Four Pillars new chardonnay barrel aged gin is a textural treat. By Holly Graham.
What is it? Four Pillars was founded in 2013 in Australia by three friends who sold their first signature dry gin through a crowdfunding campaign. After a road trip along the west coast of the United States, to explore different distilling techniques, the team discerned that all the gins they liked most had been made in a Carl still, from Germany. So they purchased their own custom-built still from Carl, able to deliver a very pure distillate at 93.5 percent abv, which is then diluted for bottling. The brand’s gins are characterised by two native botanicals – Tasmanian pepperberry and lemon myrtle – plus fresh Australian oranges (skin and flesh), which are put into a botanical basket inside the still. The rest of the core botanicals are: cassia, star anise, cardamom, coriander seed, lavender, angelica root and of course juniper. The Chardonnay Barrel Gin first uses barrels that previously matured Yarra Valley chardonnay for six to eight years. The gin rests in the oak for a year, changing the botanical oils significantly.
How does it taste? On the nose, there’s spicy notes rounded out by fragrant jasmine and a hint of toffee; in the mouth, the cardamom creates a gingerbread-like flavour, with preserved lemon and a slight saltiness followed by a dry finish. The oak makes the gin a light gold in colour and gives it sweetness and texture, which would make a great highball – or lose the soda and simply sip on the rocks.