Today is lucky number 13 of Ginvent and today we are trying a gin I only heard of recently, with a cracking bottle design. An Dúlamán Gin comes from County Donegal in Ireland, Sliabh Liag Distillery is the first distillery from Donegal for over 175 years and their main botanical is local seaweed. Five types of seaweed to be precise. This ties into the brand via the name – Dúlamán comes from an Irish folk song about a conversation between two seaweed collectors. Basically. They REALLY like seaweed over there.
I’m not sure how I feel about today. This is a gin advent calendar. Not a liqueur advent calendar. This is only bearable because today’s liqueur is a) bramble flavoured and b) it’s made by Colonsay. We tried their gin in last year’s calendar which was filled with flavour, and they launched this in August 2018 after a trial run in small bottles in 2017. As a liqueur, this sits at 20% instead of their usual 47% and they use blackberries foraged from the island of Colonsay (their homeland in case you couldn’t guess) and brambles from Speyside in Northern Scotland. I’m a fan of a bramble cocktail so I have quite high hopes for this.
I am excited for today. During Gin Foundry’s summer series, we had an evening with Corner 53 who were a bunch of lovely guys that made some great gin so I am looking forward to revisit this. My favourite that evening was their viking strength gin (and by favourite I mean we drank a lot of it and I hated my life the next day). Today however we are drinking their Cherokee gin which is inspired by famous bourbon Jack Daniels. Unable to replicate their maple-charcoal filtration process, instead the team add maple syrup to their list of botanicals and balance the sweetness this brings with sarsaparilla (an earthy vanilla note).
Last year we were able to try Puddingstone Distillery‘s Campfire London Dry gin, and today we have another Navy Strength gin. Their Navy Strength uses the same botanicals as their London Dry including roasted hazelnuts, golden berries and rooibos tea, but with a small tweak to increase the juniper profile. The ABV is also increased from 42% to 57% which is quite the leap, yet Puddingstone say that it is still smooth and easy to drink. Let’s put that to the test shall we?
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
Happy day 15 of Ginvent! Today we drink Hayman’s London Dry gin to celebrate it being Friday and the fact I survived my first week of my new job eek. Their award winning gin is made to a secret family recipe of 10 botanicals such as juniper, coriander, lemon and orange peel, cinnamon, nutmeg and liquorice. They also make an Old Tom gin, Sloe gin, Family Reserve and Royal Dock gin – along with some limited releases. Each bottle is hand made and hand bottled to ensure that each bottle is up to their standards. The Hayman’s have distilling in their blood; in 1863 James Burrough was a curious pharmacist who made gin as well as a number of medicinal ingredients which filtered through the family and became the producers of Beefeater gin. When the family business was sold, they set up Hayman’s gin to carry on the tradition.
We are halfway through Ginvent and today’s offering is Poetic License‘s Old Tom gin. The team behind Poetic License don’t believe in being like everyone else. They want to be bold, create new flavours and be hands on – they hand crush their botanicals before the maceration process and gently boil them to bring out the best of the flavours. As well as gin, they make their own vodka in Gracie – the team’s column still which is actually a hybrid with a pot still which to allow them to make their gins. They produce a Northern Dry gin (big punchy juniper and cardamom), a Picnic Gin, a range of liqueurs, and today’s gin, the Old Tom. Old Tom gins are traditionally sweeter than a dry gin and Poetic License’s edition includes rose petals and oak casks. Fun fact: one of my favourite cocktails is a Tom Collins. Just if you’re interested.