William McHenry & Sons Distillery makes some of the best gin in Tasmania. The McHenry Classic Dry and Sloe gins have long been favourites in my collection, so I was excited that William has expanded the range to include McHenry Navy Strength.
Traditionally, these gins must be over 57% ABV to be called Navy Strength, and as a result they are notoriously bold. The higher alcohol strength can be off-putting, particularly to the novice gin-drinker, but for my money there is nothing better than a Navy Strength G&T. I would err on the side of caution when drinking 57% ABV gin, as they can be deceptive, and the hangover would be monumental.
All of William’s spirits are made with pure Tasmanian water from the distillery springs and this fresh spring water is certainly a factor in the clean, fresh flavours of his gins.
McHenry Classic Dry Gin is as it suggests, a London Dry style gin with juniper and citrus notes balanced with coriander seeds, cardamom, and orris root. In addition, William has used star anise for a little extra spice.
Taking this as his canvas for the Navy Strength gin, William altered the recipe slightly and added limes, boosting the citrus notes and bringing out the warm, spicier notes provided by the coriander and star anise. McHenry Navy Strength has a good mouth feel and length (meaning the flavour of the drink stays in your mouth and develops).
Achieving a gin of this smoothness at this strength is no mean feat, and it’s no surprise that McHenry Navy Strength gin was awarded a Gold Medal at the 2015 Australian Distilled Spirits Awards.
I’ve served it as a G&T with lemongrass, lime and a chilli garnish to compliment the citrus notes, but you could serve with a wedge of lime or maybe some Thai basil?
If you want to up the ante of your favourite Martini and Negroni, McHenry Navy Strength is fantastic, when making your Martini, I would make it wetter (higher ratio of vermouth to gin).
Country of Origin: Australia