Animus Distillery

I wonder how many gin distilleries can claim to pick a proportion of their botanicals fresh from its own on-site, botanical garden in the cool of the morning, then, use this fresh harvest to distill their gins in the same afternoon? For some time, we’ve been searching for a local distillery to complement our international gin offering. Until recently nothing had really blown us away. Then the lads from Animus distillery turned up.

Animus was founded in 2015 by a group of whisky lovers (Luke Jacques, Joel Wilson, Rob Turner and Aaron Robinson), who decided to produce gin while waiting for their whisky to mature in barrel. This Kilmore-based distillery initially began working out of a Fitzroy North garage. Thanks to the quality of their early gin releases, the operation quickly outgrew this space and has now relocated to a larger rural property where they have been able to establish their own botanical garden. Once we knew that it was whisky lovers behind this project, the quality of the gins made sense. These are some of the most textural, complex and finely balanced gins we’ve tasted and they offer the kind of sipping satisfaction that is typically only on offer from aged spirits. They are gins that you can quite happily sip neat, on ice, although they also mix very well. Regardless, they offer a shot across the bow to the more whimsical whizz-bang gin operations that are proliferating across the market. Animus may be fairly new on the scene, but their three gins are more than making up for lost time.

The key elements: The unique freshness of the botanicals, the use of a pure, carbon filtered grain spirit, the 100% vapour-pressed distillation and the overproof bottling…

For their base, Animus take the highest grade, 100% Australian grain spirit and triple filter it using a custom built, gravity-fed, carbon filter system. This provides an extremely pure, neutral spirit for their distillation. As mentioned above, a number of the botanicals, such as Strawberry Gum leaf, lemon thyme, lemon, myrtle, Kaffir lime leaf and rosemary, come from their own garden and these gin gardeners are currently at work growing a variety of citrus trees. From the purchased botanicals, the focus remains on a high proportion of fresh ingredients – all kinds of citrus and fresh roots – more of which you can read about on the distiller’s website.

From here, the botanicals are distilled using only the ‘vapour press’ method, where the ingredients infuse outside of the boiling liquid, in a botanical basket set in the vapour chamber above the still’s 50 litre pot. Capturing the cleanest, purest flavour possible is central to Animus’ philosophy, and this is one of the keys to understanding the level of freshness, brightness and detail they manage to instil in each of their gins. Further, the spirits are produced in small batches, with the botanical basket recharged after every few litres in order to extract only the most vibrant, intense aromas and flavours of the native and international ingredients. This all makes for an incredibly demanding, time consuming and expensive way to make gin but the proof is in the glass. The quality is absolutely outstanding and stacks up the very best gins we have tasted, from anywhere in the world.

All of Animus’ gins are bottled at 50% abv. After much trial and error, the distillers found it was at this 100-proof that the gins really hit the sweet spot – showing lifted perfume, pristine flavours, creamy texture and integrated spirit. And this is absolutely what you get in the glass. But don’t just take our word for it, please ask your account manager for a taste of these wonderful gins.