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Water of Life – Brogan’s Way Distillery and Goodradigbee

Brogan’s Way Distillery was incepted in 2018 when the father, a qualified engineer, and daughter team, the latter of which contributing not only her scientific chops but also giving the operation its name, decided to study the art of distilling.

The duo not only set up their distillery and bar but within three years has established itself firmly on the firmament of Australian quality gin creators with the way they have refined their recipes with a custom made copper still with a modified design to extract finer flavour nuances.

My first exposure to Brogan’s Way was via their juniper forward navy strength expression Royal Blood, which despite packing the expected punch in the ABV department knows to convince with its finely calibrated of ingredients, i.e. rosemary, mountain pepper and olive leaves.

The result is a smorgasbord of flavours, set against a backdrop of cardamon heat. A savoury tour de force, which unveils new flavours with every sip ranging from citrussy via spicy territory to a wattle seedy transition to the aforementioned cardamon inspired crescendo.

Brogan’s Hearts Afire gin is an expression that could not better suit the colder months of the year, with the warming complexity being derived from nutmeg, cloves and aniseed myrtle counterpointed by a subtly sweet orange peel foundation and vibrant, spicy highlights courtesy of Lilli Pilli and cassia.

The elongated finish lingers warmly with what seems to be a bit of a trademark of Brogan’s Way, i.e. cardamon heat and pepper corny spiciness.

Given the quality of their gins, I can only hope that they Brogan’s Way will start their work on whiskies as well.

Bit of a gear change.


Goodradigbee Distillery is named after a river in the pristine Snowy Mountains wilderness of New South Wales, where its founder used to fly-fish and being his happy place, deemed it to be an appropriate name for his endeavours to create uniquely Australian spirits.

With an ironbark log smouldering away at one of the campfires during a fishing trip, it inspired a journey into exploring the aromas emerging from native trees and the creation of spirits paying homage to provenance and the territory they were to be created on.

By creating their trademark maturation cubes shaped from alpine hardwoods, Goodradigbee managed to create an accelerated maturation method with a higher wood-to-liquid ratio than a traditional barrel.

This method is amplified by the fact that hardwoods once they crack, absorb and interact with the distillate with a more flavourful outcome in a shorter period of time, resulting in an enhanced complexity.

Creating spirits in this manner enables Goodradigbee to create their spirits up to five times faster, while not sacrificing intense flavour profiles.

Case in point: Goodradigbee’s Sweetwater gin, which is infused with the heartwood of the ironbark tree along with local botanicals. The flavour intense drop delivers with a melange of anise and juniper, set against highlights of pepper berries, candied apples and myrtle.

The gin range is complemented by the Freshwater gin, which as the name would suggest, is on the sweeter end of the spectrum based on the distillation of native botanicals along with plums, quandongs, limes and currents.

However, the winner for me personally is their Ironbark Red whiskey, with offers quite a flavour journey: Starting on the sweeter side of things, honeyed citrus materializes on the top of the mouth before we arrive at dark chocolate territory, before it culminates in an elongated nutty, earthy and woody malt finish.

I cannot wait to try Goodradigbee’s future expressions and hope that I will be able to visit their operations soon.


images from company websites

T • June 21, 2021

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