The story behind Archie Rose Distillery

The story behind Archie Rose Distillery
December 21, 2015 Gin Lane

Each month we talk to the people behind the wonderful gin. We believe the more you know about where it all comes from, the more you can appreciate the gin. Plus, you’ll be well on your way to become an impressive Ginius…

GL: Guys, thank you so much for agreeing to be the inaugural Gin Lane “gin of the month”. Tell us, what got you started in the distilling business?

AR: From growing up experimenting with homebrew to distilling (awful) rum in a little 5 litre oak cask, atarting a distillery has always been a dream. From the early days it was difficult to see how a distillery could work in Sydney. There were no major inner city distilleries, and the craft scene locally and globally hadn’t really kicked off. There were very few role models.

GL: What was the turning point?

AR: New York! The craft scene was starting to grow and out in Brooklyn there were inspirational distilleries to tour. Like New York, Sydney has a unique history in spirits, craft brewing and distillation, so it was odd that no one had tried it back here. After months of research trying to find out why, there was just no reason, so the idea of Archie Rose, the first distillery in a major Australian city was born. From there, it was off to Tasmania to visit some of the finest distillers, and meetings with the founding fathers of the modern Australia distilling industry. Fast forward 18 months and we are now making Gin, Vodka and White Rye as well as laying down casks of Single Malt and Rye Whisky for the years to come.

GL: You also run a successful bar at your distillery.

AR: Yes, the bar is going well, serving incredibly cocktails with spirits we produce on site. Our ice is made from the same filtered water we use in the spirit. You can have a tour of our facility and now even make your own gin! The bar recently won Best International Bar at the Restaurant & Bar Design Awards held in London in October.

GL: What do you think makes your gin so unique?

AR: We think we’ve got a great blend of the finest ingredients, the best local equipment and a passionate but caring team. We filtrate our own water (six times!). Our copper stills are from Peter Bailly from Hobart, the only stillmaker in Australia and we individually distill each and every botanical via three separate infusion points.

GL: Hold on…you filtrate Sydney’s water six times. Isn’t that a bit excessive? We’ve tried the water at your distillery and it’s smooth as silk, but come on!

AR: Perhaps, especially given the quality of the local water already. But, in our opinion it’s worth it and something your members will appreciate.

GL: Tell us about the botanicals. You’ve tried to source as locally as possible?

AR: Right. It took us a long time to find the right botanicals. We wanted to keep things local and searched all over Australia for native botanicals that could replace, and even outshine, some of the traditional botanicals used in dry gins. Aside from the obvious juniper base, the citrus is provided by Lemon Myrtle and Blood Limes (a CSIRO created fruit combining finger limes and Rangpur limes), the herbal notes by River Mint (SA) and Dorrigo Pepperleaf (NSW). It’s all brought together using a combination of the more traditional botanicals of fresh apples and oranges, coriander, ginger, angelica root, liquorice root, orris root, cardamom and cassia bark.

GL: Finally, we want to give a special shout out to Nigel Weisbaum from Archie Rose. Nigel has been so generous with his time and encouraging of our idea. When we started exploring the concept of Gin Lane, Nigel was one of the first people we met with and he’s been nothing but supportive since. Look out for more from Archie Rose and Gin Lane in the future.


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