Audemus Pink Pepper Gin

Audemus Pink Pepper gin hails from Cognac in France, when founders Bob and Bert met in 2014, over soup. Obviously. Their Pink Pepper gin is widely known as their flagship product and they dedicate each batch of their gin to their family, friends and people who have helped the brand over the years. They say the flavour changes as you drink the gin. The first prominent flavours are pink peppercorns (yup, who’d have thunk it), juniper and cardamom, however when served over ice the vanilla, tonka and honey come out. I’m very excited about trying this – on which note I’d like to thank Orla for kindly donating a sample to me. I highly encourage you to check out her Instagram account to see her puppies Kyuss and Paloma. Continue reading

Double Dutch

With the number of mixers now available, how do you know which one is best? Well, luckily I’m here to take one for the team and to try them all. Netherlands born and raised Double Dutch have won an award from Richard Branson for their innovative brand. I’ve tried their Indian tonic as part of my tonic taste test blog – which can be read here – which also has a slim version. But they also have a number of slightly different flavours… Continue reading

Monkey 47 Distiller’s Cut

If you haven’t heard of Monkey 47 gin before, then where have you been? It’s delicious – I actually reviewed their regular gin here. Thanks to having gin friends from Twitter (Hi Andy!) I’ve managed to get a sample of their Distiller’s Cut gin. The Distiller’s Cut edition of their gin is made but once a year, bottled in a limited run of just 4,000. So what make’s it different? The 2017 edition is their traditional 47 botanicals with added musk yarrow leaves and flowers which are macerated, distilled, distilled again and then left to mature for three months. This year, the team trekked up a Swiss mountain to ensure their special ingredient is as fresh as possible – with a lovely photo story over on their website. Continue reading

Peter Spanton Mixers

As part of my ongoing quest to make sure my gin is as good as it can be, I’ve started looking at tonics and the range that is now out there. A unique player in the market is Peter Spanton who like to do things a bit differently. I’ve tried their original No. 1 tonic in one of my tonic taste tests (which you can read here), but in this post I’m going to explore some more of their flavours. Continue reading

The London Distillery Company

At Imbibe Live I visited the London Distillery Company stand and they invited me to visit them. I had a day off work so thought why not? I met Toby on arrival in one of the many arches less than a mile from London Bridge station and discovered that he’s my kind of man – in that I walk in and he instantly offered me gin. So I started drinking and he started telling me about their gins. When founder Darren Rook had a slightly drunken discussion with former microbrewery owner Nick Taylor, they decided to make a whisky in London. Then, because whisky needs three years to age in barrels, whilst they were waiting for that to mature they thought, hey, let’s make some gin! And so Dodds was born.

Continue reading

Foxhole Gin

A while ago I was in a pub in the mighty Haywards Heath and got chatting to two random women about gin – as I do. They mentioned a new gin made in the area, and I went “oh that sounds interesting” and promptly forgot all about it. On Monday at work, a friend handed me a leaflet and a business card and said “I met this guy the other day, you should get in touch”. Lo and behold, it was Foxhole Gin. I was in love instantly, purely because I am in love with their font and the use of a fox on the logo. I gave James, the managing director, an email and I was lucky enough to be sent a sample (thanks!) for this blog. They actually sent it to me at the start of December, but I was kinda distracted by Ginvent. But here we now are.

Foxhole use a grape spirit as the base, the unused by products from Bolney wine estate down the road. This makes the gin eco friendly in my books as they reduce wastage and utilise a sustainable raw ingredient. I’m expecting some similarities in taste with Chilgrove Gin as they use a grape base spirit as well. The tasting notes James kindly supplied say I will get a velvet texture with floral coriander and balanced with citrus from grapefruit and lemon. All in all, sounds good.

Smells slightly thick (makes sense when you smell it) and rich and fresh. The fresher tones open up in the glass. Straight up it has an almost peppery front to it, the flavour is deep and textured with a slight bitterness at the back of the threat. Mixed up with tonic, this is very smooth and fresh at the tip of the tongue and the citrus bitterness is enhanced at the back of the throat. Not overwhelming with flavour, it feels like a nice summery drink. The bitter tones make it more exciting, and this could well be a nice every day drink.

A very limited edition of the first batch of bottles are available to buy on their website at £40 a bottle. Now, is this a bit pricey? Yes. I however, think it’s worth it. It is a lovely, small batch gin with a BEAUTIFUL hand crafted bottle. I’m a believer in supporting local businesses, so once I’ve had a raid on the bottle collection in my house, this is on the to buy list.

You can follow Foxhole Spirits on Twitter and Facebook, and let me know if you’ve tried it on Twitter and Instagram.

Whilst I was sent this sample for free to review, this is an honest review. I don’t pretend to love things if I don’t.

Arbikie Gin

img_0212Imma start with an apology – this is a very late blog. This came at the beginning of December, but I had enough gin to drink from Ginvent so here it is, on the last day of December. I can’t write about December’s gin in January. That would be stupid. But anyway, at the start of December I received my favourite package, my Craft Gin Club delivery. In it came a bottle of Arbikie Gin, a gin I’ve seen a lot on Twitter and wanted to try for a while. This bottle is a special batch of AK’s Gin – we’re the first to try it yo! This gin pays tribute to A.K. Stirling – the father of founders David, Iain and John. Arbikie is pretty special as it is a one estate distillery – their main gin uses a base spirit made from farm grown potatoes and botanicals are sourced on their land. AK’s gin departs from this and and uses a wheat base spirit to give it a buttery start, and adding AK’s favourite food as botanicals: honey. Joining honey sourced by a neighbouring beekeper are mace, thistle, black pepper and calamus root.

img_0213Straight from the bottle it smells good, rich and deep but nothing overpowering which in the glass opens up some fresher, lighter notes. Paired with a splash of water (can I quickly say how strange it feels doing a tasting with more than 30ml of gin, this feels like a very long process already!) there’s no nasty alcohol burn. It’s smooth and silky – the buttery finish is very clear. A hint of spice in the back of the mouth gives it a little lift and kick of flavour. We all know drinking straight gin is a terrible thing for me to do, but this is nice. Particularly on a dark, cold, misty Brighton day. Yay winter.

img_0214I’m using the tonic provided in our box – The London Essence Co. Classic London Tonic Water (all of their mixers are naturally low in calories and sugar, perfect for those being ‘healthier’ in 2017) – which on its own is actually drinkable. Especially considering it’s low sugar. Not too shabby. But onto the gin. The gin brings out some more acidic flavours, but it keeps the earthiness at the back of the mouth. A small sweetness (from the honey) balances out the woodiness. A lemon wedge (because no matter how many times people suggest using orange, I WON’T DO IT) adds a citrus note to the front of the tasting. It’s interesting. The earthy back notes certainly give it more depth, but it doesn’t have a hit of flavour up front. This might be because it’s been sat in my flat, aka the coldest place in Brighton, for a month. Craft Gin Club suggest some warm cocktails, or a cinnamon stick as a garnish which I think would enhance the flavours.

img_0215Also, DAYUM that shortbread is good. This does not lie when it says melts in the mouth.

Because this gin is super exclusive I can’t seem to find it online anywhere, but a bottle of their flagship Kirty’s Gin is currently £34.26 on Master of Malt. You can get in touch with them on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Check out Craft Gin Club on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. The London Essence Co. are also on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Finally, Happy New Year to everyone reading. I’ve had an awesome 2016 and I’d like to thank y’all for sticking with me. Chat with me about gin and other fun things on Twitter and Instagram. Laters 2016 xx

Ginvent 2016 – Sibling Gin

Today’s gin comes from brother/sister/brother/sister distilling team Sibling. I’ve tried this before thanks to Craft Gin Club so let’s not waste time blathering on about it as you can read my full review over here.

Currently a full sized bottle of this 42% gin is selling for £33.95 on Master of Malt.

Sibling Gin are all over Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and you can check me out on Twitter and Instagram. Catch up on Ginvent here.

Ginvent 2016 – Herno Sloe Gin

img_9849I’ve been wanting to try Hernö gin for a while, and I’m excited that today’s Ginvent offering is their sloe gin. Hernö is the most awarded gin in Europe – and has been for the last three years. When they launched in 2011, they were Sweden’s first dedicated gin distillery, and five years later now produce four gins – their regular 40.5% gin, the 57% navy strength, an Old Tom gin and a Juniper Cask. Plus now the sloe gin.

img_9850It smells syrupy and sweet – but not in a sickly way, nice and fruity. In the glass, a wintery and Christmassy smell comes forward – perfect for this chilly Sunday night. Straight up, it is fairly sugary and punchy, a definite berry flavour coming on to the tongue. Because it’s sloe gin, the best thing to do with it would be to make a sloe gin fizz yeah? Mixed up with lemon, sugar, soda and a splash more gin – it’s nice. The tart berry flavours and syrupy texture cut through the tart lemon juice. It’s not too cloying or sweet, but definitely is quite syrupy. Much like how I thought Pinkster gin would be better suited to a hot summer day, sloe gin is definitely a proper winter drink.

img_9851The Sloe Gin is available on Master of Malt for £38.95 and you can find Hernö on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Are you enjoying Ginvent so far? Catch up on it here and let me know what you think on Twitter and Instagram.

Ginvent 2016 – Bishop’s Gin

img_9808It’s day 16 and today we have Bishop’s Gin. Yet another I’ve never heard of. That excites me. Bishop’s Gin have a cracking bottles and is “infused with a sense of adventure, discovery and nonconformity”. My kinda drink. Named after John Ponet, the bishop was one of the first protestants to fight for religious freedom in the 16th century. Not too shabby. 8 botanicals make up Bishop’s Gin and are distilled in one go to make their London Dry Gin.

img_9809Straight from the bottle, the smell is slightly heady and nice and deep. In a glass it releases more of the juniper, and smells quite simple. Not simple in a bad way, simple in a “we’ve nailed this and don’t need to mess around with our flavours to make it stand out” kinda simple. My kind of drink. On the tongue it is very strong, I just had a look and it’s only 40.7% – I was expecting stronger! The juniper taste sticks around, it’s very nice. Mixed with tonic, the flavours really come out. I am not good enough to guess the tastes, but I know I like it, it is well balanced and has a slightly tart edge to it which gives it a lighter finish. It’s warm but not overpowering. Flavoured but not perfumed. This, for me, is a winner.

img_9810A 70cl bottle of this is on Master of Malt for £35.07 which I think is incredibly reasonable, and this is going on the “to buy” list. You can tell Bishop’s Gin how great they are on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Do you agree? Fan of this? Let me know on Twitter and Instagram, and catch up on the rest of #ginvent here.