Country of origin: Australia Alcohol by Volume (ABV): 63%. Bottle size: 500ml
Launched on World Gin Day in 2015, the Captain's Cut, at 63% ABV is not to be trifled with. The land's strongest gin stands up in a Dirty Martini, a crew favourite called The Last Word or a G&T with a slice of pink grapefruit and crushed fennel seeds or lemon peel with cracked pepper finish.
The West Winds Gins are distilled in a 600 litre copper pot still, "Pugwash". The selection of the copper still is not just to make it look impressive, but the copper actually contributes to the smoothness of the spirits by removing impurities.
West Winds start the process of making their gins by macerating the chosen botanicals in the highest quality Australian wheat-based alcohol. The purity of this alcohol base means that the gin distillate only incorporates the flavours we want. Note that there is no gluten in the wheat-based neutral alcohol used.
Each distillation takes a number of hours, not including the 24 hours that for the raw ingredients to macerate before distilling. The process retains only the heart of the distillation, disposing of the heads (the first distillate to emerge) and the tails (the last part of the distillation) in order to retain only the best flavours in the gins.
The Tailor Made Spirits Company: The West Winds Gins were created by four intrepid and adventurous Aussies who wanted to realise a vision – to produce distinctive Australian gin that would rival the best in the world. They wanted to create Damn Fine Gin, from Australia.
The journey began in a bar in Balaclava in suburban Melbourne in 2010 when 2005 42BELOW World Cocktail Champion Jason Chan took Paul White (engineer, and distiller), Jeremy Spencer (spirits industry identity), and James Clarke (wine industry expert) through a line-up of gins as he espoused his vision: two gins, both savoury in character, one at 40% incorporating toasted Australian wattle seed and one at 50% incorporating native Australian bush tomato.
Just over a year later in early 2011, Tailor Made released the two artisan gins into the market. The vision had come to fruition. The Sabre, a London Dry Gin, at 40% with toasted wattle seed and The Cutlass, the stronger 50% with kutjera (native bush tomato) were ready for consumption.
The Cutlass and The Sabre were both submitted to the 2011 San Francisco International Spirits Competition, taking Double Gold and Gold awards respectively. With this The West Winds Gins were launched to an appreciative international crowd who were embracing the resurgence and revival of artisanal distilling.
The prestigious ‘Double Gold’ for The Cutlass was a first for an Australian gin producer and was not a fluke. Both The Cutlass and The Sabre have gone on to reap other global awards including a second Double Gold for The Cutlass after the Company’s second entry in the San Francisco Competition again in 2013.
The West Winds Gins are unashamedly different and uniquely Australian. Inspired by seafarers, distilled by craftsmen, The West Winds Gins are Damn Fine Gins, from Australia.
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