Tasmania has a lot of things going for it; idyllic national parks, diverse wildlife and a climate ideal for food, white wine, pinot noir and of course gin. Anyone who has spent any time at all on the Apple Isle has been left permanently altered, as expectations of looks and taste move into another realm. If Tasmania had a most commonly used phrase, it would probably be, “I didn’t know (insert food or drink) could be so tasty.”
If you’ve never visited Tasmania before, flick us an email and we would be thrilled to recommend some incredible distilleries and tourist spots. One of those is Nonesuch distillery, which we first visited back in 2016.
Rex, the owner is an extraordinary character. Open, friendly and more than happy to have a long yarn about his passion for gin distilling.
As we meet more distillers around Australia, it’s becoming apparent that nobody ever has the intention of “getting into gin.” It’s one of those things like art or sport that requires an unusual passion and motivation to create something that people will love.
Rex is no exception.
Having enjoyed a long career in financial services, which saw him travel the country entertaining clients and developing a taste for wine, food and spirits, he fell madly in love with Tasmania. The Gin Gods conspired with his employer to send him to Tasmania permanently, and then, even more fortuitously, to create a convenient redundancy. Rex found himself in a unique position; he had time, money and an opportunity to live the life he imagined in a place he loved. Luckily for us, Rex decided to embrace his new found freedom, and create a gin just as memorable as the land from which it comes, the inspiration for which, came in part from the legendary Bill Lark. Bill saw the opportunity to use the naturally growing sloes to make Tassie’s very own sloe gin and gradually convinced Rex that he was the man to do it.
But that isn’t the end of the story. Rex had his sloes picked for a first batch, but a hiccup in his still production meant he wasn’t able to get production rolling. In stepped Bill McHenry of McHenry’s distillery fame. Asking Rex if he would entrust his recipe to him, he offered to distil Rex’s first batch at McHenry’s, so the precious sloes wouldn’t go to waste. While many other distillers would be hesitant to share their recipe, Tasmanian practitioners have unusual levels of trust and cooperation; the understanding that everyone experiences ups and downs and a good community sticks together.
So, the Nonesuch story began, and we can’t wait to see where it goes to from here. Representing so much of what we love in Australian distilling, Nonesuch is a small distillery in a shed on a hill, with a super personality and of course some incredible products that we know you’ll enjoy drinking as much as we do.
This month, we’re delighted to bring you both Nonesuch gins. We’re also excited about the third which is on the way very shortly and when it arrives you’ll be the first to know. Rex has kindly promised to send us 1 bottle of the first batch and Rex, this is one promise we’ll be holding you to.