Where do we start with Four Pillars Navy Strength, the list of medals would put Michael Phelps to shame:
Global Gin Masters 2016 (2nd year running)
Hong Kong IWSC 2014
London IWSC 2015
San Francisco World Spirit Competition 2015
Four Pillars gin is built on ‘four pillars’, a great still, great botanicals, great local water and great love, attention and craft. We’re told there’s another more ‘colourful’ explanation the name, but we’ll focus on this one for now!
Four Pillars gins are distilled in Wilma (Four Pillars original copper still), or Jude a later edition 600L still. While the majority of the ‘dry’ botanicals are infused in the pot, the whole oranges which make Four Pillars gins unique, are placed in the botanical basket above the pot and are vapour infused.
Not only does this give the gin a lovely fragrance, but a fantastic by product of the process is the incredible marmalade made from these oranges after distillation!
While the Navy Strength bears small similarities to the rare dry on which it’s based, this is a bigger, beefier gin. Firstly and most obviously is the higher alcoholic content. At 58.8% this is around 17% higher than the rare dry. After some experimentation when developing the navy strength, Four Pillars chose to add fresh Byron Bay finger limes alongside the oranges in the botanical basket for distillation.
The finger limes highlight the Asian spices like coriander and star anise, and are complemented by the addition of fresh ginger. From a botanical sense, fresh turmeric is the final addition (over the rare dry) and adds a fresh but earthy quality.
The Navy Strength has lifted aromatics of lime curd, pine needles and fragrant spices, with a vanilla character which pulls these together. The palate is intense – sweet and juicy – but still very clean. The turmeric adds weight and earthiness to the palate with a quality not unlike dill or cucumber.
How to drink:
Let’s begin with just tasting this neat to begin with. You may want to warm your palate up for this one, so we would happily recommend you try another nip or two of some of the gins you have in your collection already.
You’ll really appreciate the higher ABV in comparison to your other 40% gins.
After this, definitely crack open a bottle of tonic water and enjoy a good old fashioned G&T. The thing we love about the Navy Strength over many gins, is the fact it’s not lost when mixed with tonic, or in a cocktail. That added alcohol content as well as the additional botanicals, ensures the flavour of this gin isn’t lost.
This was a big factor in creating the Navy Strength for Four Pillars and we can absolutely appreciate the thinking behind it.
Once you’ve got your head around this gin in it’s simpler drink forms, why not graduate onto one of this month’s cocktail selections!