Australian distiller Four Pillars has released the 2019 edition of its Bloody Shiraz Gin, which combines the brand’s signature Rare Dry Gin with Yarra Valley Shiraz grapes.
In 2015, Four Pillars’ distiller Cam Mackenzie and his team infused an ‘appropriated’ batch of berries with high-proof Rare Dry Gin for eight weeks, before releasing it in a unlabelled bottle. Following high demand, the team released the blend in 2016, with its own label and branding: Bloody Shiraz Gin.
Each year, Four Pillars recreate the drink using harvests from three local vineyards in the Yarra Valley: Boat O’Craigo, Punt Road and Fergusson. To create 2019’s blend, the distillers also sourced grapes from the Southern Victoria Regions of the Yea Valley and Southern Bendigo.
The gin, which is “comparable to traditional sloe gin but with a few notable Aussie differences”, takes eight weeks to infuse whilst being kept at a cool temperature and stirred daily. Additional gin is then added to achieve an ABV of 37.8%.
Bloody Shiraz Gin is unfiltered and unfined, with “interesting secondary characters developing as the bottle ages”.
Cam said: “After a promising spring season with plenty of rain, January and February brought dry conditions and the odd bloody hot day which forced us to distill our Bloody Shiraz Gin earlier this year, but thanks to our suppliers new and old, the fruit quality was sensational.
“We followed the same formula from 2018 combining early Shiraz that brought spice and red berry character, with a second parcel later in the season to build colour, sweetness and darker fruit flavour.
“The resulting colour remains a deep, rich, reddish purple. And the aromas and flavours? Well, straight up there are pine forest juniper notes followed by white pepper, dark berries and spices. The palate is beautifully balanced with both sweetness and gin in spades, and some nice tannins on the finish.”
Four Pillars Bloody Shiraz Gin is being distributed by Cask Liquid Marketing and is available to order from Whiskey Exchange and Specialty Drinks.