Gin connoisseurs look no further
Gin masterclasses are selling out across the country and it is not hard to discover why. The ever-popular spirit made from the juniper berry is loved by many, and its popularity among barflies continues to grow.
With a vast range of gin variants on offer, aficionados are placing an emphasis on the spirit’s botanicals and consequently, distillers have discovered a niche market for customised gin, and the possibilities are endless.
Specialist distillers around the country now offer enthusiasts the chance to create their own bespoke gin, and woman with drive has discovered the top classes Australia has to offer.
McHenry Distillery in Tasmania is undoubtedly one of the top gin distilleries in the country and features an awards list to prove it. The Australian Distilled Spirits Awards have listed the McHenry name on multiple occasions since William McHenry founded the distillery in 2011, and the list does not stop there. Fortunately, the McHenry Distillery shares its expertise with those interested in the spirit, with gin workshops taking place for groups of four or more from 11am until 3pm on Fridays. As part of the program, master distiller William ‘Bill’ McHenry guides participants through the experience, which includes a flavour-matched lunch as well as a 500ml bottle of your own gin to take home. Like other classes, there is a history and learning element to the class where McHenry explains the spirit’s primary flavourings and the importance of botanicals. Workshops also include a guided tour of the gorgeous Mt Arthur property.
Image: McHenry Distillery
A new offering in the world of craft gin is the Barossa Gin School from the Brett Durand Distillery. Operated at The Eatery on Maggie Beer’s renowned Barossa property, Pheasant Farm, the experience adds another element to the already amazing Barossa experience. After a quick overview of the gin making process and a description of the distillery’s own products, participants are invited to choose their own botanicals and create their own gin. Throughout the process, participants also learn the history and significance of the spirit itself. Lunch at The Eatery is included in the experience while guests are also able to name and take home a bottle of their gin creation.
Image: Mark Horsburgh, Edge Photographics
Renowned as one of the top gin making classes in Victoria, gin lovers flock from far and wide to take part in Bass and Flinders Distillery gin masterclasses. With a duration of two hours, masterclasses at the Red Hill location consist of a tasting of Bass and Flinders products, a history of gin, hands-on gin blending and a 500ml bottle of your own unique gin to take home. Masterclasses are held on Saturdays, Sundays and every second Friday at the Bass & Flinders Distillery cellar door, for between 12 and 23 participants. If you have a group of people interested in the experience, private masterclasses can be booked for groups of 12 – 20 people at the cellar door from Monday to Friday. If this sounds like something a friend or family member of yours might like, gift vouches can also be purchased on their website.
*Bass and Flinders Distillery is moving! Their full production facility and cellar door will be moving to the neighbouring suburb of Dromana in October/November, 2018. Keep an eye on their website for updates.
Image: Bass & Flinders Distillery
Gin Masterclasses at Four Pillars’ distillery in Healesville, Victoria, are not traditional gin making classes as mentioned above, but provide an amazing experience that is well worth a special mention. Participants of their Distiller’s Masterclasses learn the process of making a batch of their Rare Dry Gin, will discover what makes their gin ‘Navy Strength’, and are given a gin history lesson as part of the experience. Given behind the scenes access at the distillery, participants are also able to taste five of the gin variants the brand has produced since their launch in 2013, and are shown how they’re made and how they should be served. There is only one masterclass per month so be sure to book in quick as places sell out fast.
Image: Four Pillars
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