Gin World Cup is very much a ‘thing’ and the inaugural series was executed in all its junipery brilliance by James Young from Old Young’s. Held in the heart of Swan Valley at Old Young’s distillery itself as part of the Entwined Festival, 16 gins were pitted against each other in a Soccer style World Cup game providing a segue for arbitrary results. Curious? I was too.
As broken down by distiller/event organiser James, the 16 gins – 3 x Old Young’s, 7 x Australian and 6 x Internationals have been drawn into 4 pools of four with 6 pool matches for 24 round games all up. The top 2 from each pool will then proceed to quarter finals leading into semi finals and the (Gin) World Cup Final. 32 participants including myself were given a chance to represent ONE (1) gin and referee at least one match with 6 mixers adding a curve ball to said matches. My favourites were the martini and Negroni dice roll both having the potential to make a round completely unpredictable.
The gin I was assigned to as #21 was Tasmania’s Dascher + Fisher Ocean gin. As a gin enthusiast, I personally appreciate a gin that can pack on a juniper-y punch. I’m also always on the look out for gins using botanicals from their region to create a unique and well balanced product. Dasher + Fisher is a lovely Australian salty gin made from seaweed and its first round it was against Victoria’s Animus Arboretum gin (a solid herbaceous gin!) The curve ball determined by a dice roll was Strangelove’s Dirty Tonic which brilliantly complemented the salty undertones of the Dasher + Fisher ending the match is 3-2 to Tasmania. Further proving this World Cup was any gin’s game one of my long favourite gins Koval – a strong International gin from Windy City, Chicago lost out in its first two rounds to Rogue Society (NZ) and Canberra Distillery’s Winter Gin. It was controversy and shock but curve balls and personal taste preference of individual participants (referees) can shift the game any way. The match I refereed was a tough one. It was WA against WA with newcomer Sin Gin based in West Perth against Old Young’s very own 6 Seasons Gin. Personally, I wouldn’t use either gins in a negroni as their caraway and eucalyptus flavour profile can overpower the Campari. I’m quite a traditionalist when it comes to the classics. The match was a close one. With caraway lingering in Sin Gin and (something) overpowering the Campari in 6 Seasons it ended with in a draw of 4-4. Try the 6 Seasons as a crisp gin and tonic instead!
After a few rounds, a penalty shoot out and many many gins a winner was finally crowned.
Quarter Final 1: Rogue Gin (NZ) vs. Never Never (SA)
Quarter Final 2: Dasher Fisher (TAS) vs Old Young’s 1827 (WA)
Quarter Final 3: Mt Uncle Botanic Australis (Queensland) vs Old Young’s 1829 (WA)
Quarter Final 4: Costwolds Dry Gin (UK) vs Old Young’s Six Seasons (WA)
Semi Final 1: Rogue Society vs Old Young’s Six Seasons
Semi Final 2: Old Young’s 1827 vs Mt Uncle
FINALS: Rogue Society vs Old Young’s 1827
WINNER: ROGUE SOCIETY (NZ)
The inaugural Gin World Cup proved to be a brilliant effort for getting gin lovers together (old and new) to try a range of gins and pit them against each other. Ending with some controversy, luck and plenty of Negroni curve balls along the way, the first Gin World Cup was a success!
Congrats to James, his team (Leon & Chantelle) and his lovely wife for putting on a unique Gin experience. This event is in the works for being an annual occurrence so stay tuned. Thank you for having us!
The full lineup and my few favourites marked below:
Canberra Distillery’s Winter Gin (ACT)
Animus Arboretum Gin (VIC)
Never Never Triple Juniper Gin (SA) *
Manly Spirits (NSW) *
Sin Gin (WA)
Dasher + Fisher Ocean Gin (TAS)
Mt Uncle Botanic Australis Gin (Queensland)
Poli Marconi 46 (ITA) *
Koval Organic Gin (CHI) *
Rogue Society (NZ)
Costwolds Dry Gin (UK)*
Ginraw Gastronomic (ESP)*
Ki No Bi Gin (JPN)
Old Young 1827 (WA) *
Old Young’s Six Seasons (WA)*
Old Young’s 1829 (WA)