Splendid Gin is quintessentially Tasmanian, and most definitely interesting in more ways than one. With the tagline, ‘Purity and Obscurity in Equal Measure,’ it’s not surprising to find that the founding of Splendid is a rich tapestry of coincidences, historical references and even a famous English writer. Because…why not?
Still, let’s try to work this into some sort of understandable tale.
Michael and Ange, met Kellie and Tim while both couples were living in historic homes on Tasmania’s east coast. Both the houses happened to have been owned by Louisa Ann Meredith, the English writer who famously wrote about Tasmania and her love of Australia.
This is where it starts to get weird…er.
Michael came from marketing, having worked at an executive level for design agencies.
Ange had a background in media and event management.
Kellie knew all about logistics.
And Tim…well, Tim was the managing director of Spring Vale wines and so knew a thing or two about the industry.
Finding the right people is usually one of the major challenges for a small distillery – but Splendid started with that problem solved. Oh, and coming from Tasmania, they had an easy time finding some of the cleanest natural spring water in the world. Heck, they could have walked to the nearest stream if they had wanted to. In the end, however, they settled on water from the Spring Vale Estate. Botanicals were harder to find; they had to go all the way along the road for those.
So, with literary homes, the best natural ingredients and a group of qualified founders, anyone level-headed would produce a traditional gin and promote it as such. But this is not a group of people who believe in doing traditional things in a traditional fashion. The Splendid gin combines nine botanicals, including juniper, coriander – and mandarin. It’s traditional…and then something else that’s uniquely Splendid.
The aim was to create a gin that was Tasmanian – but not just in terms of the natural ingredients, free-flowing streams and stunning scenery. Splendid is a testament to the people of Tasmania – rebels and thinkers, independent and with a unique sense of what life is about. They, like the gin, are almost contradictions of themselves, indeed the founders talk of the old Tasmania when it was, “A land where bushrangers roamed whilst others played croquet on lawn. When life was simple, if not a little odd.”
This seems to be not only the thought process of the founders but also a rule for how Splendid is made and promoted. Everything points out the contradictory nature of Tasmania and it’s people. The gin, the state and those who inhabit it, refuse to be pigeonholed into categories or defined as a job or any other function within society. In Tasmania, people are like the land, just as they present themselves. A rock is a rock and a strange looking rock is just that. If Splendid were a rock, it would be very strange looking, delicious and unique, all the characteristics that make it and those who created it, uniquely Tasmanian.