Old Young’s Handcrafted Spirits haven’t been around long, but they’ve won quite an array of awards already. Hailing from Swan Valley, Australia their line of Australia inspired contemporary gins are distilled from local sugar cane and feature local flourishes as well.
This sample was shared with me by David T. Smith and appears to be of a barrel aged gin (B.A.G., get it?) and does not seem to be currently available. But given that it won a Bronze Australian Distilled Spirits Awards, it seems worth a look to try a barrel aged gin from the Southern Hemisphere.
The spirit itself is a shade of harvest gold, even resembling saffron dissolved in oil. Attractive and golden hued.
The nose is peppery with a touch of cardamom, along with some coriander spice, juniper and vanilla. The aging adds a nice toffee note as well. Quite nice, with some nice barrel character coming through, and precious little literal wood notes on the nose.
The palate is pleasant and quite smooth, beginning eerily quiet, mid palate has maple and brown sugar notes; after that a brief flash of spice with a hint of bay laurel, piney juniper, orange zest, and a hint of licorice back behind things. The finish brings with it a touch more brown sugar, but also some surprising notes of black cherries, citrus zest and rain kissed oak. The finish is long and warming, with a faint coolness redolent of mint, but incredibly distant. Quite lovely, especially just on its own.
I’m not an expert on Australian botanicals, but I do taste something that is vaguely familiar with other Australian gins. Perhaps something that reminds me of other gins with Myrtles and Wattle Seed in them; however, my lack of familiarity with them outside of gin leaves me at a disadvantage at picking them out exactly. There’s something in the flavor that does remind me of other Australian gins, which leads to the suggestion that perhaps there’s a unique flavor accord that Australian distillers have stumbled upon? I don’t know. But I do know this is a pretty good, well made barrel aged gin.
It’s only a small sample, but alike in my previous tests of spirits from Old Young’s I taste a lot of promise. The spirit itself is of high quality and the flavor is good and different from other barrel aged gins. I love how nicely balanced the oak is within the mix, you get none of the very literal wood notes that other aged gins sometimes come right at you with.
Overall, it’s a good gin that I could see myself enjoying neat. And also a good sign for barrel aged gin in Australia overall.
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