78 Degrees Gin is the latest Australian Gin to come to my attention. I was particularly interested to try it when I discovered the distiller, Sacha, built the still himself!
Made in the Adelaide Hills, South Australia, 78 degrees gin is vapour-infused using a grape-based spirit. Using a grape-based spirit instead of grain results in a softer feel in the mouth (other grape spirit based gins include: Melbourne Gin Company, Bass & Flinders and G’vine).
Vapour-infusing is a gentler method of distilling the botanicals. Instead of sitting in the alcohol in the pot still, they sit in a basket above the liquid. As the alcohol boils, vapours pass through the botanicals. Hendrick’s Gin uses a mix of pot still and vapour-infused distillates, while Bombay Sapphire is 100% vapour-infused.
78 Degrees (which gets its name from the boiling point of alcohol) is distilled with 12 botanicals: juniper, coriander, fresh citrus peel (orange, lemon and lime), star anise, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, black peppercorn, green peppercorn and orris root.
It has a juniper and fresh citrus aroma, with a tiny hint of cinnamon and coriander. On tasting it is a bright, citrussy gin. A bit grassy and fresh leading into some earthy, spicy flavours and finishing on lingering warm pepper notes.
When I first looked at the botanicals used, and noted clove, star anise and peppercorn, I was expecting something much spicier and heavier, with an intense heat. However, the combination of grape spirit as the base and the vapour-infusion results in a gin with a good balance of flavours.
Country of Origin: Australia