Starting as a crazy experiment back in 2015, the ever-popular and annually anticipated, Four Pillars Bloody Shiraz Gin is back again for 2022.
Eight years after the brand’s head distiller, Cam Mackenzie, first steeped a parcel of locally sourced Shiraz grapes into Four Pillars original Rare Dry Gin, just to see what would happen, the gin has become an Aussie icon in its own right.
Full of purple and magic, this is a gin that not only looks and tastes as bloody good but this year has an equally fabulous bottle to match.
Designed by world-renowned Australian photographer and artist, Luke Shadbolt, this year’s label is a collaboration that began when our co-founder, Matt Jones, met Luke at a Sydney exhibition in late 2021.
Matt and Luke talked about the sculptural ‘liquid as solid’ quality of his images of the Australian ocean and discussed how the patterns in the photography could translate into a printed form.
Luke went away and experimented with creating a copper etching of one of his iconic photographs, a scene from the Australian ocean reminiscent of Hokusai’s Great Wave. And we loved the result, a true celebration of the magic of liquid in motion, just like the Shiraz grapes that swirl around in gin for eight weeks to create our Bloody Shiraz Gin.
Printed directly onto the glass, this year’s artwork depicts a sculptural waveform set against a wine-dark nighttime landscape, using the deep red of the Bloody Shiraz liquid as the backdrop to the scene.
But producing the Bloody Shiraz this year has not been all plain sailing, as Mackenzie explains. “This year’s vintage was not without its challenges with much of Victoria receiving rain and hail at the exact time the vines didn’t need it, around a third of the way through the growing season.
“The weather wiped out a lot of the crop leading to some of the lowest yields on record, but after a wobbly start to the season, the weather remained mild allowing for vibrant and bright fruit to mature. The low cropping created an intensity of flavour we have not seen in a long time.”
The grapes for the Bloody Shiraz are grown local to the distillery, in the Yarra Valley and surrounding Victorian cool-climate vineyards, to create natural sweetness. A true alchemy of all the best bits of gin and Shiraz, the resulting liquid gives flavours of citrus, dense raspberry notes and a spice character to the finish.
And if that isn’t enough fanfare, we’ve gone and created a Bloody Shiraz Gin chocolate too.
Finding a way to use its waste products has become somewhat of a tradition with Four Pillars, so the distillery has collaborated with Melbourne chocolate connoisseurs Hunted+Gathered who make our original Rare Dry Gin chocolate, to create the ultimate Bloody Shiraz Gin fruit and nut chocolate bar.
100% Australian made and a little bit ginny, the chocolate starts with half a tonne of our dehydrated Bloody Shiraz grape skins, mixed with cocoa butter and raw sugar, with cashews and sultanas for some textural crunch. The cocoa butter creates a white chocolate base to complement the grape-y sweetness, but to the eye, it looks like dark chocolate with a hint of the signature Bloody Shiraz purple hue (from the grape skins).
And in even more bloody brilliant news, Bloody Shiraz Gin was also just awarded a Gold Medal and Best of Category in the International Flavoured Gin category in the 2022 American Distilling Institute’s International Spirits Competition. So that’s an incredible win for Aussie gin and the Four Pillars family.
While the Four Pillars 2022-edition of the Bloody Shiraz Gin will be available from 31 May 2022 through bottle shops nationwide, the limited-edition label bottles and the Bloody Shiraz Chocolate will only be available from fourpillarsgin.com, or from the distillery itself in Healesville, Vic & the Four Pillars Lab in Surry Hills, Sydney.