Tailor Your Own Spirits At This Australian Distillery

21/11/2015 10:27 AM AEDT | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST
Kenny Ip via Getty Images
Glass of whiskey on bar table in London.

There's an certain ownership when it comes to spirits. Just like James Bond likes his martini "shaken, not stirred", people have their own quirks when it comes to ordering their cocktail of choice.

This obviously includes how it's made, but also what it's made with. Gin lovers will be divided between Bombay, Hendricks and Tanqueray. Vodka lovers will differ between Absolut and Belvedere. And don't even get us started on dark spirits, or we'll be here all night.

So, the spirit snob is nothing new. What is new is those exact snobs can now design their own spirits (provided they go for gin, vodka or whiskey) thanks to a new venture from Australian distillery Archie Rose.

"I have wanted to do this for a long, long time," Will Edwards, Archie Rose founder and owner, told The Huffington Post Australia.

"I’ve been a spirits fan forever, but [for the general consumer] it's really hard to get involved in the production or experience the distillation process.

"I always had this idea of being able to open that up to people in a unique way."

Though Archie Rose Distillery opened in March 2015, it is only in the past two weeks the option to "design" your own spirit has become available.

"It took us a while to figure out how to present it to customers online -- this type of service has not been done in this format before -- and to make it user-friendly was a real challenge," Edwards said.

"But now we have all these bottles to make in the busiest time of year, which is a great problem to have."

So, hold up. What does it mean to 'design' a spirit?

Quite simply, Edwards and his team have developed a custom online application that allows customers to tailor their spirit of choice to their tastes.

First up -- there is your choice of liquor -- gin or vodka for the more price-conscious and whiskey for those willing to part with a bit more time and money (but more on that later).

If we're talking gin or vodka, you have a choice of botanicals (you can choose up to five, but Edwards says three is a good mix) including options such as blood lime, river mint, native orange , coriander seed and licorice root.

archie rose distillery australia botanicals gin

Which will you choose?

Then, it's up to you to select how strong each element is before -- wait for it -- even personalising your own label.

"Back before I had the distillery, that's something I would have loved as a consumer," Edwards said.

"It's like what we do every day -- though on a simplified scale -- you get to design your own spirits."

While the customised gin and vodka retail at under $100 per bottle (Edwards notes one of his major difficulties was providing a hand-made, personalised service at a reasonable price point), for whiskey lovers, it's go big or go home.

In other words, at a minimum, you're looking at $4,000 per 20-litre cask (personalised bottles not available).

archie rose distillery

Archie Rose Distillery.

Options include everything from the type of whiskey (single malt or rye) to cask size -- including what wood your cask is made out of -- as well as smoke level and strength.

"The whiskey is a very different thing," Edwards said.

"With your gin and the vodka, you place the order and it will be shipped in 5 - 10 business days.

"The whiskey is a journey. There's even an option to come in and help make it -- we arrange the day we can do the distillation -- and really it's a personal investment that can take two to five years."

More On This Topic