Alchemy Distillers | 5 Year Anniversary Distiller's Cut Gin



From left: Evan Kipping & Jannick Zester

Nestled in the Yarra Valley, Healesville is a haven for foodies and wine lovers alike. Located just over an hour North-East of Melbourne, it is home to various hatted restaurants and the likes of Domaine Chandon and Rochford Wines. Fitting in perfectly are the adventurous duo, Jannick Zester and Evan Kipping – the brains, hearts and souls behind Alchemy Distillers.

Jannick and Evan met a number of years ago, when Evan took the plunge and moved to Healesville to take on a management position in a local Japanese restaurant. The adventure started over a few beers when Evan and Jannick began discussing a vision to move into the spirits industry, and brainstorm how they’d use the incredible space that they had access to. What was once an old bakery tucked down a laneway on the main street of Healesville is now home to their distillery, and they’ve since been joined by Callum and Matt, who headup their production team.

Early days saw Evan and Jannick planning to hire a distilling team with considerably more experience in the field than they had, but once the stills arrived they couldn’t keep their hands off them. They began experimenting, tasting and learning, and after many trials and errors finally landed on their very first recipe for their Chamomile Gin. They were hooked, and the rest is history. Taking on the roles of head distillers themselves has been the best decision they’ve ever made. Honing their skills and knowledge over the past 6 years, Alchemy Distillers has been a huge success.

For Jannick and Evan, they’ve always stayed true to their namesake; the process of ‘Alchemy’ is centered around working with base materials to turn them into something higher. It is thought to have been the pursuit of turning lead to gold, or emotions into a higher form of consciousness. Both of these felt apt for the Alchemy team who are always looking to turn raw ingredients into delicious spirits and grow their wisdom as people.

The Alchemy team is always exploring and looking for ways to expand – they had originally set up a cocktail and tasting bar alongside their distilling equipment, but knowing Evan and Jannick, it was never going to be enough space! The distillery now takes up the entirety of the venue plus two additional warehouses for whisky storage; they’ve had to move the cocktail bar and tasting room into its very own space next door. It’s under construction right now, but if all goes to plan we’ll soon see them reopening to the public and showcasing their ever-expanding range.

About the 5 Year Anniversary Distiller's Cut Gin

Alchemy wanted to create something special just for us at Garden Street; their Limited Edition 5 Year Anniversary Distiller’s Cut Gin was inspired further by their evolution since first launching their Chamomile Gin a number of years ago. 

This first gin was originally born out of a sense of curiosity and experimentation when Alchemy was first established back in 2016. After finishing up at the old restaurant, Evan and Jannick found themselves left with various teas, and as many distillers do, they thought ‘why not explore what happens when we distil this?’. Working closely with chamomile flowers, they fell in love with the aromas and gentle floral notes that came through on the palate. When researching the idea, they found a little-known fact that chamomile has in fact quite a long history as a gin botanical, but is now no longer widely used. They continued exploring flavours and found that pink grapefruit and juniper worked beautifully alongside chamomile to create a refreshing G&T perfect for summer months.  

Fast forward 6 years, and the Alchemy team has strengthened their distilling knowledge, skills and techniques far beyond what they started with when developing their first creation. The Chamomile Gin still stands as an incredible gin in its own right, but Evan and Jannick were eager to showcase their 6 years of learnings for Garden Street members. They were inspired to still celebrate the chamomile, whilst staying true to a great juniper forward traditional gin. Reducing the presence of chamomile, they amped up the juniper and spice characteristics to create a beautiful balance between floral and savoury pine notes. 

The Alchemy team tell us there were no disasters in developing the recipe – not something we hear often! It was a lot of work though; each flavour was distilled individually to help them understand the essences, aromas and finishes that each botanical contributed. Those selected were then recombined into a single distillation to create a cohesive spirit that combined all botanicals into a single smooth (and very delicious) gin. 

The final Distiller’s Cut is bright and fresh with subtle sweet characteristics from the chamomile flower and a long, complex finish from the inclusion of almonds and other high oil content botanicals. It is versatile enough to be enjoyed alongside a wide range of food pairings, though Alchemy did pay special mention to fish, fruits and cheese boards. Not suprising given their neighbours in the Yarra Valley!

Other Products in the Range

While we’re very lucky to be enjoying this Limited Edition 5 Year Anniversary Distiller’s Cut, you can still also find Alchemy’s original Chamomile Gin available for purchase. We’d highly recommend trying it, particularly for those who would like to compare the pair and taste a piece of Alchemy history for yourselves. 

For the cocktail lovers amongst you, Alchemy’s lineup includes some delectable Vodkas, including classic and citrus styles. Both their Classic Vodka and Citrus Vodka have taken out gold medals, trophy champion awards and various other accolades in Australia. Give them a try!

The team has also been working very hard on the production of their whiskies, which are due to be launched to us all over the coming months. It’ll be Alchemy’s biggest project to date, and will even be released under an entirely new brand. Evan and Jannick have been eagerly waiting for the whisky to mature over the course of 5-6 years, and it seems their patience is paying off; already their whisky is receiving awards that place it in the top 1% of the Australian Industry. The finer details are all top secret for now, but watch this space very closely! 

Behind the distillery door, the Alchemy team also consults with budding distilleries to develop proof of concept spirits and scale their recipes to larger stills. For some brands, Alchemy also assists with their ongoing production needs. Their hard-earned expertise has certainly helped many brands grow; gins they’ve worked on have received international awards and have even featured major events like the Melbourne Grand Prix. With plenty to look forward to from Alchemy, we hope you tap into your adventurous spirit and enjoy this special release.

One last thing...

What is your favourite thing about running a distillery? 

“The hands on aspect of producing something. There is nothing like the process of making something with your own hands from basic materials and seeing it evolve over time to become something truely special that people can enjoy.” – Evan

“The freedom of being able to build our business they way we want to and to be able to bring together all the individual parts of production to deliver a product in the way we want to and as a result contribute something unique to the industry.” – Jannick

Gin type – Contemporary Dry

Appearance – Clear, bright

Botanicals – Almond, Angelica Root, Aniseed, Cassia Bark, Cardamom, Chamomile, Coriander Seed, Juniper, Lemon, Lemon Myrtle, Orris Root, Pink Grapefruit, Rosemary 

Aroma – Piney juniper and earthy, floral notes from the chamomile, cassia and cardamom 

Palate – Savoury notes of juniper, aniseed, cardamom and rosemary are lifted with bright citrus notes. Highlights of lemon and pink grapefruit further enhance a sweet and floral chamomile 

Finish – Long, complex, oily finish from the almond, spices and citrus

Our perfect G&T
• 30ml Alchemy Distiller's Cut Gin
• 90ml East Imperial Yuzu Tonic
• Dehydrated Lime

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