Tattoo inspired gin

Archie Rose X Horisumi Autumn Gin (Photo: Toni Paterson)

In the words of Irish poet, Jonathon Swift,

“Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.”

Either Dave Withers, master distiller at Archie Rose is a visionary for creating a gin inspired by a tattoo, or founder Will Edwards is a marketing mastermind?

The Sydney micro-distillery has teamed up with Sydney tattoo artist Kian Forreal, also known as Horisumi, to launch a range of gins inspired by the seasons of Japan.

The first in the range is Autumn, inspired by Horisumi’s tattoo illustration of a Kiku flower, also known as a chrysanthemum; falling maple leaves; and koi, which according to legend, transforms into a dragon through perseverance.

Withers uses this striking design to create a spirit reflective of a Japanese autumn, using botanicals such as red miso, sesame and Sancho pepper, both the leaves and the seeds. Burdock root is used to add a little earthiness. Juniper, which is normally at the forefront of gin, plays a supporting role.

Individual distillation of each botanical allows Withers to have ultimate control when it comes to blending and achieving the desired style.

It is a distinctively spicy gin, with prominent pepper notes on the nose, inherent spice and savoury undertones. Though there’s also a mesmerising citrus character which gives freshness and clarity. The underlying spirit is clean, sweet and bright and the finish is gently warming. Individual, satisfying and complex, it is a spirit which certainly captures the transitional nature of autumn in its flavour profile.

Production of the Archie Rose X Horisumi Autumn Gin (AUD $99) is strictly limited. So, best to get in quick as winter is fast approaching. I mainly remember bare tree branches on my snowy trip to Japan, which would make a fairly bleak tattoo. Camellias and early plum blossoms perhaps? Time will tell.

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