Tomorrow is World Gin Day and what better way to celebrate this wonderful celebration of the Juniper spirit than with a nice Shiraz – a Shiraz Gin that is.
Combining two of Australia’s favourite tipples, Gin & Wine, the Shiraz Gin might remind you of Sloe Gin in it’s colour, but that is where the similarity ends. Generally, the spice from the grapes, combined with the citrus from the Gin create a wonderful winter sipper that can be enjoyed either as an Aperitif or in a variety of cocktails.
This year, three very different Australian distilleries have created three very distinctive interpretations of Shiraz Gin to mark World Gin Day. Differing in execution and taste, these three
From Victoria’s Yarra Valley across the boarder to South Australia’s McLaren Vale and then up north to the Barossa, distillers are combining Gin & Wine in exciting ways that can only be described as magical.
Shiraz is Australia’s best known and most widely planted grape variety and can be grown in virtually every wine region in Australia. The Shiraz grape has been grown in Australia since the late 1700s and creates a medium to full-bodied wine with varying flavour profiles. This profile and its structure depends on the region it is grown in, the climate of that region and the winemaking techniques used.
When that wine or it’s barrels are used by distillers, they create an uniquely and unmistakably distinct Gin. Below we have outlined each of the Gins so you can better understand the differences and get a better idea of which one should be in your glass and shaker tomorrow
Four Pillars Bloody Shiraz (2018 release)
Really, when it comes to Shiraz Gin, Four Pillars started it all. Back in 2016, their Master Distiller, Cameron Mackenzie steeped 250kg of Yarra Valley Shiraz grapes that landed on their doorstep. Since then, their Bloody Shiraz Gin has taken on an almost cult following, that has grown in demand each year. This year, to keep up, they are releasing 75,000 bottles.
That might sound like a lot but as their Shiraz Gin consistently sells out, they have hunted down a little over 10 tons of their favourite Yarra Valley Shiraz grapes. Keeping the berries whole, they steep the gapes in high proof Gin for eight weeks before pressing the fruit and adding more Gin.
But being a product of vintage, each year s Gin is never the same. This year, they have also varied the harvest, combined early-picked Shiraz grapes (more of a Raspberry flavour), with some late-picked grapes (more plum and dark cherry).
Settlers Shiraz Gin
Settlers Spirits make all of their Gins from grape spirits rather than grain. For their Shiraz Gin, they use the award-winning Shiraz grapes grown on our property, turn them in to wine in their own winery and then distill the wine in their own distillery, which is also on the property.
They use whole Shiraz grapes to make them into wine and extract the colour, flavour and tannins from the skins by pumping the ferment over twice a day for 7 days. The liquid was then triple distilled to provide the alcohol base for Settlers Shiraz Gin.
The botanicals used are then vapour distilled separately in a copper pot still for a Gin with a vibrant purple hue and aromas of Juniper intermingled with red berries and an echo of spice.
Prohibition Shiraz Aged Gin
Sitting somewhere between a Shiraz Gin and a Barrel-Aged Gin, Prohibition’s Shiraz Aged Gin has been been in the works (or should we say the barrels) from the time the distillery opened. What has been created in is flavoursome yet complex Gin that’s distinctly different from everything else out there. It’s not the same as your normal Shiraz Gin, as there’s no fruit contact, but it’s not your average barrel aged Gin either.
Prohibition have aged a 60% expression of their original Gin in custom coopered barrels which formerly held American Bourbon, then most recently Barossa Valley Shiraz. The resulting spirit has a rich blush colour and gentle Shiraz notes that blend wonderfully with the Vanilla and floral flavours of their original Gin.