Four Pillars is delighted to welcome Joe Worthington to our gin distilling family as our first Trade Relations Manager – UK and Europe.
Joe will be based in London and joins us from his most recent role as General Manager of the Portobello Road Distillery in Notting Hill.
Joe is well known to us at Four Pillars from his five years in Australia where he was Group Bars Manager for the Applejack Hospitality Group – owners of great Sydney bars including Della Hyde, So-Cal, Bondi Hardware and The Butler.
While at Applejack, Joe was a great supporter of Four Pillars and we became good mates – in fact he helped us run one of our first ever cocktail competitions. When Joe, originally from Leeds, decided to return to the UK in early 2016 we stayed in touch and drank together regularly on our trips to London.
When we decided to appoint our first Trade Relations Manager in the UK we hoped he might be interested and here we are with him in place.
Joe’s remit will be to work on all facets of our business in the UK – training retail and bar staff, working with our UK distributor Love Drinks on commercial arrangements, spreading the love of Australian gin and helping us develop markets inside mainland Europe. Joe will be the face of Four Pillars at consumer and trade events alike and we expect he will become a well-known figure in the UK drinks scene.
Four Pillars burst onto the global gin scene in early 2014 when our Rare Dry Gin collected the first of two Double Gold medals at the World Spirits Competition in San Francisco. We have since gone on to become one of the most awarded craft gins in Australia and maybe even the world.
Four Pillars has been available in the UK and Europe since 2015. In late 2016 we appointed Love Drinks to be our UK-based distributor. We are also available in Denmark, Sweden and Holland, with limited availability in several other nations. Four Pillars hopes to sell around 2000, 6-packs of gin across Europe in 2017. All the main Four Pillars variants are available in the UK and Europe including Rare Dry, Navy Strength, Spiced Negroni and Bloody Shiraz Gin.
Four Pillars Gin, the Yarra Valley-based Australian distillery, is delighted to announce the appointment of Love Drinks as its exclusive UK-based importer and distributor.
Four Pillars has been distributed by Liberty Wines since May 2015 and co-founder Stuart Gregor thanked Liberty for its efforts in establishing a strong foothold for the brand in Great Britain and Ireland.
“We have had a terrific start to our sales life in the UK thanks to David Gleave and his team at Liberty and we want to thank them for all their efforts,” Gregor said.
“The time has come for us to work closely with a group like Love Drinks that is single-minded in its focus on great spirits, great relationships and growing high quality craft brands so we are delighted that we’ve been able to come to an agreement with Kirsty and her team.
“We love their portfolio and we’ve been keeping a close eye on the success of our Aussie mate Mr Black and we hope we can really turn up the volume on our sales over the next few years.”
Speaking about working with Four Pillars Gin and distributing throughout the UK, Kirsty Loveday, CEO and Founder of Love Drinks said;
“When starting Love Drinks almost ten years ago, I wanted to work with brands that were credible, innovative, award-winning and authentic – oh, and they had to taste good too! Four Pillars has all of these elements in spades.
As we all know, gin is an extremely crowded market, but at Love Drinks we are working with gins that have USPs that cut through the chatter of other gins; gins that have got a long-term plan and are investing in the UK market.
Four Pillars Gin complements the fantastic heritage and classic Britishness of Hayman’s Gins with their new world innovation and Modern Australian attitude.
For starters they have this uncanny knack of creating simply world class gins; their Rare Dry and Navy Strength have won more gold medals combined than the Aussies did in Rio and the distillery continues to deliver serious new gins with a twist – their Bloody Shiraz Gin, a typically Australian riff on Sloe and the new Spiced Negroni Gin both show what they can do when let loose…
Their whole ethos, from the gins they make, to their host of activities at their distillery in Yarra Valley just makes me smile; they make marmalade from the oranges that go into the botanical basket and feed their own litter of rare breed pigs on the spent botanicals for goodness sake! We know that there will be a real appetite for Four Pillars Gin and we’re looking forward to working with the team.”
Four Pillars burst onto the global gin scene in early 2014 when its Rare Dry Gin collected the first of its two Double Gold medals at the World Spirits Competition in San Francisco. The Rare Dry gin (41.8% ABV) is the cornerstone of its expanding portfolio of unique and at times idiosyncratic gins.
The Rare Dry is a modern New World style of gin – plenty of juniper supported by some indigenous Australian botanicals including lemon myrtle and Tasmanian pepper berries as well as the addition of whole fresh oranges in the Carl-still botanical basket.
Sitting alongside the Rare Dry gin in the Four Pillars portfolio will be the Navy Strength – an explosive gin coming in at 58.8% ABV with native finger limes, turmeric and ginger added in the botanical basket.
The Navy Strength has finished top of the World Gin Masters Navy Strength class in both 2015 and 2016 and has won multiple accolades in the UK and around the world.
Also becoming available in the UK for the first time will be the Four Pillars Spiced Negroni Gin (43.8% ABV) – a hugely spicy gin that has been augmented with the addition of African, Indonesian and Chinese peppers and spices to be a gin specifically made to stand up and be noticed in that king of drinks, the Negroni.
Four Pillars also has something of a phenomenon on its hands with an Aussie riff on a Sloe Gin; a sweet, purple elixir that they call Bloody Shiraz Gin. Steeped for eight weeks with freshly picked shiraz grapes, this near full strength gin (37.8% abv) is sweet and luscious and unlike anything on the world gin market. In Australia, the entire production sold out in two months and some small quantities are arriving in the UK this November, with most already pre-sold.
Four Pillars will be joining the Love Drinks portfolio from December 1, 2016.
There seems to be a wave of new world gins coming over to the UK in the past 12-18 months, with Australia taking the ground of offering innovative brands and expressions. Oceania as a whole seem to offer a good selection, with Lighthouse gin from New Zealand already making its mark on the UK mainland with their original and navy strength formula, but experiencing a full range can be tricky, especially here in Manchester. With the growing bar scene and their willingness to experience the full potential of each brand, the city have been inviting Australia over to show off their look, with West Winds starting the trend, followed closely by Four Pillars.
Four Pillars is the showcased brand here as Stuart Gregor, one of the co-founders of the brand, visited last week as part of his UK tour (hitting also Liverpool, Leeds, London amongst others). Created back in 2013, Stuart and fellow marketing and wine maker Cameron Mackenzie and brand guru Matt Jones used Pozible (the Australian version of Kickstarter) to fund their dream of a craft distillery within the Yarra Valley, close to Melbourne. Using a CARL copper pot still (originating from the CARL workshop in Stuttgart, Germany, also the first of her kind commissioned in Australia) named Wilma which holds 450 litres and comes equipped with a botanical basket (for the whole oranges used within the recipe).
There’s enough capacity to create 460 bottles per seven hour distillation, but recent expansion now means that Wilma is joined by Jude (600 litres) and Eileen (50 litres and predominantly for experimental runs).
The water used to cut the gin down to the desired strength comes from the Yarra Valley, itself seen as some of the best water available due to the area’s protected water catchment area. The 157,000 hectares of mountain forests mean the rain water falls and filters naturally through eucalyptus foliage, ferns and dense forest floor, resulting in an alkaline water base with a crystal clear finish and a crisp, fresh sweet taste. This is filtered three times before being added to Four Pillars.
The botanicals within Four Pillars took 18 months of trials to get to the finished recipe, resulting in 10 botanicals featured. Included are two native botanicals in Tasmanian pepperberry and lemon myrtle (both in dry leaf form), plus cassia, star anise, cardamom and coriander seeds, juniper, lavender, whole oranges and angelica root.
For the Navy Strength expression, fresh finger limes are added to offer a more South East Asian feel to the gin.
So how do they all fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes –
Four Pillars Rare Dry – 41.8%
Subtle coriander and cardaman come through on the nose, with both flavours expressed more vibrantly upon the palate. Orange comes through with a bold statement, with the lemon offering a fresh, long, slight earthy finish.
Four Pillars Navy Strength– 58.8%
A savoury nose, with lavender and coriander coming through well. Sharp on the palate to begin, with dry citrus, slight salt too with a long, bold, sweet liquorice finish.
Four Pillars Barrel Aged – 43.8%
Soft, subtle oak on the nose, with subtle vanilla notes, slight Sauterne that offers onto the palate a sweet and very long bold, fresh finish.
Four Pillars Bloody Shiraz – 37.8%
Dried stoned fruits upon the nose, moving to a bold, naturally sweet profile on the palate. Plenty of dried prune and ripe grape coming through for a balanced, light finish.
Four Pillars Spiced Negroni– 43.8%
The first in the Bartender Series, this expression has been created in collaboration with Cameron (Four Pillars distiller) and Jason (then Manager of Sydney bars including The Rook and one of the World’s Top Ten Bartenders), bringing the Negroni cocktail as its inspiration.
Subtle white pepper upon the nose, with cardamon, lemon zest and grapefruit rind following. A soft start on the palate, growing in intensity with fresh grapefruit, lemon peel and cinnamon bark combining. Nutmeg and a soft anise are present on the long finish.
An amazing array of Australian gins that are perfect to enjoy over ice, but these recipes do look intriguing –
The Drop Bear
50 ml Four Pillars Rare Dry Gin
10 ml elderflower liqueur
30 ml eucalyptus syrup
30 ml fresh lemon juice
2 dashes orange bitters
10 ml egg white
Add ingredients to a shaker without ice and shake for 10 seconds (this will get that egg white nice and frothy). Add ice to the shaker and shake again. Strain into a chilled coupette.
20 ml Four Pillars Bloody Shiraz Gin
20 ml Campari
20 ml Dry Curacao (or any other orange liqueur, such as Cointreau)
20 ml fresh lemon juice
1 dash of Regan’s Orange Bitters
Lemon twist for garnish
Add ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled coupette glass and garnish with a lemon twist.
A range to entice you for sure, and should be a part of anyone gin collection. The Bloody Shiraz offers something different to the flavoured gin category, and the Barrel Aged is one of the better one’s, I believe, on the market today.
Shame we don’t get the sunshine enough to enjoy it the proper Australian way!