Actually, it’s Patient Wolf Distilling Co.’s new Agave Gin!
Dubbed Blanco Wolf this drop is essentially gin botanicals on an organic blue weber agave syrup spirit base which gives herbaceousness sans Tequila and mezcal’s typical earthy smokiness.
Why agave gin?
“Why not,” says Patient Wolf co-founder and distiller Dave Irwin. “I’ve had an eye on agave because of the growing of it up in Queensland. I thought that’s a cool, interesting thing that’s happening. [But] it’s a really hard way to get agave spirit into the market (as a tequila substitute). That’s going to be maybe five years down the track. So we thought we could actually do something a bit fun and different [in the meantime]. I love Tequila but this is a more subtle side of it.”
Agave gin is a bit of an odd duck (or lone wolf in this instance). There are only two distilleries in Mexico currently known to make it. Give it to a Tequila lover and they seem to taste only gin. Give it to a gin lover and they think it’s a Tequila. “I don’t really see any longevity in this as its own category,” says Dave. “It’s just a bit of fun. But if it works, we’ll release it again; that’s how Four Pillars’ Bloody Shiraz gin started and became its own thing.”
And because agave gin is such a rare prospect, of course, in a random bout of synergy, another Australian distillery debuted its own expression on the very same day. Shout out to Echuca Distillery’s Healey’s Blue Agave Gin.
It’s all fun and games but is it tasty? “Juniper works well with citrus. Agave works well with citrus. We know they’re not competing flavours,” says Dave. “The first thing we did [to experiment] was get a Tequila and get our gin and mix them. We tasted it and thought ‘oh, yeah’…and then we did laybacks and went running down the road at 2 am”. If you want to serve it in a slightly more refined way, try Blanco Wolf in a Rosita i.e. a Negroni that subs in Tequila for gin. In this case, you’ll taste the best of both worlds.
As for any adventures in Australian agave that Patient Wolf might explore in future, Dave says, “I’ve been talking to some people – can’t say who – about going out and foraging for some wild agave which is harder [to work with] because it’s got a lot lower sugar content so you get a lot more cleaner flavours. We’re talking getting that steamed up and playing with flavours that are a lot stronger.”
Try Blanco Wolf at Patient Wolf’s distillery at 34-36 Market Street, Southbank or here.