To begin the Four Pillars Gin making process, we source our base spirit from one of the world's most sustainable production facilities.
It comes from Bomaderry on the south coast of New South Wales, which sources primarily wheat as its base for production from around 6000 farmers across the state.
We have chosen wheat as it is an incredibly clean spirit and Australia has a global reputation for its high quality wheat production.
And with this base spirit we put the nine dry botanicals directly into the pot.
The distillation commences when we turn on all 6 elements to heat the water bath around the pot. It’s a bit like melting chocolate in a double boiler…
Once the pot is boiling, vapours begin to rise and head up out of the top of the pot, through the botanical basket, steaming the oranges and releasing the flavours of the fruit along the way. For the next seven hours the liquid will condense and re-condense as it passes through the pot, the basket and then through seven separate plates on our column still.
These plates are crucial. Each one remains closed, acting as a mini-distillation of its own, further refining and purifying the spirit. This ensures a gin that is as smooth and as pure as… well, as something extremely smooth and pure. Let’s stick with great gin.
Eventually the extremely high proof gin starts dripping from the still, at a remarkable 94% alcohol by volume. Incredibly, such is the purity of this spirit that it can be sipped (in a minute quantity) and you can taste the botanicals, and the gin-iness of the spirit. It is not "rocket fuel”, which comes from inferior distillations, it is extremely fine but VERY VERY strong gin.
If the gin is destined for Rare Dry Gin it will be cut with the worlds best water down to an alcohol of 41.8% ABV. Or, if it is Navy Strength, to 58.8% ABV.
Once diluted we allow the gin to rest for a couple of weeks before bottling.
You may notice your gin go a tiny bit cloudy if you store it for long periods in the fridge. Not to worry! This is caused by the botanical oils that often become cloudy in cold temperatures. We could of course chill filter our gin at this stage of production to ensure this doesn't occur, but that would strip away a tiny bit of the flavour, and we don't want that to happen.
Once the gin is tasted and approved, it's time for bottling. And this happens a mere ten metres from where it has just been made, with our neck labels still being stuck on (sometimes not quite straight) by hand.