Today is exciting because it’s an extra Craft Gin Club day (shout out to Lizzie for sorting my delivery problems)! I’m not meant to get my next subscription box until September, but when I saw what was in the box this month, I had to get one ASAP. Dry Island Gin is the lovechild of two great distilleries, Four Pillars in Australia and Herno in Sweden, and this is their Eurpoean exclusive launch! Being mutual fans of each other’s work, they got chatting and after discovering they had a lot in common and throwing around some ideas, they decided to collaborate and work together. The first step sounded like a lot of hard work – tasting the whole Herno and Four Pillars range side by side to work out what characteristics from their current range should go into the collaboration. They decided to aim for a classic gin using Swedish meadowsweet and Australian river mint, strawberry gum and roasted wattleseed to bring together a range of flavours and textures. This is a Four Pillars gin, made in Australia using their base spirit and the pure water which is one of the aforementioned pillars, with Jon from Herno weighing in with the distillation. Removing Four Pillars’ still plates, Jon recommended they distil at a lower temperature over a longer period to for higher purity. I’ve waited long enough, so let’s crack this open.
Note: Symphonia kindly sent me a sample to try and ramble about, but as always I’ll let you know if I’m not a fan.
Did you read about Symphonia No.1 gin? If not, shame on you and you can read it here. The second gin in their range is a bit more unusual as it is an apple gin. This isn’t a flavoured gin liqueur, this is a full on 40% gin made with crisp Bramley apples from Ireland which pairs with the juniper to create what they say is a gin filled with floral and herbal notes. Did you know that the apples grown in County Armagh have protected geographical status as the growing conditions out there are pretty unique? Apparently this creates the apple with the lowest sugar content but the highest acidity content, which Symphonia use to their advantage to flavour their gin. They counteract the sweetness of the apple with spice from ginger root and coriander.
Note: I love the Hayman’s team and they kindly sent me some samples, but as always, I’ll let you know what I think.
You’ve hopefully already read my thoughts on the Hayman’s London Dry and Old Tom gins, and today we are trying their sloe gin. A lot of sloe gins can be too sickly sweet which I find a bit cloying, so it will be interesting to see how this fares. To make their gin they steep wild harvested sloe berries in their London Dry gin for three to four months using, as always, a traditional family recipe. Sloe gin is generally seen as a winter drink, but they suggest pairing it with some sparkling wine for a different take on a kir royale style cocktail.
Note: I met the Symphonia team at Junipalooza and they sent me home with some samples to try properly. As usual, I’ll let you know what I think.
Symphonia gin is a fairly nerdy brand. Founded by Ric Dyer (who has a PhD in organic chemistry) in 2016, he decided to use his skills and experience to create innovative spirits with a focus on local flavours and ingredients. In the heart of rural Ireland, Symphonia is distilled using a knowledge of flavour molecules to create their balanced compositions. This ‘composition’ carries through to their branding with the musical notation on the label – which FYI is the notation of the makeup of the gin. Symphonia No.1 is a mix of citrus, local herbs and flowers and ending with spice.