Aussie gin aims for the big league
You have to admire their ambition. The price of AUD $90 for 700ml immediately lobs start-up Aussie gin Dasher + Fisher into the big league, above even Hendricks and Tanqueray No 10. But these Tasmanian gins are very fine indeed.
My intro came via Ben Moechtar, a highly respected former Sydney sommelier whose previous gig was running the excellent Spanish tapas joint Delicado Foods in Blues Point Road, McMahons Point, Sydney. Moechtar is now doing sales and marketing for Dasher + Fisher, a trio of gins from Devonport, Tasmania. They are produced by the Southern Wild Distillery in Devonport, which also has a cellar door and wine bar in the north-western Tassie town. Devonport is where the Melbourne ferry pulls in, which is probably strategic. It also gives access to what is described as very pure water, from snow-melt in the Cradle Mountain area, as well as site-specific botanicals, to wit, wakame seaweed from the sea, native pepperberries and lavender from the land.
The trio of gins are innovatively conceived and named. Mountain Gin is based on pepperberries; Meadow Gin is based on lavender, and Ocean Gin is based on wakame. You can buy them individually for AUD $90 for 700ml, or a cute gift box of 200ml bottles of all three, also priced at AUD $90.
The gift box is fun. Not only do they make good cocktails, they taste good neat and comparing them is fascinating.
I liked them equally, but they were all quite different. Here are my impressions, and please bear in mind that I’m no expert at tasting gin. Just because I describe the aroma as I perceive it doesn’t mean that’s what’s in the gin.
Dasher + Fisher Mountain Gin
11 botanicals, including “pepperberries and herbs found on the way to Cradle Mountain”. Lovely clean, fresh, pristine aroma with strong elements of cassia bark, also sandalwood, the palate very intense and penetrating, very long and pristinely clean. A fair bit of after-heat. Excellent. (45% alcohol).
Dasher + Fisher Meadow Gin
15 botanicals, including “lavender, oranges and herbs picked from local gardens and fields”. Again very clean, fresh, and pristine with definite orange/citrus elements, but much more than that – very complex and fascinating. Again very long and warming. Superb. (45% alcohol).
Dasher + Fisher Ocean Gin
12 botanicals, including “wakame seaweed, harvested in the chilly Tasman sea. It flaunts a clean, salty, smooth sophistication”. Very spicy gin aromas, complex and fragrant; it’s hard to isolate specific aromas except it’s spicy with plenty of cinnamon and juniper. Not sure I can taste the wakame. The palate seems sweeter and fuller than the other two D+F gins, and it is quite a different style. (42% alcohol).
All highly recommended.