In the quest to distil truly exquisite spirits, the curious minds at Auld Distillery have long looked to their environment for inspiration. Operating since 1883 as a farm in the remote Scotts Gap in New Zealand’s South Island, Auld Distillery is one of a select few sustainable distilleries in the world that grows its own grain to make spirits. In fact, every ingredient used is sourced from the farm, making its libations the most authentic representation of southern flavours, and true farm-to-table drinks.
Now, the skilled family has created a series of delicious new gins — the Auld’s first foray into this botanical spirit — boasting delicate flavours that not only speak to the label’s remote surroundings but represent the culmination of three generations of farming the land, informing their unmatched distilling craftsmanship. An exploration of the capacity of the family land, at its most delicious.
For anyone unaware, the process of creating a gin is complex, and artful and requires a skilled set of hands to produce any kind of notable result. With that in mind, Auld Distillery’s first iterations of this spirit in the form of its Ocean’s Keep, Endless Field and Summit’s Reach drops, take this idea to another level.
Inspired by the Southern Ocean, almost within reach of Auld Distillery’s farm, Ocean’s Keep is crafted with an oat base and a distillate of Bluff oysters and local botanicals to offer undertones of salty seawater and a lingering citrus finish (the perfect base for a dirty martini). Whereas Endless Field takes its flavour cues from the plains that the Distillery calls home, with a single malt barley base making way for a bouquet of soft, fresh notes. Summit’s Reach, however, is perhaps the pinnacle of the new releases, with flavours that emulate the South Island’s alpine, mountainous topography to offer a crisp, fresh and inherently drinkable finish.
Alongside the new gins, Auld Distillery has also recently released Usquebaugh (pronounced oosh-ke-bah, for those curious) — a forgotten single malt elixir that the distillery has revived, and that is set to be served in some of New Zealand’s most discerning bars in a range of signature cocktails. Consider the likes of Caretaker, The Shy Guy and Boxer, the last of which will be hosting an intimate Usquebaugh dinner next Sunday the 11th of December, for which we have a table for four to giveaway.
In this lavish affair, renowned Chef Ed Verner will draw on the ‘lost elixir’ for a gastronomic experience that is not to be repeated any time soon, where each course will be paired with a bespoke cocktail to match the intriguing menu. The flavours will draw on those found in the excellent spirit; a complex and layered drink that begins sweet and honey-like, followed by a clever meld of cake spice, malt and anise. It’s both velvety and dry, with its warmth depth offset by green, menthol and fresh spice notes, for a flavour that feels utterly complete.
With Auld Distillery’s legacy apparently shaping up to be one of New Zealand’s premiere purveyors of spirits, coupled with its revival of the iconic Usquebaugh, it makes sense that the next step for this label is to expand its offering in the coming years. An evolution that, if this taster is anything to go by, will be well worth the wait.
This competition is now closed.