From the coastal town of Geelong an hour southwest of Melbourne, Anther Distillery’s powerful, enigmatic yet dynamic Goddess Strength Gin takes our Taste Test.
About Anther Distillery
In 1915, the Federal Mills opened their doors in North Geelong, producing wool and textiles for the nation.
101 years later, Dr Dervilla McGowen and Sebastian Reaburn moved into the beautifully restored heritage building and the story of Anther Distillery came to life.
Their vision to create a gin that combines the beauty of nature, magic of distilling and the precision of science has produced magnificent spirits that continue to push the Australian gin and craft distilling movement ever further forward.
The name Anther comes from the anatomy of a flower—the part that holds the pollen and so in turn grow more plants (for making gin!).
The botanical reference and its scientific lean surely appeals to Dr Dervilla’s PhD, which is in Microbiology, but the word comes from the Latin: anthera, which means ‘medicine made from plants’.
In other words gin, right?
About the bottle
Anther’s Goddess Strength Gin has a number of subtle references, first and foremost its imagery of strong women. Indeed, Dr Derv has two other woman distillers in her team now: Gabby McKeon and Joey Tai.
This impressive trio represent an ever-burgeoning trend of women crafting superb spirits in a traditionally man-centric industry, and it’s a trend that we absolutely love.
Goddess Strength is also homage to American astronomer, naturalist and activist Maria Mitchell, who among other things discovered a comet that was later named after her.
The bottle’s label not only has a picture of a telescope on it but also a constellation that includes Mitchell’s favourite planets: Jupiter and Saturn.
On the back, between a beautifully illustrated graphic of the botanicals and the hand-written batch number of the gin, is a quote from Maria Mitchell that in some way speaks to how this gin came about:
“We especially need imagination in science. It is not all mathematics, nor all logic, but it is somewhat beauty and poetry.”
Anther lists 20 different botanicals in this navy strength gin.
Macedonian juniper, Indian Indian coriander and coriander seeds, cassia chips, orris root, Angelica, lemon scented gum, eucalyptus radiata, artemisia, clove, nutmeg, ginger, finger lime, grains of paradise, damiana, sarsaparilla, salt bush, cubeb, honey and two types of maple syrup!
But what does this all mean to the flavour?
In spite of the high ABV of this gin and its boggling list of botanicals, Goddess Strength has balance, structure and an incredible smoothness.
Citrus and juniper spring immediately into your nostrils as you first smell this gin and make your mouth water in anticipation. Behind that, there’s a soft floral note and a subtle savoury push that holds it all together.
Amazingly, you can get your nose quite close to this one without the expected alcohol burn you’d expect from 58%.
The initial taste matches the citrus drive of the gin’s fragrance and the juniper leads there too. There’s a warming almost sugar-syrup richness to the gin.
When the citrus subsides, you get many of the gin’s herbs and spices - woodiness, faint anise, ginger heat and gentle bitterness.
The gin’s long legs finish with an dense earthiness at the back of the mouth while the tingle in your throat beckons you on for another sip.
However you take your gin, this one will work. Incredible as a martini, sensational as a gimlet, more than able to stand up to tonics and pity the orange and vermouth in a negroni.
Goddess Strength indeed.