Seppeltsfield Rd Distillers gin is made in the Barossa Valley, South Australia, famous for its natural beauty and lush vineyards.
Price: ~ £36 (50cl)
February’s Craft Gin Club offering comes all the way from the famous Barossa Valley wine region of South Australia, an hour or so from Adelaide. Founders Jon and Nicole came to gin in a somewhat roundabout way, having tried various careers including the police, music, and business between them. Having come to the UK for work, and finding themselves unfulfilled and missing home, it was Jon who, lightheartedly, suggested Nicole put her impressive palate to work making gin. Cue excitement and anticipation, followed by a trip to London and a whole lot of research, until they knew there was no stopping them. They wanted to make gin, and they wanted to do it in the Barossa Valley, where Nicole’s family had been part of the wine industry for generations. Just eighteen months from Jon’s suggestion, they began building their distillery using, of all things, shipping containers, and at the heart of it all is their still, Christine, named after Nicole’s grandmother. The pair knew they wanted to create a range of gins from the start, to match the surrounding vineyards ability to offer guests multiple tastings. From 20 basic recipes, they picked their top three, and these make up their core range.
The bottle is cylindrical with angled shoulder and a tall, narrow neck. The distillery name is embossed on the shoulder, while the front is covered by a couple of beautifully designed labels. The main label is textured white with the name of the distillery nestled within in a gorgeous, round and symmetrical design featuring botanicals. It actually looks like a top down photo of the actual berries, twigs, leaves, and seeds laid out in a pattern. The text is a lovely metallic bronze (as is the screw cap) which reflects the light nicely. Around the right side of the label is a little ‘hand written’ note from Jon and Nicole, hoping you enjoy the gin.
Beneath that is a narrow orange label with the name of the gin (in this case ‘House Gin’), Nicole’s signature as distiller, and the usual info. Overall it’s a lovely, subtle, and warm design that absolutely invites you to drink the contents.
Right away, this is a special smelling gin, and it might just be me but it kinda smells Australian! It’s classic, but busy, with citrus and florals floating in a haze around a lovely juniper core. While there are plenty of familiar notes to the aroma, I find that they appear so well blended that picking out individual tones is more difficult than usual. Instead this gin for me is evocative, sparking emotions and sensations, rather than the recognition of specific smells and flavours. The aroma is more of a feeling to me, which is quite the experience! Personally though, I do get a lime-like citrus, and a little bright pop of pepper. It’s lovely.
Neat, the citrus is not as forward as might be expected, though it is prominent. Pine sits pride of place, confident but not heavy, and there’s a definite savoury element for me. There’s a peppery bite on the tongue, but it’s balanced by a sweet, slightly powdery floral note, though this sits within a stronger, more bitter and slightly earthy citrus. It’s thinner on the tongue than the nose might suggest, and perhaps a little less flavoursome, though that is not to suggest it doesn’t still have plenty of flavour. Once it has sat for a little while, the citrus brightens up, with the grapefruit pushing through along with subtle notes of chamomile and elderflower, which I find are two quite strong but powdered flavours. It’s well balanced, and definitely on the dry end of the spectrum!
Water puts rocket skates on the cinnamon, which comes through spiced and a little bitter. The florals too are charged, with chamomile and now the lavender coming through nicely, while lifting the more bitter notes of the citrus and peppercorn. I still get that pleasantly savoury, even slightly herbaceous profile, and those powdered notes remain. It’s a different profile and for me more enjoyable.
Finally, a G&T (3:1 Franklin & Sons Indian Tonic with a wedge of lime to garnish). The result is absolutely fantastic. Once again this is a gin made for cocktails, and in a G&T it positively sings. Here, the citrus works wonders, with the grapefruit in particular coming up fresh and vibrant. But interestingly that’s not the main headline. For me, along with the lovely dry juniper, it’s the florals, in particular the lavender, that undergoes a renaissance. There are bright mauve flowery flavours, including violet for me (which may be the cornflower), which transform the profile of the drink and lift it into much lighter, crisper realms. It’s still dry, but it’s sweeter and very well balanced. This is a great G&T.
Seppeltsfield Rd House Gin is a versatile gin that I am excited to use in a range of drinks. It’s well made, with a great base and a well constructed botanical profile that blends well to create something that is greater than the sum of its parts. It’s an evocative flavour profile that I think would suit a variety of tastes, and I’d definitely recommend it.
Seppeltsfield Rd Gin is available (in the UK) via Spirits Kiosk or Craft Gin Club
All reviews are of the author’s personal collection, bought and paid for by the author, unless otherwise stated.