Christmas Gin: the second coming

07 November, 2017 by Tam Allenby

Four Pillars has released the second version of its popular Christmas Gin, off the back of its overwhelming popularity last Christmas.

The Christmas gin is Four Pillars distiller Cam Mackenzie’s tribute to four things he loves: Australia, Christmas, gin, and his late mum Wilma.

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On Derby Day 2015, and again last year and this year, Cam distilled some Christmas puddings (homemade to his mother’s recipe), putting them in the botanical basket of Wilma (Four Pillars’ still) and distilling a base of juniper, cinnamon, star anise, coriander and angelica over the top.

Four Pillars also now have gin ageing in several 100+ year old Muscat barrels, including two 125-year-old ex-William Grants whisky barrels that, prior to arriving at Healesville, stored Rutherglen Muscat for 80 years.

Just like last year, Cam blended this gin with the Christmas pudding gin and to finish added a slight tweak of Classic Rutherglen Muscat to round out the palate and add a touch of richness.

The concept of the gin is the same for 2017, but the recipe has been tweaked slightly – with the addition of a small amount of Muscat that is maturing at the Four Pillars distillery, in old puncheons that used to hold aged Pedro Ximenez in the Barossa Valley

According to Four Pillars, this extra component will make the gin a little bit richer and add an additional layer of complexity.

The design of the bottle has changed as well; last year it was all warm sunshine and red wine stains, and this year it celebrates the classic Australian Christmas Beetle, with artist Darren Song designing the label based on a series of Christmas Beetle images he found in the archives of the State Library of Victoria.

Released last Saturday 4 November, the Four Pillars Australian Christmas Gin (43.8% ABV) is available online from www.fourpillarsgin.com.