I recently tried and reviewed Bloody Shiraz Gin from the Four Pillars Distillery in Australia, and it was pretty bloody wonderful. I’ve been dying to try another sample of their gin, but as the next one in line was their Navy Strength Gin, at 58.8% ABV, the timing had to be right. I only had a small tasting sample, which obviously had to be tried neat, and it’s heady stuff.
Nervously sticking my nose into the glass, I was blown away by the intensity of the aromas, which is a pretty apt metaphor when you know the background to Navy Strength Gin.
Four Pillars has some information about the background to Navy Strength Gin on its website
Tasting the Navy Strength Gin
I was even more nervous when I tasted the gin. Sometimes you get chance to taste spirits while they’re still maturing and are extra-proof, and the result isn’t always a pleasant experience. Anyone who’s ever sampled new raw spirits from the barrel knows what I mean. Even a teaspoon of it can make your eyes water and clear the sinuses.
This Navy Strength Gin was potent but a total delight. The taste was as intense as the aroma, but on the palate it seemed to me far fruitier, with even more of a sweet orange taste than a tart lime. It’s still spicy but the coriander, ginger and some cardamom play more of a background role. Bringing the fruit and the spice together, and tipping the balance onto the sweet side, is some vanilla.
And that extra strength? Yes, you know it’s there and it made me sip it slowly and appreciatively, treating it with respect, while raising a toast to the Royal Navy.
Navy Strength Gin Cocktails
I didn’t have enough of a tasting sample to even try some with tonic, as my G&T would have fitted into a thimble. But I can imagine it making a fantastic G&T, with the right tonic, and the Four Pillars website has a highly-appropriate suggested cocktail, The Army and Navy. Just click on the image to enlarge it and read it.
Four Pillars Navy Strength Gin Awards
Don’t just take my word for how good this is. The gin was recently awarded Best Gin at the Hong Kong International Wine and Spirit Competition 2016, and has been twice been awarded Master status at the Global Gin Masters (in 2015 and 2016).
In the UK the gin is also available from Amazon