Taste Test - Tara Distillery’s Pot Still Gin
Combining coastal botanicals from the beautiful Shoalhaven region with the flavours and mythology of Ireland, Tara Distillery’s Pot Still Gin is a handcrafted masterpiece.
Two and a half hours south of Sydney on the sweeping coastline of the Shoalhaven, Tara Distillery has revived a tradition of hand-crafting spirits that goes back to the 1880s.
Halted by police in the 19th Century, bootleggers finally gave up their illegal practice. But since October 2019, Tara Distillery has brought the art of craft spirits back to the region.
About Tara Distillery
Head distiller and co-founder Alana Doherty has not only built Tara Distillery to represent the Shoalhaven—its environment and its history—but also to reflect her Irish heritage.
Although Tara is nailing it on the gin and vodka fronts at the moment, they’ll be ready to release their first batch of whiskey pretty soon. Yes, I said ‘whiskEy’ because Alana and Tara Distillery’s other co-founder Ben Stephenson will be following an Irish whiskey style; triple-distilling before ageing, tempering and bottling.
If you want an idea of what the whiskey will taste like, you should give Tara’s The Exile Poitín a go. This new make is something really special—you can learn more about it in our full review here.
For their gin, Tara have included Irish botanicals to ensure the Emerald Isle plays its part here too.
About the Bottle
Tara’s Pot Still Gin gets its name from another nod to the distillery’s Irish influence: the copper pot still where the gin is born is named Beag (or Bec if you like).
Although the word means ‘small’ or ‘little’ in Irish, Beag was also one of the Tuatha Dé Danann—the pre-Christian gods of Irish Gaelic pagans.
It’s a well-chosen name—from Tara’s little copper pot still comes something truly heavenly.
Along with a firm juniper base, Tara uses coriander, Angelica, local Aussie pepper berry leaf and native lemon myrtle as the main ingredients.
Irish rowanberry, hawthorn, heather and a perennial herb called Newfoundland savoury add extra layers of flavour, while Australian macadamia goes in to add oil to the mouthfeel.
Each botanical is individually distilled and blended into a final distillate that’s then tempered with the pure, clean rainwater falling around the hills and slopes of the Cambewarra Ranges of the Shoalhaven.
Lots of juniper on the nose, but fresh, herbal and a touch of sweet citrus.
The juniper-forward notes follow in the taste. There’s also a bit of herbaceous spice and pepper, and a hint of eucalypt that lifts the gin towards the end.
Tara Distillery’s Pot Still Gin’s finish is very long with a lemon sherbet note right at the end and a lovely oily texture from the macadamia nuts that coats the mouth in a very satisfying way.
Interestingly, there’s also a little savoury, grain-like taste to the gin that reminds me of Tara’s Poitín.
Tara’s Pot Still Gin is ideal in a martini, but is also going to be a knock-out G&T, negroni, gimlet… pretty much anywhere that you want a well-balanced yet vocal gin.