Taste Test: Hickson Road Distillery’s Hickson House Gins
Hickson House Distillery, with its superlative views of Sydney Harbour Bridge from its pozzie in The Rocks, has put its extensive knowledge, experience and reputation into its gins. Here’s what we think of them.
He has the gin bar, he has the tonic line. Now skilled cocktail master and hospo legend Mikey Enright completes the circle with a gin distillery too. What’s next for Mikey? Perhaps an olive grove or cocktail onion factory?
But watch this space for Hickson House’s first bottles of single malt whisky in the next couple of years.
Along with Mikey, his business partner Julian Train and their head distiller Tim Stones have carved out a place for themselves in the busy Aussie craft gin environment (‘gin-vironment’ if you will) with a truly beautiful distillery door and bar, and a brace of gins worthy of the space.
They also have a navy strength gin and are starting to produce limited release gins to look out for like the Hickson Road Tepache Barrel-Aged Gin.
About the Bottles
Hickson House’s first two gins—the Hickson Road London Dry and the Hickson Road Australian Dry—show how this distillery is focused on that difficult disruptive binary of innovation while keeping with tradition.
Both are juniper-forward gins with a few staple botanical, but at the same time neither fits a conventional flavour profile. They’re both challenging and enjoyable at the same time.
The Hickson Road London Dry has coriander seed, orris, angelica root and a bit of native saltbush for fun.
Whereas the Hickson Road Australian Dry sports “traditional gin botanicals” (I’m guessing orris, angelica, coriander seed?) along with finger lime, aniseed myrtle and native thyme.
Hickson House’s London Dry begins with juniper and spice forward on the nose with a good dose of pepper too, along with one of my favourite smells: pencil shavings.
It’s very savoury to taste with no hint of citrus or sugar. It’s a robust gin with a slight nuttiness on the side, but mostly earthy woody flavours from the assortment of powerful savoury botanicals. A grown up gin.
The Hickson Road Australian Dry Gin also has juniper on the nose along with citrus from the finger lime and nudges of spice from the aniseed myrtle too. This is all topped up with savoury aromas, perhaps from the orris root.
The palate starts with a dash of citrus that quickly turns savoury with a big dose of coriander seed and juniper. Then the thyme and aniseed build for a long afterburner finish.
Both these gins are made for a martini—as a 50/50 or perfect martini, and definitely in a Gibson. It would also be interesting to make a gin sour with them.
These would also make great long gin drinks like Singapore slings, a gin fizz and of course a G&T.