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First time entered in competition for this Gin and awarded a Double Gold at the NZ Spirit Awards in the London Dry Category - all that distilling at 96% ABV paid off (not to mention the 6am starts). Sister Gin to Revelation.
First impression is the exceptionally pure base alcohol note then the lemon and cardamom comes through very cleanly. Followed by the Juniper and lime.
Macedonian Juniper, Lemon Peel, Lime Peel, Nutmeg, Red Pepper, Green Pepper, Almonds, Cinnamon Sticks, Cardamom, Poppy Seeds, Liquorice, Coriander, Angelica.
OK, grab a coffee, settle in and let us take you through the making of this unique Gin.
The reason we make our own base spirit from Barley is we want to control the process and we want the agricultural origin to make it's way into the Gin. To achieve this we distill the base spirit at 95.5% to 95.7% which is a long, slow process. We think we are getting pretty good at this (Gold in Australia etc, etc).
But then we started to wonder if we could create a Gin using 96% ABV and remove all trace of the agricultural origin i.e a truly neutral base spirit (to much time on our hands), so after some research and experimentation, including reading that it's 30 times harder to go from 95.5% to 96%, we created a batch of 96% plus base spirit. Hence the name Without Sin!
Normally we distill 4 litres of our stripped spirit in a Grain Neutral Spirit (GNS) run and this gives us 3.2 Litres of 95.5%, this takes around 10 hours at 400ml an hour - which is already incredibly slow. To get 96% we had to reduce each run to 2.5 litres and do two separate distillation runs @200ml an hour at 14 hours per run. So we went from 10 hours to 28 hours to make enough spirit to distill a batch. Of course the next stage after this is to distill again (the fourth time) and make some Gin.
The result though is quite something, a completely neutral base - from this we make a very dry London Dry - BTW UK regulations specify a base spirit of 96% which is why nearly all distilleries in the UK buy in the base spirit and most NZ ones do as well - it's just to complex to do normally and the investment in equipment required is significant.
So just to be clear we are only making 96% base for Without Sin and Revelation as it is quite a different Gin to our others where we do want an agricultural base.
This batch went through 20 vapour infusion extraction cycles to extract the flavour from the botanicals.
As usual, the pure gin was also diluted with Antipodes water to achieve 46% ABV.
BTW, there are about 3 kilograms of Gladfield Barley and 1,000 hours of sunshine required to fill each grain to glass Gin bottle.
Pair with Fever Tree Tonic Naturally Light for a refreshing low calorie drink. Or you can enjoy with a few lumps of ice.
46% ABV - 700ml
Seven bottles made in this batch.