In a year packed with gin releases, Sydney distillery Archie Rose has cut through the noise in more senses than one with a its new Distiller's Strength, an overproof gin designed to shine in mixed drinks and cocktails.
"We upped the botanicals in the gin so they'd be more pronounced and pack a punch in G&T or Negroni," says Archie Rose manager Harriet Leigh. "But I've also enjoyed it in a Last Word, a Southside and a Tom Collins. I believe in thorough research."
Bottled at a hair over 52 per cent ABV, Distiller's Strength is a party starter. But it's not just the presence of more alcohol giving its potency - Archie Rose's distillers dialled up botanical notes of pears, honey and juniper in the gin to declare their presence in a mixed drink more emphatically.
It is, in Leigh's words, "a strong, juniper-forward gin with a defined floral characteristic that is very hard to capture in distillation for reasons that may well bore you if I go into them".
We road-tested it with tonic using Leigh's suggested 1:3 ratio with a lemon garnish (she gets down with a half-gin, half-tonic ratio too), and the verdict was "highly flavoursome".
We also seized on the tasting to try out the new hand-blown gin glass from Denver & Liely, the Melbourne design firm known for its whisky glasses. The gin line, which hits the market in October, features a funnel (their word) fine-tuned for botanicals to flourish.
We also believe in thorough research, so we'll be trialling the glass with a few other gins, but we're confident that the Distiller's Strength Archie Rose has the power to deliver a floral wallop outside controlled conditions, whether it be in a regular tumbler or a rusty bucket.
Distiller's Strength Gin is available from 18 September online and at Archie Rose's distillery bar in Rosebery, Sydney, with other retailers in the works. RRP $99 for 700ml. Denver & Liely's gin glass will be available online in October, $55.