Gin is my favorite flavor of vodka. It’s true; if you take away all the botanicals used to make gin, you would end up with some mighty fine vodka, but removing all those wonderful flavors would be nothing short of a criminal act. And the good folks at Four Pillars, just outside of Melbourne, Australia, have really gone out of their way to incorporate some mighty fine botanicals in their gins.

Four Pillars gin comes in two flavors: Rare Dry Gin (41.8% ABV) and Navy Strength (58.8% ABV). Besides the obvious differences in alcohol content, there’s also a considerable difference in botanicals. The Rare Dry Gin contains lemon myrtle, Tasmanian pepper, juniper, cardamom, coriander, star anise, lavender, cassia and angelica, along with 8 pounds of fresh oranges that go into the botanical basket for every distillation. The Navy Strength gin boasts finger limes, fresh ginger, and turmeric.


Today, we’ll be tasting their award winning Rare Dry Gin. The nose is flowery and floral and citrusy and light and sweet and features the juniper and oranges. On the palate, I immediately get the taste of candied orange peels, juniper, cinnamon, and muted floral notes, along with just a hint of spiciness. The finish lasts a medium amount of time leaving that touch of spice, along with the juniper and oranges and liquorice. All the botanicals are well combined and quite subtle, without any one of them overpowering any other. A touch of tonic water and a cube or two of ice and a touch of orange peel turns this into one of the better gin and tonics I’ve had in a long time. It is both tart and sweet at the same time. I have to admit I also tried it as a straight up martini, of course, without that pesky vermouth, and I liked the subtlety of the flavors and aromas. (By the by if you should happen to ever buy a bottle of vermouth, it should last you the rest of your life. It should be utilized so sparingly that you don’t even actually need to open the bottle, just pass it over the intended drink, recite an ancient Celtic rune, nod your head reverently and be done with it!!)

Four Pillars rare dry gin can be found in two flavors and strengths and prices. The Four Pillars rare dry gin weighs in at 41.8% ABV or 83.6 proof and costs around $38.00 per 750ML bottle while the Navy Strength gin weighs in at 58.8% ABV or 118 proof and costs $48.00 per 750ML bottle.


By George Brozowski