Hippocampus handmade vodka from Western Australia »

A seahorse and a copper called Kylie

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Vodka from Hippocampus Metropolitan Distillery in Perth, WA

Vodka from Hippocampus Metropolitan Distillery in Perth, WA

 

Hippocampus Metropolitan Distillery handmakes a small batch spirit from its West Perth distillery, an organic vodka, which is helping to reinvigorate the vodka category in Australia.

“Using biodynamic farmed wheat from Australia's wheat belt, fermented in small tanks and then distilled in our custom made copper pot still, we have crafted a clean and textured vodka which sets us apart from the more familiar neutral vodkas in the market” says Alex Poulsen, distiller at Hippocampus Metropolitan Distillery.

"Flavours of vanilla and fruit shine through with a super smooth mouth feel from distilling a select number of times... enough to ensure we embrace the soft sweet flavour of the wheat but not too much to strip away this wonderful texture” says Alex.

Comprised of a group of friends who have spent their time in the brewing game, the Hippocampus team has decided to dedicate this skill and passion to distilling – “It made sense. We all have a huge love for craft spirits and the appreciation for small batch spirits in Australia was growing.” says Hippocampus national sales manager Jye Glaskin.

“Mashing grains before distilling is a big part of this game and that is essentially a beer discipline. So we figure we can do this bit really well and having that good wort or “wash” is a bit like having a great stock for soup...the end result is always better” says Alex.

Local wheat – the base ingredient

Hippocampus Vodka uses 100% biodynamic, farmed wheat from biodynamic farmers Jamie and Rodney Frost, third generation farmers on their Dumbleyung farm, 300km south west from the West Perth distillery. They take great pride in both the sustainability of their farming system (no artificial chemicals are used on their soil or plants) and the quality of their produce.

Jye says “We believe the better the input the better the output, so we have sourced the best local wheat we can get our hands on to be our base ingredient.”

Distilling and a copper called Kylie

Driving a still is another thing but with friends in London (Sipsmith) and a passion for small batch production the team are learning fast.
Hippocampus sourced its distillery from the “Carl” family in Germany who have been custom fabricating artisan distilleries for over 140 years. The request was for a small traditional multi faceted copper pot still that would allow the team to experiment with different ingredients and ultimately a number of spirit styles. Copper is preferred by small batch distilleries as it has the ability to remove the impurities from the process and by choosing to drive with steam they can be even gentler with temperature during the process.

Naming her ‘Kylie’ resonates an Australian essence, after all the still is small, sings in tune and is very pretty.

Why the name Hippocampus?

The hippocampus is a part of the brain the team holds dear to their hearts as it is particularly important in forming new memories and connecting emotions and senses such as smell and sound to memories. In a self justified rationale, the name fits in that by creating lovely spirits that can form wonderful drinks they are contributing in a small way to that treasure chest of memorable moments.

Metropolitan pays homage to the Perth Metropolitan markets that operated between 1929 and 1989 and is located near where the distillery sits near to now.

A dressed seahorse?

And how did the eccentrically dressed seahorse get on the label? Well, the hippocampus was so named for its resemblance to the shape of a seahorse – hippos being greek for horse and kampus meaning sea monster. And if you did bump into a seahorse dressed in fine tailored clothes sipping a cocktail you wouldn’t forget it.

The Vodka

Jye says the response to the vodka has been fantastic “It seems our vodka associates a lively, wholesome and festive feeling, one that is true to an Australian spirit and is a far cry from other traditional vodkas in the market."

"Our Hippocampus Vodka shies away from the harsh nature of traditional vodka and instead produces a soft, smooth flavoursome spirit which has been made to enjoy neat, with a favourite mixer or a base in a cocktail”

 

Hippocampus Vodka is 40 per cent ABV and has an RRP of $79.99 for a 700ml bottle and is distributed by Memorable Drinks
Check their website for stockists.

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June 23rd, 2015
 
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