Gin. It’s on everyone’s lips. Tassie whisky makers have whispered of new gin labels. Those in the know frequent cocktail bars with dedicated gin libraries. Others tap into gin making masterclasses. Tassie’s gin scene is blossoming and Spring is the time to find your new fave tipple. Visit our local distillers, from elegant estates to a fellow turning sheep’s whey into awarded spirits. Here are our top picks of where to sip Tassie gin this Spring.
1. Shene Estate
At Shene, they say that Poltergeist Gin is best served with fine company, gossip and in the dead of night. Whether one can wait for those dark hours, gin lovers can be assured a fragrant, crisp blend of flavours. Head out to the estate, home to nearly 200 years of history, for a gin and tasting tour. Take a behind the scenes peek at their Tasmanian-made copper pot stills and the gin making process. In true spirit, Poltergeist tastings follow.
Image Credit: Samuel Shelley
2. McHenry Distillery
Become your own distiller down Port Arthur way, at McHenry Distillery. Under the guidance of Master Distiller William McHenry, blend your own botanicals and leave the gin-making workshop with your own ‘private label.’ Add lemon myrtle? A hint of saffron? From his Sloe Gin to Classic London Dry, Barrel Aged to Navy Strength, McHenry knows gin and guides you through the distilling process. This workshop is not all head-down lab time, but rather four hours punctuated by gin tasting and exploring the Mt. Arthur property, followed by a gin-matched gourmet picnic lunch.
Image Credit: Alice Hansen
3. Lark Distillery
Lark may be famed for its single malt, but their Forty Spotted gin has a story of its own. Bill Lark’s wife Lyn created the original recipe back in the 1990s, adding Tasmanian pepperberry to the traditional botanical blend. Her result? A refined drop offering spiciness and richness unfound in other gins. Named after the Forty Spotted pardalote, a rare bird found only in Tasmania, it’s as unique as Lark’s gin. While the pardalote is desperately hard to spot, Lark’s cellar door is not. Sip your Forty Spotted down by Hobart’s waterfront, in Lark’s courtyard this Spring.
Image Credit: Julia Smith
4. Southern Wild Distillery
Take a wild and pure gin tasting journey with George. At Southern Wild Distillery in Devonport, food scientist turned distiller, George Burgess, takes you from the mountain to the meadows to the sea. Dasher + Fisher gins are named after two wild rivers that run from the snowmelt of Cradle Mountain. Let George take you on a flavour meander (by appointment), right where he makes the gin. Find out what producers he calls on to blend with his signature wakame, lavender and native pepperberry. Stay on for cocktails … perhaps a Gin Mimosa starring Mountain Gin, Devil’s Corner sparkling and Spreyton Fresh orange juice?
Image Credit: Rob Burnett
5. Nonesuch Distillery
The best place to sample Nonesuch gin as at Nonesuch! They do things the old fashioned way at Forcett (15 minutes from the Hobart Airport) and Head Distiller/Owner Rex Burdon loves to meet spirit enthusiasts in person. Being small batch and family run, be sure to call ahead. Rex offers a full-day Whisky Making Experience as well as tastes of his premium spirits including Nonesuch Sloe Gin and Dry Gin. It’s no ordinary sloe gin – sloes are foraged from hedgerows and trees brought to Tassie by early colonial settlers. Rex will tell you all about it when you visit.
Image Credit: Kathryn Leahy
6. Hartshorn Distillery
It’s a world first. In Tasmania, you can enjoy gin made from sheep whey. What’s more, it’s usually the Head Distiller, Ryan Hartshorn, passing the glass. You’ll find Ryan at the Brooke Street Pier on Hobart’s waterfront, where he showcases his small batch vodka and gin, alongside his family’s Grandvewe Cheeses. Alternately, head down to Birchs Bay in Tasmania’s deep south where you can meet the sheep, and find out how Ryan converts whey into character filled spirits. The view over lunch is a stunner.
Image Credit: Rob Burnett
7. Sud Polaire @ Institut Polaire
Is this Hobart’s coolest locale for Spring? Institut Polaire is all about ‘cold hearted liquor.’ The wine and spirits bar down by Hobart’s waterfront is all luxe, leather and style. Home to Süd Polaire gin and Domaine Simha wine, gin lovers get excited about their regular masterclasses. Gather your friends for six tasting samples, complete with detailed notes and shared cheese platter. Aromatic gins, Bruny Island oysters, carefully crafted cocktails, daily wine and spirit flights … Need we say more
Banner Image Credit – Samuel Shelley