The team at The West Winds have a vision “to produce distinctive Australian gin that would rival the best in the world” and so far we have been very impressed by their work, with three of their gins: Sabre, Cutlass and Broadside on our shelves. Their forth gin, The Captain’s Cut has finally arrived on our shores and so we were very eager to try it out.
The West Winds don’t reveal much about the botanicals in their gins although they do concentrate on local sourcing and indigenous plants which make for original and distinctive flavour profiles. The Captain’s Cut is described as having fleshy pink grapefruit and a palette of peppery native sage and thyme, with an undercurrent of violet and pine. At a whopping 63% abv we were somewhat unsure if we were heading into stormy waters or set for plain sailing but there was nothing to do except splice the main brace and trust that the captain has a firm hand on the helm. And so onto the gin.
The nose is fresh and clean, bold piney juniper and sweet violet with subtle but distinct savoury hoppy notes at the end.
Tasted neat, we would describe it as sweet herbaceous, however summing it up in two words does not do it justice. There is an initial punch of pink grapefruit, a quick snap of juniper and then a wave of sweet herbaceous notes that yield to a bitter peppery swell that ebbs to a long sweet menthol linger.
With tonic (Fever-Tree Indian) the nose is still present and has taken a savoury edge. The profile is quite astonishing; an explosive collision of sweet and savoury. Like the ocean crashing in on coastal rocks there is simultaneous burst of citrus with a strong undertow of savoury that rounds out to a long sweet linger that begs for another sip. The Captain’s Cut makes an extremely refreshing gin and tonic, literally making it taste more effervescent, more sparkling and surprisingly light on the palette for such a punchy abv gin. We will garnish with thyme and grapefruit peel for an extremely moreish G&T.
A truly excellent gin and a fabulous addition to the West Winds Fleet.