What happens when two expert distillers (one from the UK and one from Australia) get together for a drink in a pub? Well, it seems a discourse on cricket, humour, beer, rivalry, and god knows what else … oh, and, of course, some specially released Gins.
But this collaboration is not quite what you might expect. Four Pillars, known for its Shiraz Gin and Warner’s Gin, known for its Rhubarb Gin, have decided to an ingredient exchange.
What does that mean? Well, the Australian Shiraz grapes and the English Rhubarb each went on an exchange trip. Travelling across oceans, they became redefined and reimagined in a couple of unique and distinctive Gins.
For Four Pillars, this meant bringing a little Rhubarb to the table with the release of the brand’s fifth ‘Distiller Series Gin’. Created in collaboration with Warner’s, Four Pillars Green Apple & Rhubarb Gin is a fruity, fresh, flavour-packed gin. Bright, rich and full of depth, the expression offers a rich and complex palette of fruit flavours.
For Warner’s Gin, they have taken their Harrington Dry Gin and distilled it with Australia’s finest Shiraz grape juice, used in Four Pillars’ famous Bloody Shiraz to create a Harrington Shiraz Gin, which further incorporates some Australian strawberry gum and wattleseed, for a traditional, albeit punchy, London Dry style.
“Getting the opportunity to collaborate with Four Pillars has been a blast,” said Warner’s co-founder and distilling lead Tom Warner. “They are true artisans and a great bunch of people. Between us, we have made a couple of cracking gins. From one side of the world to the other – cheers!”
To this, Four Pillars distiller Cam Mackenzie added, “We both love a good time and a good drink; we’re both passionate about sustainable distilling using real, local ingredients to achieve big, natural flavours, and we both try to bring a sense of place to Gin through the use of native ingredients.”
What The Australians Did
Post-distillation is where the rhubarb juice spirit from Warner’s and fresh green apples from the Yarra Valley came into play. After distillation, three liquids are blended into the gin: rhubarb juice, apple juice and an apple cider spirit.
The farm-grown rhubarb juice adds a fresh, tangy bite and crispness to the finish and a gentle aromatic. The apple juice, a blend of Granny Smith apples and cider apples from the Yarra Valley adds a fresh, sweet acidity. In contrast, the apple cider spirit or eau de vie adds depth, complexity, and beautifully perfumed aromatics.
The resulting gin is apple, and rhubarb crumble in a glass, a mixture of warmth and freshness perfect for enjoying a G&T, a Highball or a Fruit Cup.
Getting the opportunity to collaborate with Four Pillars has been a blast – Tom Warner
What the English Did
When Warner’s got to work, they distilled their Harrington Dry Gin with Australia’s finest Shiraz grape juice. What might seem like a simple addition was, in fact, an adventure in distilling as the brand took more than just the Shiraz from its journey down under.
Aside from the vibrant, fragrant, rich Shiraz Grapes, the Harrington Shiraz Gin has also snuck in a few other Australian flavours. In the distillation, Australian strawberry gum and wattleseed appear, along with juniper, coriander, orange peel, orris root, elderflower, lemon balm, cloves and cloves and peeled cardamom pods.
Offering luscious red berries and fresh herbs on the nose, Warner’s believes the new expression is best used in a Shiraz G&T or a Harrington Fizz with Harrington Shiraz topped with Fever-Tree Raspberry & Orange Blossom Soda, a pinch of sea salt and a squeeze of lime.
When is it available?
So what started as a mutual admiration between two expert distilleries with a love for big flavour and nature has led to a cheeky request to make some ‘sweet gin love’.
The Four Pillars iteration, Green Apple & Rhubarb Gin, will be available from the Four Pillars Distillery from tomorrow (18th April 2023). For more information, go to fourpillarsgin.com
Warner’s Gin will make its limited-edition Harrington Shiraz Gin available via their website warnersdistillery.com from the 19th.