While a gin made in Gingin may seem obvious, it took just the right person to bring it to life, a champion distiller and a guy who has been visiting and driving through Gingin for 40 years
His small tin shed distillery only opened in 2016, but James Young has already won back-to-back Distillery of the Year titles at Australia’s most prestigious spirit competition. With that enviable title under his belt, the Perth local is about to see his lifelong dream become a reality; the opening of brand-new distillery in Gingin, and the launch of a world class gin of the same calibre that earnt Old Young’s the highest accolade possible at the Australian Distilled Spirit Awards in 2017 and 2018. The move means Gin will finally have a spiritual home, not London, or even The Netherlands, but in West Australia. Gingin Gin: a modern classic where Mediterranean meets exotic, is made using the finest locally sourced ingredients from Gingin, as well as botanicals from far away exotic locations.
“I’ve been driving through Gingin since I was 3 or 4 years old. The penny finally dropped that I should be making gin in Gingin about 8-10 years ago,” said James Young. “I’m merely the custodian of Gingin Gin however, and so it is incumbent on me to make an amazing gin that befits the name. Anything less than the perfect packaging, design and liquid would be underselling the region’s incredible local ingredients and pristine water. Being locked down during COVID forced my hand to finally get this project moving.
“I have been a gin guy ever since I downed my first G&T at the age of 18. The town of Gingin, one hour from where I was born, is not only aptly named, but also uniquely credentialed to make a truly exceptional gin. A food bowl brimming with local botanicals. A place where pristine waters meet. Where Italian juniper and German angelica meet local lemons, oranges, and olive leaf. Where tea from Sri Lanka brews out back to give the world’s finest ingredients a twist. A place that turns gin’s heritage into a new tradition.
“To get the flavour profile exactly right was a labour of love. Whereas it usually takes me around five or so attempts to get my spirits to a point I’m ready to share with the public, Gingin Gin was different. It had to be next level perfection to do its namesake justice, which is why I was only eventually satisfied with our 24th recipe. Something like COVID only happens once in a hundred years and I definitely made use of the focussed time it afforded me. I’m so proud of this gin – I believe the quality of this ‘juice’ is befitting of this town’s name.
“The flavour of Gingin Gin is a modern classic, which Australia does so well. It’s east meets west, Mediterranean meets exotic. Deep juniper notes and a citrus finish with a bergamot and elderflower like nose. And while we have sourced the absolute best local ingredients for this gin from Gingin, we have also scoured the world for the very best ingredients: our classic ingredients include Tuscan juniper, Spanish coriander, and German angelica, while our exotics include liquorice from China, Ti Kwan Yin (Green Tea) from Sri Lanka, and almond from Egypt.
While Gingin may be on the opposite side of the world to London or gin’s other birthplace, Holland, its indigenous meaning – ‘The place of many streams’, signifies water purity, which is the basis of any good spirit.
The distillery and tasting room in Gingin will take over the recently closed Riseborough Estate winery, which is architecturally designed and has a beautiful outlook over vines. Gingin Gin will take delivery of its next generation ‘smart’ still imported from the Netherlands on January 8, with the tasting room expecting to open in February 2021.
The bottle design was created by Stranger and Stranger, New York, one of the world’s most awarded design agency that specialises in wine and spirits. With an Aussie designer as part of the team, the spirit of Australia was definitely captured. The bottle design is inspired by a corrugated iron tank, and the label a plethora of Australian design references – including newspapers, old stamps and landmarks of Gingin including the iconic water wheel.
Gingin Gin’s Batch 1, made using local Gingin ingredients as well as its pristine waters, was made at Old Young’s Swan Valley operation ahead of the Gingin distillery opening. Released to the public this week, the gin has already been a massive success with retailers in the lead up to Christmas. Each Dan Murphy’s in West Australia has taken delivery of the spirit, with one retailer immediately placing an instant order of fifteen more cases due to the pedigree of its stablemates.
Gingin Gin is also available to buy from Old Young’s Swan Valley Tasting Room as well as online from oldyoungs.com.au