This month seems to be all about Mother’s Ruin – better known as gin.
Melbourne’s getting a gin festival called Juniperlooza, Four Pillars have just announced their release of their ‘Australian Christmas Gin‘, and Bombay Sapphire is hosting 2-hour tasting packages in Sydney and Melbourne. And so, with all this gin talk, it’s only natural to find out how to really enjoy your gin.
To do this, I’ve reached out to Rowan Prangley, an endeavouring young chemist with a passion for premium spirits. He’s also the guy behind True North, a company delivering carefully packaged ‘try before you buy’ tasting kits of whisky, craft gin and other premium spirits.
And when it comes to gin, Rowan believes the most important step is learning and appreciating the full course of flavours, especially the key botanicals infused within.
“It’s a really good point to start because it allows you to identify that key botanical infusion,” Rowan said. “And it’s good to retain that so next time you move to another gin you have something to compare it to.”
These flavours and aromas can be collected through using the right tasting and nosing techniques and even using the right glassware. Rowan recommends using wine-like tulip-shaped glasses, as they both help in releasing ingredients and are the right shape for nosing (or smelling). All the best techniques are taught through True North’s spirit tasting kits.
And to really get the most out of your journey through gin, Rowan says up and coming spirit connoisseurs should not be afraid to try different gins – from artisan to the mainstream.
“I do have a soft spot for our Australian craft industry, and I definitely think the likes of Archie Rose, Four Pillar, Mt Uncle, McHenry in Tasmania are all absolutely outstanding,” Rowan said.
“We released an Australian craft gin kit through True North called ‘Coast to Coast’, and we actually showcase five craft gins, and each one of those is absolutely outstanding.”
Selecting the best gin, however, is an each-to-their-own experience, because everyone’s taste buds are different.
“But what really makes an exceptional gin for me is if that gin has a certain flavour profile or a nuance that is simply outstanding and it really calls to me something that I like,” Rowan said.
“But at the same time, that gin can be inviting, it’s complex, it’s intriguing. It invites you to hunt for new flavour profiles. But what I also think is an exceptional gin is one that is captivating all-round – not just as a cocktail, but as a straight sipper as well.”
During his pathway of discovery, Rowan drew on his knowledge of chemistry and developed a vision for a physical and online experience that offered people a new way to taste, explore and share delectable spirits.
“The premium whisky and craft gin market is experiencing strong growth in Australia and the world,” Rowan said.
“In line with that, new customers are now looking for innovative ways to try and experience premium and artisan brands at bars, with friends and at home. True North gives distilleries the chance to engage with spirit lovers by allowing them to try before they buy.”
Rowan is completing his PhD in ethanol and bio-alcohol refinement by the end of 2017 and plans to make True North his full-time passion. He says it’s exciting times.
“We are experiencing a huge cycle,” Rowan said. “It’s a great position for us as general consumers and start-up businesses to be involved and really shout out to the authenticity of our craft distillers in the industry and look to the future.”
Check out True North’s selection of spirit tasting kits by clicking here