Bars Gin

Archie Rose Distillery Opens in Sydney

It was a moment in history when Archie Rose, Sydney’s first distillery to open in over 160 years launched this week. The momentous soiree was attended by select media with cocktails served on arrival followed by a tour of the distillery.

Archie Rose
Archie Rose Bar

Last month, we brought you a detailed article on Archie Rose, the distilling processes for whisky, rye, gin and vodka and a sneak preview of the Archie Rose Bar.

Archie Rose
Barrel-Shaped Booth Seating

Now fully operational, the grand copper bar is serving not only craft Archie Rose spirits but creative cocktails and a solid range of spirits in tasting flights.

Archie Rose Vodka, Gin & Rye Tasting Notes

At Archie Rose, the ethos is about educating people about spirits and no visit is complete without taking a tasting flight of neat spirits. The Archie Rose Flight ($15) is a must-have on the first visit and introduces the distillery’s range of craft spirits.

Archie Rose
Archie Rose Flight

Archie Rose Original Vodka ($69 a bottle) is made from 100% wheat that is redistilled through the gin copper pot still. Bottled at 40% ABV, the spirit is made using filtered water and is clean, fresh and crisp on the palate, slightly warming with no burn on the finish. The vodka can easily be sipped neat, chilled from the freezer to accompany caviar and a range of cold seafood. The flavour is not too dissimilar to that of Absolut Elyx.

Archie Rose
Copper Pot Still

Archie Rose Signature Dry Gin ($74 a bottle) is made using fourteen botanicals where each is distilled separately in the copper pot still. The traditional botanicals are juniper, orris root, orange, liquorice root, ginger, angelica root, cardamom, cassia bark, coriander seeds and apple (pink lady and golden delicious) while the native botanicals are lemon myrtle, dorrigo pepperleaf (similar to white pepper), river mint (like mint and basil) and Australian blood limes which are created by the CSIRO and are a cross between a mandarin and finger lime. The gin is bottled at 42% ABV.

The nose starts with juniper and fresh citrus as the most prominent notes, and hints at being a sipping style of gin. The palate carries through these botanicals but develops into  a spectrum of flavours that taper into a smooth, slightly sweet gin with hints of white pepper with a medium finish. The gin stands up on its own and makes a perfect chilled dry Martini with a twist. It is simply one of the best Australian gins we’ve tasted.

Archie Rose
Everything is Done By Hand

The third white spirit is the Archie Rose White Rye ($89 a bottle), and if this is an indication of what is to come with aged rye and whisky, there is much to be excited about. At 40% ABV, the spirit is made from a high percentage of rye along with malted barley. The flavour profile is ever so smooth and creamy, slightly spicy on the finish, and lingers long on the palate – a white rye spirit that keeps on giving.

Archie Rose
Back Bar

Other tasting flights include World Vodka Flight ($22.50) selected on base ingredients such as barley, grapes, potatoes and the Australian Vodka Flight ($22.50) with artisan distillers. The World Gin Flight ($26) is based on the style of gin from the traditional to the contemporary eg genever style, Old Tom style, London Dry style while the Australian Gin Flight ($26) includes favourites from West Winds Gin and Botanic Australis. The Unaged Grain Spirit Flight ($35) includes Australian and American spirits such as Belgrove 100% Rye, Crazy Uncle Moonshine and Koval Raski Millet from Chicago.

Archie Rose Cocktails

Archie Rose
Archie Rose Bar

The drinks menu at Archie Rose includes suggested serves for each of their spirits and a range of delicious cocktails designed to bring you back.

Archie Rose
Archie Rose Gin & Tonic 

The Archie Rose Gin & Tonic is unlike any other. The drink is served with a Bush Tonic, made especially for Archie Rose by Pop Sodas using natural and native ingredients which include lemon myrtle and local honey, charged with filtered water and garnished with a lemon slice and juniper berries. This is an example of where the gin and the tonic work in perfect harmony.

Vodka drinkers would enjoy the fruity notes in the Archie Rose Vodka with Grapefruit Gentian Soda and grapefruit slice.

Archie Rose
South Sydney Side

When it comes to cocktails, the South Sydney Side ($19) is an easy drinking mix of Archie Rose Original Vodka with mint, elderflower and lime topped with sparkling wine.

Archie Rose
Golden Ticket

Golden Ticket ($19) combines Archie Rose Signature Dry Gin with a secret marmalade and PX sherry into a well-balanced gin old fashioned cocktail.

Archie Rose
7am Start

The 7am Start ($20) is a twist on a breakfast Martini with Archie Rose Signature Dry Gin, ginger marmalade shaken with lime juice and lemon myrtle syrup – a drink that pays homage to Head Distiller, Joe Dinsmoor who begins to make spirits at 7am.

Archie Rose
White Rye Cocktail in the Making

The standout drink is Moonlight on the Barrelhead ($19), a sour style cocktail made with the excellent Archie Rose White Rye with lemon and agave, and a hint of absinthe.

Archie Rose
Moonlight on the Barrelhead

This is an example of a well-crafted and balanced cocktail that brings out the best of the white spirit.

Archie Rose
View from Mezzanine Level

Archie Rose is located at 61 Mentmore Ave in Rosebery with entrance to the bar from 85 Dunning Avenue, near Kitchen by Mike. The bar is open daily from midday to 10pm.

Archie Rose opened to the public on Wednesday 18 March 2015.

For more distilleries, visit the Australian Distillery Directory.

Photography © by Kevin Burke for Gourmantic – Copyright: All rights reserved.

Archie Rose Distilling Co.
61 Mentmore Ave, Rosebery
Ph: 02 8458 2300


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About the author

Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is the Founder/Editor of popular online magazine Gourmantic and Cocktails & Bars, a website dedicated to cocktail culture and the discerning drinker. She is named in Australian Bartender Magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential List since 2013, is a member of The Academy responsible for judging the World’s 50 Best Bars. She has also judged the inaugural Australasian Whisky Awards and various national cocktail competitions.