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Author: Glenn McPhee   Date Posted:1 February 2020 

Introducing Wolf Lane Distillery image

Wolf Lane Distillery

Hailing from Far North Queensland, Wolf Lane Distillery is in my opinion one of the most exciting to hit the Australian market recently, due to the absolute quality of their maiden gin - Wolf Lane Tropical Gin.

I first came across Wolf Lane when I was one of the judges for the Australian Gin Awards in November 2019. Little did I know at the time, but “Number 43”, tasted blind within the Contemporary Gin category – and highly rated by all judges – was an absolute newcomer amongst Australian gins. The gin was awarded a gold medal, and several weeks later when the results were released, I discovered its name . . . Wolf Lane Tropical Gin.

I’ve since scored this gin a second time using The Gin Boutique’s own gin scoring system – and have again scored it as a gold medal gin with a gin score of 93/100 – an outstanding gin. The aspect that stands out to me most is the balance, which is absolutely perfect, despite being quite complex.

This blog introduces Wolf Lane Distillery and gives an overview of their three gins.

The story goes back to 2016 when some good friends created Three Wolves (a cocktail and whiskey bar) in Cairns. After a successful start another two bars were launched: Gin Social (a hotel lobby gin bar in the Hilton Hotel) and Flamingos Tiki Bar. With a variety of different bars and surrounded by spirits, the friends found themselves continually being drawn back to gin. Being such a versatile spirit, they loved the idea of creating their own version of a perfect gin.

In 2018 they acquired a beautiful red brick building dating from the early 1900s and located next door to Three Wolves. Stripping the building back to its original structure left a unique and beautiful space to start crafting their own gin. Using a custom 8-plate column still named Column Farrell (a pun on the actor Colin Farrell) they distil a clean base spirit (at ABV 96%) which is diluted down and distilled a second time to create their award-winning gins. Wolf Lane Distillery steeps their dry botanicals for 24 hours and add the fresh local botanicals to a copper gin basket for vapor infusion during this second distillation. 

The Wolf Lane Distillery’s mission is to produce a gin that represents both the Far North Queensland region and the lifestyle lived up north.

Their three gins are:

  1. Wolf Lane – Tropical Gin
  2. Wolf Lane – Navy Strength Gin
  3. Wolf Lane – Davidson Plum Gin

Below is a quick overview of each:

1. Wolf Lane – Tropical Gin

Eight dry botanicals are steeped overnight whilst five fresh & locally sourced botanicals are vapour infused in the gin basket.

Botanicals: juniper, coriander seed, angelica root, cinnamon, lemon myrtle, Tasmanian pepperberry, cardamom and macadamia. Locally sourced ruby grapefruit, mango, finger lime, lavender and mint.

Tasting notes: An outstanding gin (Gin Score: 93/100). Contemporary gin style: citrus-forward with a perfect and delicate balance.

  • Nose: Lovely rounded juniper nose with soft citrus notes … complex and balanced.
  • Palate: Fresh ocean with honeyed edges. Has a lovely rounded, creamy mouthfeel with citrus and a slight pepper on finish.
  • Balance: Excellent complexity and balance.

Serving Suggestions

  • Perfect in a G&T, garnished with a slice of grapefruit
  • For tonic, I suggest a premium Australia tonic such as Long-Rays, Capi Dry or StrangeLove Light or No.8.

Awards: Gold medal at the 2019 Australian Gin Awards

2. Wolf Lane - Navy Strength Gin

Wolf Lane makes their Navy Strength Gin to pay homage to when gin was drunk by Royal Navy officers and sailors alike whilst exploring the high seas. At 118 proof (58%), this gin packs a punch with strong notes of finger limes and ruby grapefruit. 

Serving suggestion: make yourself up a Royal Sea:

  • 45 ml Wolf Lane Navy Strength Gin
  • 30 ml Ruby Grapefruit juice
  • 30 ml Lavender Syrup (or simple Sugar Syrup if you dont have Lavender)
  • 20 ml Lemon juice
  • Shake all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and strain into a cocktail glass

3. Wolf Lane - Davidson Plum Gin

A tropical Queensland take on a traditional sloe gin; swapping sloe berries for locally grown Far North Queensland Davidson Plums. The plums are steeped for up to 3 months to produce a truly unique sloe style gin.

With an earthy aroma that is reminiscent of plum jam, stewed rhubarb and a touch of sweetness. It makes for a perfect after dinner gin. 

Serving suggestion: brilliant in a Gin Sour:

  • 60 ml Wolf Lane Davidson Plum Gin
  • 30 ml Lemon juice
  • 20 ml Sugar Syrup (add more or less to taste - I suggest a bit less than normal as the gin is naturally sweet)
  • egg white (1/2 an egg, or 10-15 ml)
  • Shake all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and strain into a cocktail glass
  • Garnish with 3 drops of orange bitters

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