At the moment, there are not a lot of Australian distilleries whose gins are available in the UK; one is Four Pillars, and the other is West Winds.
West Winds gins are owned by The Tailor Made spirits company from Dalkeith, Western Australia and was established in June 2010. They produce two gins:
Sabre (40.0% ABV) – Described as an “Australian expression of a traditional gin”, this is made with botanicals including juniper, lime peel, lemon myrtle and wattle seed.
Cutlass (50.0% ABV) – West Winds’ second gin is described as a gin with “Australian character and a combination of juniper and uniquely Australian elements”. Its botanicals include cinnamon, myrtle, lemon myrtle, coriander, and Australian bush tomato.
West Winds Sabre (40.0% ABV)
On its own
Nose: Bright and zesty citrus, with notes of coriander and hints of vanilla spice, as well as citrus blossom.
Taste: Lots and lots of citrus: lemon, lime, and others, with coriander and a note of menthol pepper towards the end. This has a good flavour that’s contemporary, intense, and long-lasting.
Gin & Tonic
Fruity and juicy with a luscious vibrancy that makes this very refreshing. There are notes of dry juniper and angelica, especially at the end. This is a pleasant cooler that I could sip all afternoon.
Rich and fruity with floral notes, too, as well as a touch of grape, light, sweet spice, and bright, zesty citrus. There’s no need for a garnish in this Martini.
A floral, slightly juicy Negroni with plenty of citrus that makes it fresh, bright, and refreshing. There are some lovely light, sweet berry notes, too.
On its own
Nose: Less citrus, but more spice. Notes of dark chocolate and lime combine into notes of chocolate limes.
Taste: Lots of citrus towards the end. This is typically more gin-like than West Winds Sabre, with more juniper and angelica, and some coriander, too. The finish is then vibrant with notes of citrus sherbet and milk chocolate.
Gin & Tonic
Bright and brilliant – full of zesty citrus, which invigorates the drink. This would make a great first G&T of the evening, with the 50.0% ABV adding a little punch.
Very smooth, and with lots of citrus, with notes of coriander, lemon, and lime. This also has a lovely texture; fresh, with hints of juniper and spice on the finish.
This makes a smooth and thick Negroni with a good level of flavour: bitter herbal notes and bright citrus, making for an intense and delicious cocktail.
It is fair to say that both of the West Winds gins are fine examples from the growing community of international gin distilleries and the increasing number of Australian craft distillers. I like the straightforward nature and flavour intensity of the Sabre, which is a great gin for everyday drinking, and the Cutlass has additional complexity and a bright, more contemporary flavour.
I was impressed with both gins from West Winds and the approach to have two different gins in a portfolio. I especially enjoyed the Cutlass Gin & Tonic and the Sabre Martini.