From their distillery in Victoria's Yarra Valley, Four Pillars Gin is entering the spirits market by creating an Australian-made gin with local botanicals and a bit of home-grown know-how. The company is co-owned by Stuart Gregor, Cameron Mackenzie and Matt Jones, who came from wine and marketing backgrounds, and who have united in the aim of producing a clean and pure gin.
Four Pillars Gin is created in a German-made copper still (the only one of its kind in Australia and named Wilma after Mackenzie's mother), using 10 botanicals; juniper berries, coriander seeds, cardamom pods, lemon myrtle, Tasmanian pepper berry leaf, cinnamon, lavender, angelica, star anise and fresh oranges, which are distilled until all of the impurities are removed.
As Mackenzie, the company's managing director, explains, “Perhaps most interesting is our use of whole oranges. It is quite unusual to use fresh stuff in gin but Australian citrus is highly aromatic and supports the spicier botanicals like coriander, cardamom and star anise.”
The company hopes that the combination of locally sourced ingredients, small batches and attention to detail in the distilling process will result in bartenders trying Four Pillars Gin in cocktails. Their first batch of gin – a rare dry gin – will be followed up by an Old Tom-style barrel-aged gin, and then a sloe gin. They also plan to dabble with barrel-aged cocktails at their distillery in the future.
But for now, the mission remains creating the perfect base spirit, something to be enjoyed in a complex cocktail or in a simple gin and tonic. Mackenzie sums up the reasoning so far, “ultimately it is about trying to deliver the best of both worlds – a perfect, classic gin and something that will fascinate and delight even the most hardened gin fanatic.”
Four Pillars Gin is available online and through selected liquor retailers.