Archie Rose Signature Dry Gin
It’s no secret that what goes into creating a bottle of gin, is equal parts raw ingredients, production equipment and human intuition; trying to ensure that each element is the best it can possibly be is the difficult part.
For us, our gin started with the equipment. We sourced our stills from Peter Bailly, who in his workshop just outside of Hobart, hammered, welded and bottled our three copper pot still together over the course of a full year. An incredible talented craftsman, Peter was an electrical engineer and boilermaker by trade in his native Germany, before starting to produce stills 25 years ago.
The only stillmaker in Australia, Peter tells a great story about his search to determine the perfect still dimensions… While travelling through Scotland, Peter visited all the most renowned Scottish distilleries, with the hope of measuring every point of the stills. Unfortunately, the Scots were a little cagey about their specific still dimensions and so Peter instead asked for a harmless photo of him standing in front of each still. Back in the workshop, using his height and distance from the still as a constant, he recreated each still’s dimensions and created his “perfect” still. After all that work, we then requested slightly different dimensions in order to ensure the qualities we sought from the final spirit, and ever the gentleman, Peter obliged.
The finished still had three separate infusion points:
- A botanicals basket that could be submerged directly into the spirit for a direct infusion. This is used for bolder, more robust botanicals like Juniper.
- A suspension point in the base of the neck that allowed a “hot” vapour infusion point. This is used for slightly more delicate botanicals, or those where we need to preserve flavour elements that would not carry through distillation from liquid infusion.
- A Carter Head style infusion point in the Lyne Arm which allows a cooler and gentler infusion. This is reserved for the most delicate and subtle botanicals, including the fresh apples, ginger, oranges and blood limes.
Finally, we decided to heat the still with a gas fired steam boiler, as steam heating would allow us infinite control of heat application, rather than the stepped control of electrical elements.
With the equipment, sorted, we moved onto botanicals.
As we were looking to create a traditionally inspired dry gin, but with our own unique elements, we started with a typical gin base, and then searched far and wide for Australian native botanicals that could replace, and even outshine, some of the more traditional botanicals. The citrus was provided by Lemon Myrtle and Blood Limes, the herbal notes by River Mint and Dorrigo Pepperleaf and the fresh Apples, Oranges and Ginger to bring it all together. There was one other native that we distilled but couldn’t find a place for. We’ll keep that one up our sleeves for now, but it will make an appearance at a later stage in another spirit.
Finally, the human element is undoubtedly the most critical, and one which we are incredibly lucky to have brought together. Head Distiller Joe Dinsmoor, Assistant Distiller Shane Casey and Production Manager Dave Withers, have between them incredible experience in spirits and distillation, and ensure every batch and every bottle is perfect. From botanicals preparation, infusion, heat application, cuts and bottling, everything is done by hand under the watchful eye of our production team.