Nine Fathoms Canterbury Gin - A close look at our grain-to-glass Gin
Born from an idea that Gin should be hand-made and hand-crafted, and named after a small passage in Dusky Sound where Moose were spotted in the past, Nine Fathoms Canterbury Gin is the pinnacle of distilling here at Herrick Creek.
We start by making a whisky mash. Grain - only grain. In the past we used malted barley, and for Batch 3 we used unmalted wheat and oats. We also only use Canterbury-grown grain. We use grain because it has a beautiful mouthfeel and a rich cereal smell and taste that we want in the final product. We use nine botanicals, but the tenth ingredient truly is the grain.
Like a whisky, we use our Copper Pot still to distill it once to seperate the alcohol from the ferment, called the stripping run. Then we run it second time to clean up the alcohol and find the "hearts" cut - in whisky, these "hearts" are what we would put into the barrel. Finally, we add our botanicals into the alcohol "hearts" and let it infuse for at least 24-36 hours, and then run it a third time with botanicals also in the vapour path.
The result is a Gin that's oily, sweet, and full of character. The citrus and kiwi fruit offer a fruity nose mixed with the neutral cereal grain notes, juniper, and hops. The flavour starts fruity sweet and ends with a bit of horopito spice and hoppy dryness on the finish. It lingers as well - you can sip this one straight like a whisky, and enjoy a glass all evening long.
At 57% alcohol by volume, this is a Navy Strength Gin. Why? When we made our first batch of Nine Fathoms in 2020, we noticed that we packed so much botanical goodness into the Gin that when it was diluted under about 48%, it louched (got cloudy). So we did more testing (a lot of testing) and finally found that at 57%, the Gin was bolder and stood up better when mixed. When you add tonic to your Nine Fathoms Gin, or mix it in a cocktail, you can still tell that our specific gin is being used.
If you want to drink it straight, I highly recommend you do. Like a whiskey, Nine Fathoms is bold and full of flavours to explore, so set aside an evening, pour a nip straight or on ice, and enjoy the experience.
To mix, your favourite tonic will work fine, and Nine Fathoms is bold enough to still be visible in the end product. We personally love Cucumber Tonic, as it really shines with our botanical mix.
This is true New Zealand Small Batch Gin. Copper Pot distilled and made with local ingredients. We sincerely hope you enjoy all the hours and effort we put into fermenting, distilliing, bottling, and labelling this Gin.