What feels like forever ago, I was very lucky and won a bottle of Loch Ness Gin from Master of Malt during their #whiskysanta giveaway. And with an amazing amount of self restraint, I haven’t cracked into it. Until today. The husband and wife team come from a family that have lived and worked in the Highlands since before 1520 and they hand gather their own native crop of juniper for their passion project. In fact, it’s not just the juniper that is hand picked. All of their botanicals can be found on the banks of Loch Ness, and their branding is phenomenal beacuse I love Loch Ness. The film with Ted Danson was a childhood staple, and we spent a dreadful family holiday touring around Scotland – one day of which was spent Nessie hunting on my insistence. Give me a myth and mystery around something ridiculous and I’m there. Continue reading
It’s December! Which means one thing…it’s Craft Gin Club delivery time. Now you may have noticed that this post is coming rather late, but I had enough gin to get through with #ginvent so I’m only just getting around to this. This month’s delivery comes from Batch Gin, along with two bottles of Fentiman’s tonic – one rose lemonade and one ginger ale – some Paterson’s shortbread, a bar of Beech’s Ginger Dark Chocolate and a jar of Bonne Marman Salted Caramel spread. Batch Gin is distilled in Burnley and features festive botanicals including frankincense, myrrh and allspice plus cloves, orange peel and lemongrass. Working from a converted windmill, the family team are adventurous – their plan for 2018 is to release a new product every month. Like most brands, founder Phil dreamed of starting up his own business, which was actually a brewery at first. Then he got annoyed at the sheer number of craft beers on the market. So he settled on that other tiny market – gin (although they have since made a vodka and have a rum ageing in barrels as I type).
Here we are at day 23 of ginvent and today is a day I am particularly excited for. Today we try the Old Tom gin from Ableforth’s Bathtub gin collection. Ableforth’s Bathtub gin is probably one of the most iconic brands on the market with their distinctive brown paper wrapping, and I’ve tried their traditional version here. I really like Old Tom gins, so this should be a treat, Continue reading
Here we are, two days from the end of Ginvent and today we are trying Persie‘s Sweet & Nutty Old Tom Gin. I’ve tried their Aromatic Herb gin – which you can read here – so let’s see how this differs. This version is creamy with hints of vanilla, butterscotch, almonds and gingerbread. They suggest serving this neat over ice as an after dinner drink, or adding a splash of ginger ale.
We’ve made it to day 21 of Ginvent (three days left ahh!) and today we are drinking Sir Robin of Locksley Gin. You might not know the name, but you’ve probably seen the bottle which glows yellow/green in the light. Not quite a London dry, not quite an Old Tom, they aimed for a gin that was easily sippable, yet also worked well in a cocktail. Mixing traditional juniper with botanicals such as elderflower, cassia, dandelion and pink grapefruit, this gin sounds like it has a lot going on – but will the flavours work together? Continue reading
I have something to admit here. I have had a test tube of Masons Yorkshire Gin sat on my shelf waiting to be opened since last Christmas…and today we are trying their lavender edition. I should point out I haven’t tried it yet because I sort of forgot about it, not because I heard anything bad. In fact, the opposite is true, I regularly hear about this gin and how good it is. Masons is the first gin to be distilled in Yorkshire and each bottle has a handwritten batch and bottle number on it – something possible due to runs of just 200 litres. Unveiled in 2015, the lavender edition features the intense but subtly sweet note of (you guessed it ) lavender. So, let’s see how it fares. Continue reading
Today is day 19 of Ginvent and today we’re trying Rock Rose Gin‘s Winter Edition. I have tried Rock Rose once, a long time ago at Dolly’s Gin Parlour in Falmouth (which, FYI, you should visit should you be in the depths of Cornwall) and I was a fan. Rock Rose hails from Dunnet Bay Distillers – not too far from John O’Groats – after 55 experiments to find the final recipe back in August 2014. Their original edition includes Rhodiol Rosea – a type of rose root local to Caithness – along with sea buckthorn and rowen berries. They have their original gin and a Navy Strength gin that are always on sale as well as limited run seasonal editions. This year’s Winter Edition is a scaled back version of their original gin, but this allows the added spruce tips (collected by Rock Rose gardener Hanna) to bring forth an earthy and citrusy note to the gin. So, let’s see how it tastes. Continue reading
As we start week three of Ginvent, I get to try a new gin for me – Whitley Neill Rhubarb and Ginger. I’ve tried Whitley Neill’s award winning gin before in a bar which I liked, and I’ve tried a Rhubarb gin before which I didn’t like – but also the Slingsby Rhubarb gin surprised me. So this could be interesting. Whitley Neill is a hand crafted gin inspired by the beauty and mystery of Africa, and has impressed the gin world winning Gold medals in the IWSC, The Spirits Business Awards, the International Spirits Challenge and The Drinks Business Gin Masters Competition. This version of their gin is inspired by something closer to home…literally being inspired by the land around their home. It’s also important to note that a lot of flavoured gins are actually liqueurs, whereas this is a proper gin, that just happens to taste of rhubarb and ginger. Continue reading
Currently a full size bottle of McQueen Gin is on Master of Malt for £29.95.