Taste Test: Bass & Flinders’ Maritime Australian Dry Gin
Surrounded by the coastline of the beautiful Mornington Peninsula, Bass and Flinders Distillery is perfectly positioned to craft an Aussie gin with a nautical vibe. This is the Bass and Flinders’ Maritime Australian Dry Gin.
About Bass and Flinders Distillery
With the peaceful waters of Port Philip on one hand and the angry maelstrom of the Bass Straight on the other, the thin finger of land that is the Mornington Peninsula is truly open to the oceanic elements.
And these elements come into play so often in the remarkable amount of produce you’ll find here.
For Bass and Flinders Distillery, which has close ties to the famous wine industry here and still uses their own grape-based spirit, the seas around the Mornington are a huge influence.
Bass and Flinders started out—in 2009—as a cognac-style brandy distillery and the first distillery on the peninsula. You really need to check out their Ochre Fine Brandy by the way.
They’ve since expanded their range to several styles of gin, liquors and au de vie, all of which harness the same grape-based spirit sourced from a single vineyard in Victoria.
About the Bottle
With its gold cap glinting like a pirate’s smile, the Maritime Australian Dry Gin promises to show you to its hidden treasure; how this gin marks the spot on where the salty air and sea breezes combine with the eucalypt bushland and cultivated vineyards.
Bass and Flinders Distillery has worked hard to encompass so many of these things in the gin, to create a savoury yet lively spirit that speaks of its surroundings.
The distillery forages kelp seaweed and samphire, a salty crunchy coastal plant, locally for this gin.
Also into the botanicals basket goes coastal salt bush, lemon myrtle, currant bush, juniper and of course the grape-based spirit that Bass and Flinders is known for.
The Maritime Gin is lively and lemony nose. There’s spice from juniper and a kind of nettly umami savoury note from the seaweed and samphire. There’s also a little eucalypt menthol too, possibly from the currant bush.
The lively lemon is only in the nose.
To taste, this gin is much more savoury with all of those coastal botanicals bringing flavours of the sea into action.
The samphire and kelp really push that crunchy, salty sense, while the smoothness from the grape spirit and a little citrus towards the end develop and send this gin into so many subtle tributaries.
Bass and Flinders Distillery’s Maritime Australian Dry Gin makes a knockout martini—as dry as you can take it—and a particularly good G&T.
I’d also like to try this in a gimlet to see how those lemon notes would work with the citrus and how the salinity of the coastal botanicals would counter the lemon.