Despite being a relative newcomer to the gin world, Australia is making a name for itself with some seriously impressive bottles. Producers standing out from the rapidly saturated crowd are championing native botanicals – from pepperberry to lemon myrtle – in their ginmaking. One such producer is North of Eden, a New South Wales maker that uses kurrajong seeds grown on the distillery’s farm to create The Admiral Gin, a Gold medal winner at the IWSC 2022.
Since the early 1990s, when whisky maker Bill Lark helped overturn prohibition laws, setting up the first distillery in Tasmania in 150 years, distilleries have been cropping up all over the country and turning their hand to gin. The great variety of the country’s flora is reflected in these new-wave gins, which use both classic and indigenous botanicals to help shape this fresh, new identity for Australian gin.
There was an impressive selection of Australian gins at this year’s IWSC, with Granddad Jack’s Craft Distiller’s 65 Miles Gin standing out for a palate ‘led by cinnamon, pepper and liquorice,’ characteristics that helped earn it 98 points from the judges. Another 98 points went to Musician’s Cut Gin from Seppeltsfield Road Distillers, which was praised for its ‘complex aromas of grapefruit peel, sherbet and delicate florals.’
Moving in a zestier direction, Kylie’s Summer Gin from Queensland distillery Kalki Moon also received a Gold medal and 96 points from judges, as well as praise for its ‘appealing fresh lime and cordial notes, citrus vibrancy and hints of pine.’
The Australian gins in this list were all tasted blind by a panel of industry experts, including Cambridge Distillery‘s master distiller William Lowe MW, Sacred Spirits distiller Siobhan Feeley and co-founder of Crossip Drinks Tim Blake. Keep reading below for award-winning recommendations from this year’s IWSC and tasting notes from the experts.
HOW DO WE JUDGE THESE SPIRITS?
We run a tightly structured, rigorous spirits tasting process. That means that each spirit sample is pre-poured into numbered glasses and assessed blindly by the judges. Most importantly, our IWSC spirit judges are experts in their field, who work across all sectors of the drinks industry. For evidence, see our full list of judges.
HOW DO WE SCORE THESE SPIRITS?
Only the best spirits sampled receive a Gold or Silver award. For example, to win Gold, spirits have to score between 95 and 100 points. Meanwhile, Silver wines range from 90 to 94 points. Click here to read more on our scoring system.
MORE FROM CLUB OENOLOGIQUE
Club O is an exclusive community and the go-to platform for wine and spirit lovers. Our flagship Club Oenologique magazine offers even more insights for enthusiasts and collectors. Based in London, our editorial team tells informative, inspirational stories from the world of wine and spirits, gastronomy and travel, as well as covering recommendations and the latest trends in drink. You can take a look at our Explained series, for instance, where we’re tackling grape varieties, regions and styles of wine and spirits. Alternatively, visit our Ask the Sommelier section, where experts answer your wine-related questions.