orange. Lovely intensity with the sweet red fruits balancing the alcohol.

Palate: Sweet-ish red fruit and hints of juniper and cinnamon. Good intensity but the balance has shifted in favour of the wine cask.

Finish: Long an smooth with lingering spicy, winey red fruits.

Conclusion: Interesting and probably wine cask finished, which is a little too dominating

Forty Spotted Rare Tasmanian Gin – Winter Release 40%

Tasted: Dec 2016

Nose: Pungent and earthy aromas with sweet juniper and subtle toasty vanilla oak. With time hints of cumin and subtle herbal notes.

Palate: Soft and vanilla’d with a little more complexity. Juniper, lemon verbena, lemon rind and ginger.

Finish: Long and vanilla’d but surprisingly citric.

Conclusion: A little heavy on the oak on the nose but the palate shows a better balance.