If you think you know your Gin botanicals, then you might be a little surprised with the recent release of Cannabis Gins.
Now before you get excited, all the Gins we have listed here are using Hemp and specifically the non-psychoactive parts of the plant.
So if it won’t get you high, what’s the big deal? I hear you ask.
Well, it seems that hemp, aside from being an excellent source of protein and a variety of other nutrients (yes, it’s a bit of a superfood), is an amazing plant in itself. Part of the Cannabis family, but of course a different strain from Marijuana, it has an incredibly mild, nutty flavour that is supposedly a cross between a sunflower seed and a pine nut.
And as Cormac Sheehan, the chief marketing officer from the Cannabis Company has said, “… both Gin and cannabis are known for strong olfactory identities. Gin as a spirit can be something of a blank canvas. When you introduce hemp, you’re really getting those earthy, woody tones.”
With legalisation granting the use of hemp seeds in food production passing last November, Australian companies are falling over themselves to include hemp in everything from Chocolate to Hemp Seed Spread and Hemp Oil to the seeds themselves.
And far be it for Gin producers around the country to be far behind. At present in Australia, there are four companies that are producing Hemp Gin.
Giniversity Smoked Hemp Gin
This is a handcrafted collaboration using locally grown organic Australian hemp hearts from Margaret River Hemp Co, select botanicals, and a delicate secret smoking process, to create a truly unique gin.
Juniper anchors the gin while the creamy, nutty hemp heart envelopes the tongue and lingers long after the smoke has disappeared.
Pronounced flavours include Juniper, Toasted Sesame, Sweet Orange, and subtle Nut, over a tantalising Smokey foundation.
Available through distillery.com.au for AUD$59
Hemp Gin – Australian Dry Gin
The first hemp gin on the Aussie market, Hemp Gin infuses hemp seeds into a magic combination of botanicals.
Hemp Gin was born from a university assignment looking at emerging business and industry trends, and one that started to focus on the modern gin renaissance.
On initial tasting, the juniper is present, however, the hemp adds an earthier note, closer to that given by legumes and pulses,” reveals founder Andrew Kerrigan. “Some describe it as beany or lentil-like. This makes it ideal in your more savoury cocktails such as the martini or Negroni. It also works well sipping neat over ice.”
Available through theginboutique.com.au for AUD$85
Cannabis Company’s Hemp Gin
The latest entry into the market, takes a slightly different approach as it uses Myrcene (the most abundant terpene found in cannabis) as the backbone of its Gin. Terpene is the fragrant oils that give cannabis its aromatic diversity.
This complex, small-batch Gin has soft tones of violet that interact on the palate with woodland flavours of rosemary and resin, cloves and woody spices.
The spirit is the result of years of research by Dr David Stapleton, a senior researcher at The University of Melbourne with a PhD in biochemistry and molecular biology, and fellow co-owners Cormac Sheehan and Richard Jameson.
It’s not the first time though that terpenes have been used in spirits such as gin. Research by the group through historical archives revealed a long history, dating back to the 17th century, in which the component was used to mask the flavour of crude distilled versions of what we’ve come to call gin.
Available for pre-order through https://cannabiscompany.com.au/products/the-myrcene-hemp-gin/?variant=12457603367009 (despatching Friday 16th Nov with a limited edition first release of of 300 bottles)
Nonesuch Hemp Gin
A result of the innovation that the Nonesuch team pride themselves on. Our Hemp Gin is made in the Dutch or Belgium style.
This process involves the production of a malt spirit from a grain bill using Rye, Corn and Barley that is double distilled in our copper pot still. A second spirit is infused with selected botanicals and redistilled.
The meticulous combination of each element results in a gin that can be enjoyed neat, over ice or in your favourite cocktail.
The Gin is nutty, earthy and buttery with a finish that lingers enjoyably on the palate.
Available through nonesuchdistillery.com.au for AUD$69