Four Pillars Rare Gin Review
Updated: Sep 10, 2020
Australian gin made with whole oranges
Review Four Pillars Rare Gin
Made in: Healesville, Victoria, Australia, by Four Pillars Distillery
Method: Copper Pot Still
41.8% alcohol/83.6 proof
Botanicals 10: Juniper, whole orange, lemon myrtle, cardamom, star anise, cassia, coriander, angelica root, lavender, pepperberry.
Style: modern gin.
It's hard to believe that Four Pillars gin has only been around since 2013 because they produce some great gin, and different styles of gin. They are creative, interesting, and frankly they are damn good. They are a dedicated gin producer, and this one Four Pillars is their flagship product, although not necessarily their best (matter of opinion).
They source many of their botanicals close to home in Australia, including the pepperberry, lavender, and lemon myrtle. They distill it using local Yarra Valley water to produce some excellent gins.
While I’ve only seen a handful of these here in the USA, I’m greatly looking forward to trying their Olive Leaf Gin.
The nose is a strong citrus- orange and lemon - along with pepper, and juniper.
There wasn’t a huge amount of heat when sipped neat, but it opened beautifully with ice.
The first sip had hints of the bitterness of licorice, mixed with mint - and menthol (which was wildly unexpected) but with each sip it revealed more and more levels of flavor with cinnamon, lemon, cardamom, orange, and which was followed by the lingering flavors of licorice and juniper with notes of pepper.
The mouthfeel is luxurious and cool.
With such a complex taste profile I wasn’t sure it would handle cocktails well. So I was thrilled when I finally tasted it in a martini - a wet martini as it merged so well with dry vermouth, and let the flavors shine through. That it put the drink on the charts of better martinis.
Mixed with classic Indian tonic, the Four Pillars made an excellent gin and tonic. It was cool and refreshing with plenty of citrus built in - the flavors of orange, licorice and even a tiny bit of something just a touch cinnamony poke through and merged well with the tonic.
Figuring out something more complex but which wouldn’t overwhelm the layers of botanicals in the gin was a bit harder. I felt they were lost in a negroni, but they substituted well for an old tom gin in a Martinez. In an Aviation cocktail I found I had to dial back the lemon a bit due to the citrusy nature of the gin. But when I used a ½ ounce of lemon juice instead of ¾ it made for a very well balanced Aviation. That said, it seems a waste of gin this good to use as a mixer where some of the subtleties of the flavor profile will be lost.
In general this isn’t an easy mixing gin which will go well with complex cocktails. It’s best with ice, with dry vermouth, and with tonic, basically for drinks where gin is the star, not the other ingredients.
Overall rating: 87. It’s very good, but just not quite versatile enough to be an elite gin.
What you need to know about reviews: All my reviews are my honest opinions based upon my own personal tasting. I am NOT a paid reviewer, and no compensation was given, or expected. I may from time to time choose to do a second review and amend my opinion of a product, should I feel like it, and find my review criteria has evolved, or that I’ve found it different at a later date. That said, as I’m unlikely to repurchase anything I thought was less than very good to excellent, it would be by chance or at the request of a distiller who thought I rated them very unfairly - BUT even then, whatever you get will always be my honest opinion.