Rosebery distilling champions Archie Rose have three times this year sated the palates of gin connoisseurs with their seasonal collaboration with Japanese tattoo artist Kian Forreal, who practices under the traditional Japanese tattoo name of Shodai Horisumi. With the start of summer finally upon us it’s time for the last in the four-gin series to be released.
Available online and in store from today, Archie Rose x Horisumi – Summer pays homage to this distinct Japanese season through the hand-illustrated label artwork, whilst the gin itself celebrates the bounty of the season, evoking the heady yet refreshing flavours and aromas of the Australian summer.
The label design for Horisumi – Summer showcases the peony, known as the king of flowers in Japan, which blooms in summer and represents wealth, good fortune and bravery. Horisumi has paired it with the snake or “hebi” – a creature that when seen in white is embraced as a good omen.
Taking inspiration from the label artwork, the distillates of sweet peach, yuzu peel, aromatic mandarin and kumquat with its sticky marmalade flavour, offer a balanced and refined gin with refreshing and nuanced citrus notes and a subtle floral undertone.
“The production team looked at a range of different botanicals and tested almost two dozen on our 5L pilot still,” says Master Distiller, Dave Withers. “We then worked through countless iterations with slight adjustments to distillation technique, with the key priority being that the ingredients reflect Japanese flavour cues but support Australian producers.
“The elusive yuzu peel took over nine months of discussions to ensure we had sufficient quantity, and came from a single estate in South Australia.”
“We are thrilled with the Horisumi collaboration,” says Archie Rose founder Will Edwards. “It’s given our team the opportunity to flip the typical new product development process on its head and get creative.”
Every Horisumi release to date has sold out; given the rarity, plus the fact that this is the last they will work on together, it can be assumed that this won’t sit on shelves for very long.