Kilderkin embraces its Larrikin spirit

Master distillers Scott Wilson-Browne and Chris Pratt started the Kilderkin Distillery in 2016 and set about the serious business of making whisky. When the pair decided they wanted to create a gin, they felt they needed a name to better reflect the “fun” side of gin and so Larrikin Gin was born.

Based in the historical city of Ballarat the Larrikin Gin range now comprises four gins: Original Larrikin – an Australian-style gin; Scoundrel – a London Dry gin; Bauccaneer – a navy strength gin and a Barrel Aged Larrikin gin.

The Larrikin Original is described as a contemporary gin which features carefully selected Australian botanicals and Pratt told TheShout that there were a few trial batches as the team took a lot of work to come up with the right recipe.

“There’s less known about the Australian botanicals so it was more work,” Pratt said.

“Lemon myrtle is a very dominant flavour, so our first batch was influenced by that, someone suggested it tasted like a lemon flavoured vodka.

“What I’ve noticed and what I like is that when we run masterclasses and people actually pick out flavours that are in there. That means that we have complexity and balance, so not everyone is saying that this tastes of lemon or lemon myrtle and that took quite a while for us to get there.”

Wilson-Browne added that with more and more consumers wanting to know the story behind gins, and other Australian products, the use of Australian botanicals has helped build interest in Larrikin.

“We’re finding that people are definitely getting more interested in Australian products and Australian botanicals and that’s not just for craft distillers but restaurants are finding that as well,” he told TheShout.

“By championing the use of Australian botanicals in a popular product like this, what I really think is that we are helping the national Australian identity.

“This is a big thing for me, the more we can get Australian botanicals out there and show how wonderful they are, then the more people will see them and try and think that we’ve got all this amazing resources in this country and we should be using more of them.”

But, he added it was most important to make a gin people would enjoy drinking.

“The first thing that I want to do is make a gin that I like to drink. If I don’t like it then I’m not going to ask other people to buy it. We’re pretty fussy and our objective is to make really beautiful, easy drinking, approachable gins that are a bit of fun, that people enjoy,” Wilson-Browne said.

The company initially focused on Victoria, but Pratt said that they are starting to out of that and are looking at Australia-wide and beyond.

“Our gins are both off- and on-premise although at the moment we tend to be in smaller places that is expanding,” he told TheShout. “We are also distributing nationally now and once we’ve got that bedded down then we will start to look overseas.”

The Larrikin Gin range is available to independent retailers and on-premise venues Australia-wide and four gins vary in RRP from $75 to $95.

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