Faultline Down Under
After seven months of waiting for the final results, our first ever collaboration with Four Pillars Distillery has arrived and I couldn't be more excited. If you don't remember my blog posts from this past February, I flew out to Australia to work on a special distillation under our Faultline gin label and stood side-by-side with distiller Cameron MacKenzie in the lab, tasting through different botanicals and fleshing out the concept. I've been obsessed with Four Pillars gin since the very first moment I tasted it in January of 2015 when the distillery gang flew out from Melbourne for the Superbowl that year in SF. They dropped by the store unannounced, put a bottle of the Rare Dry in my hand, and the rest is history. I'd never had a gin that good before and I've still yet to have one since—and I drink a LOT of gin. But beyond the flavor, what I respected most about Four Pillars was that they were ONLY making gin; not single malt, or vodka, or whiskey, or some other spirit to help pay the bills, but just gin. They're like gin specialists, concocting incredible flavors on their copper stills in the Yarra Valley.
Cameron had a smorgasbord of botanicals awaiting me when I arrived at the distillery; all kinds of fun stuff like red and green szechuan, grains of paradise, and peppermint gum. My job was to get an idea of what I wanted our K&L batch of gin to taste like, map out the recipe, and fill Cam in on the details. I already knew the direction I wanted to go. I wanted to build on the core pillars (pardon the pun) of the brand and simply dial them up in a different way: big citrus and big fruit, accented by sweeter spices and oily residues. My goal was simple: make something distinct, exciting, new, but also characteristic of everything I already love about Four Pillars.
After eliminating some of the tamer elements, we put together a recipe including lemon myrtle, strawberry gum, roasted wattleseed, Tasmanian pepper, fresh cumquats, orange peels, and a heavy dose of sandlewood nuts to add an oiliness. The result is a nuanced, exotic, utterly sippable gin that still showcases the classic citrus with flavors that are exciting and fresh, adding in a symphony of savory with herbaceous exquisiteness. The gin completely stands on its own in a standard martini, but mixes beautifully into a gin & tonic or Negroni without losing its character. I think fans of Four Pillars will go mad for this new expression with its supple mouthfeel and vibrant botanicals, but any true gin lover will want to give it a spin as it's that darn good.
While the label lists me as the "co-distiller" for the project, I think that's a bit misleading because I didn't do anything but taste and edit; however, I appreciate the acknowledgement. In the end, this gin is all about Four Pillars and their incredible talent, not mine. My job is simply to put fantastic new spirits in your hands and I think I'm living up to my end of the bargain here.
Now I just need a thousand people to drink it with me!!