From Giant Ice to Smoked Water - The Journey To Our New Flavour
Smoked water sounds pretty simple - it’s anything but. Master Distiller Dave Withers discusses the journey to one of the most exciting elements of our new Smoked Gin.
Our Smoked Gin is elemental, intense, evocative and plain old delicious. But it almost didn’t make it out of the Distillery. “Originally, we tried adding smoked water to our Summer Gin Series: Bush, but it just didn’t work, which was a real shame,” says Master Distiller Dave Withers.
Yet the flavour was so compelling, the team knew they had to take it somewhere. “Rather than trying to stick a square peg into a round hole, we wanted to embrace the characteristics of smoke.” From here the idea of a devoted Smoked Gin caught alight.
It’s not as simple as throwing a bucket of water into a cold-smoker and hoping for the best, however. Plenty of trial and error occurred before we settled on the final method for adding smoke to a spirit…this is where Andy from Three Blue Ducks came in, to assist with the smoking process. "Andy has a lot of experience in wood-fired cooking" Dave explains. First they tested hay to fuel the fire, which the Ducks use to make a beautiful smoked butter. We can’t tell you what it tasted like, but let’s just say you don’t need to try it either. “After that Andy suggested we try NSW ironbark – the flavour was spectacular,” says Dave.
Using ice instead of water was a logical and successful first step – each layer melting to imbue the melted water with layers of flavour, all while aiding the temperature control of the oven. “The interesting thing about ironbark is, it’s got a meatiness to it – it doesn’t actually taste like meat, but it stirs an association with smoked meat flavour when you taste it, which we just love.”
From here, the distilling team embraced this flavour profile, complementing it with both classic London dry distillates and uniquely Australian elements. “ Native thyme is really great – it combines with the juniper to add an almost eucalypt flavour,” says Dave. Chocolate malt, which is also used in our whisky, gave the spirit a chocolatey characteristic along with some biscuit-y-ness, which worked well with the wattleseed.
The end result? You’ll just have to try it for yourself. Buy a bottle of our Smoked Gin here.