A unique Gin Tasting Experience on the Barrington Coast
Allworth. It’s a rural farming area on the beautiful Barrington Coast. Around 45 mins from the north end of Newcastle and located along the scenic Bucketts Way stretch of road.
I, like many of my friends hadn’t heard of it until last week when we were fortunate enough to take a road trip “strictly for research purposes” to the quaint but very picturesque region.
You see, Allworth has a little secret. It’s the home of local Gin Distillery, The Farmer’s Wife.
Now, you may not have heard of Allworth, but I’m almost certain you know The Farmer’s Wife and their delicious, Autumn Dry Gin. You might’ve even tried it with a G&T or Negroni at your favourite Newcastle pub or bar.
As we discovered during our special tasting with owner/distiller Kylie Sepos, the trip to Allworth, was all worthwhile.
I’ll level with you. When we contacted Kylie to arrange a tour and tasting, it was off the back of news she had just released a Warm Winter Gin.
As only the second Gin produced by The Farmer’s Wife, this new release was pretty exciting. Naturally, we were all keen to try it.
You see, like the Autumn Dry Gin, the Warm Winter Gin is made with 13 thoughtfully procured botanicals. I say thoughtfully procured because according to Kylie, creating her unique Gin recipe took a while...
“People kept asking are you going to do another Gin and I kept thinking, I don’t know how I’m going to make a different Gin. I really just like this one! It’s taken me three years to get the recipe just right.”
As we smell the dried botanicals and learn about the role each plays in crafting the Gins complex flavour profile, there’s no doubt in my mind that Kylie’s found her calling. Like all artists, she’s extremely passionate about The Farmer’s Wife.
She’s an artist, a master-blender, and Autumn Dry Gin is her masterpiece. Kylie puts it aptly.
“Your palate is like a bar of music and the botanicals are like the notes on that bar. With Autumn Dry, you can really taste the different botanicals at different spots on your palate.”
Let me tell you about the botanicals. They're a mixture of both traditional gin botanicals along with Native Australian botanicals sourced locally. Kylie explains. “The recipe has Juniper and Coriander which are commonly used to make Gin. The Cardamom, Angelica Root, Liquorice Root and Orris Root (from the Iris flower) are all traditional botanicals too and these provide lovely earthy, spicy notes.”
That’s where the similarity ends though.
“Our Gin also has Lemon Myrtle which provides lovely creamy citrus notes and Anise Myrtle and Pepper Berries which add soft menthol and peppery characters. The Red Ruby Grapefruit peel and Kaffir Lime leaf adds layers of candied citrus and lime.”
And the pièce de résistance? Two native signature ingredients, Sage and Australian Stingless Bee Honey which really set the Autumn Dry Gin apart.
In addition to the 13 signature botanicals, the new Warm Winter Gin has an added layer of complexity from six-months aging in Whisky barrels.
“I’ve always wanted to do a barrel-aged Gin so we took our signature Gin and aged it in peated whisky barrels supplied by Black Gate Distillery. The Malt Whisky flavours are really complementary to our Autumn Dry Gin, so it was the perfect choice.”
Both Gins are certainly one of a kind, and tasting them neat, on ice and as cocktails at the distillery is a pretty special experience.
Kylie even offers beautiful grazing boards to enjoy with your Gin tasting.
After thoroughly enjoying our last cocktail of the day, a ‘Smokin’ Mule’ – the Warm Winter Gin with a spicy ginger beer mixer and smoked rosemary garnish – it’s easy to see why there’s not a whole lot of the inaugural batch left in stock.
“We produced 400 bottles of the Warm Winter Gin and pre-released it to our Members and on-premise customers in Newcastle. It just took off” says Kylie.
If you can’t get your hands on the new release, don’t be disheartened. Another batch is definitely on the cards but you’ll have to be patient. Kylie will be starting the blending process again soon but the bottled product won’t be ready until next year. Just in time for Winter of course.
The new Warm Winter Gin’s been so popular that Kylie’s thinking of creating a pre-order system for next time.
Perhaps the best way to secure a bottle though is to become a Gin devotee and join their very cool Members Club which by the way, is nothing like your run of the mill wine club memberships. A Farmer’s Wife Gin Membership is all about the experience, specifically, enjoying cocktails.
Each membership includes a beautiful Farmer’s Wife Copper Cocktail set, a complimentary joining gift, and four seasonal cocktail kits per year. These kits come with a 700ml bottle of Autumn Dry Gin along with a recipe and ingredients to make and share the “cocktail of the season” with your friends and loved ones. Cool huh!
There’s also a little ‘something extra’ included with each season’s kit to help build your cocktail set. The Winter kit just released included a gorgeous copper stirrer to get your Gin cocktails tasting just right.
The membership, which can be taken quarterly or annually includes free shipping and a complimentary tour and tasting at the distillery for up to 10 people.
This taste and tour experience will be amped up a notch next year too when The Farmer’s Wife opens their new cellar door just down the road.
“We’re really excited to get the new cellar door project underway. It’ll be larger than our current facilities here on the farm and will have a café and a permaculture garden onsite so we can grow all our own botanicals.”
To order The Farmer’s Wife Gins, click here. $1 from every bottle purchased is donated by The Farmer’s Wife Distillery to Rural Aid’s ‘Buy a Bale' campaign to assist Australian farmers. To date, The Farmer’s Wife have raised $15,000!
The Farmer’s Wife Distillery tours and tastings cost $15 per person and bookings are by appointment only. Call 0473 001 033 or click here.