The bright spotlight of our Taste Test series has landed on Bathurst, NSW and Stone Pine Distillery’s Seasonal Orange Blossom Gin.
Hiding amongst the green leaves and bright orange fruit, the little white blossoms of the orange trees in the Western Plains seem an unlikely crop for Ian Glen, owner-distiller of Stone Pine Distillery near Bathurst, NSW.
But with an eye for crafting spirits that hero Australian botanicals, Ian has spotted a flavour profile that everyone else seems to have missed.
About Stone Pine Distillery
From 2006, Stone Pine Distillery has been creating beautiful flavours in its spirits - from classic dry gins to rambunctious rums.
But Ian’s spirits all have one thing in common led by his passion for Aussie botanicals.
From the pink finger limes in his gins to the macadamia nuts in his brilliant spiced rums, Mr Glen’s spirits are all unquestionably Australian.
About the bottle
Stone Pine’s Seasonal Orange Blossom Gin has more value in it than the gin alone.
To raise awareness for the necessary reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, a tree will be planted for every bottle of Orange Blossom Gin purchased.
Ian and his wife Bev have always been advocates for environmental conservation, so partnering with Carbon Neutral in this on-going campaign means a lot to them. The green label on the Orange Blossom Gin bottles is a mark of their commitment.
As well as the all-important orange blossoms Ian introduces into the gin, he also uses pink finger limes and lemon myrtle to maintain a pronounced citrus flavour.
Of course there’s also juniper involved as well as another three botanicals, all playing their part in this wonderful sister to Stone Pine’s Dry Gin.
There’s an exotic feel to the gin; plenty of juniper on the nose as well as light floral aromas from the orange blossoms.
Flavours are at first ever so slightly sweet with a lovely juniper edge. The orange blossom give the gin a somehow delicate yet robust profile. It allows the citrus from the finger limes and lemon myrtle, and the herbaceous juniper base to really shine.
The finish is long and as the juniper dies down a little, the floral hints from the blossoms remain.
Past iterations have had much stronger blossom notes that would overpower straight up cocktails like martinis.
But this juniper-forward version really shows Ian’s ability to control the flavour profiles, honing this gin to be a beautifully nuanced spirit that drinks well on its own but is also incredibly versatile.
Superb in a dry martini (garnished with a sliver of orange peel of course), this gin also makes an excellent G&T.
But in a negroni, the Orange Blossom Gin is just delicious. It gives everything against the sweet bitterness of the Campari and allows the vermouth to tone, but at the end, there’s somehow a savoury umami from the gin you don’t really get elsewhere.