Note: The team at The Lakes Distillery sent me a sample of their new recipe to try, but as always I’ll let you know what I really think.
Back in February 2017, I was sent a sample of Lakes gin to try. Then, on my 30th birthday (10 October 2019 FYI) I received an email from the team saying they had reworked the recipe and had a beautiful rebrand to boot. After launching their single malt whisky, they have looked back at their gin and worked on it to ensure it stands the test of time. They’ve adopted a ‘less is more’ approach and now take a British wheat spirit as their base, and infuse in this their new range of botanicals; juniper and coriander are bound with angelica, orris root, cassia bark and liquorice before finishing with orange and lemon peel. They steep these in the spirit overnight to release the essential oils before distilling their gin in a copper pot still. Their rebrand reminds me of Mermaid gin, which was a great product in a fairly bland bottle; they get a jazzy new bottle and suddenly everyone takes notice. The new Lakes gin bottle features a new, leaner shape, an engraved glass bottle and a new label. The new recipe has also ramped up the ABV from 43.7% to 46%, hopefully ensuring the juniper is still front and centre. So, how does it compare?
A while ago, Lakes gin kindly sent me a sample of their delicious gin (review of which you can read here). They have a range of spirits in their collection including a whisky and a vodka. My housemate kindly bought home a bottle of their Explorer gin for me to try. This is a special edition gin produced from a single batch distillation using juniper grown in Cumbria and another four botanicals which are native to the Lake District National Park. Their original gin has 10 botanicals in total with an ABV of 43.7% and the Explorer edition bumps this up to 15 botanicals and 47.1% ABV. This gives it a long and aromatic finish with zesty, herbal notes.
Note: I emailed the Lakes Distillery asking for a sample and they kindly sent a bottle over – as always, you’ll know if I’m not impressed.
The Lakes Gin hails from – I bet you can guess – the Lake District. The distillery (which also features a Bistro and distillery tour) is nestled above Bassenthwaite Lake in a Victorian model farm. Water feeds down from Scafell Pike and they started with a blended whisky. Their range now includes a gin, a vodka and a single malt whisky. But we’re here for the gin. Made with 13 botanicals local to the Lake District, the gin features flavours including bilberry, heather and meadowsweet. They say the gin is “big, clear fresh citrus, fruity and floral” – that’s a lot of adjectives, so let’s see how it lives up.
Straight from the bottle it certainly smells big, fresh and citrusy. In the glass the juniper comes to the front and, mixed with water this is lovely. Very smooth and easy to drink, there is a slight sweetness on the front of the tongue, a herbal savoury note to the sides and a crisp finish at the back. No chemical or alcohol burn which is nice! There is a slight kick to it, but this is (I imagine) from it being distilled at 43.7% – slightly higher than the average gin.
Made into a gin and tonic (back to Fever Tree to celebrate the move into the new flat) and this is a delight. It is light and fresh, the citrus tones are at the front but are not overwhelming. It is very smooth and easy to drink, and leaves your mouth with a dryness that leaves you wanting more. This to me is a perfect gin and tonic, the classic drink. It is fresh but dry. Adding a slice of lemon brings out the citrus notes without making it too much. I am a BIG fan.
You can get a bottle of The Lakes Gin from their shop for £29.95 for a 70cl bottle, and for this price it may well be my new every day gin! Give them a follow on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram (and a whole load more social networks but I’m old and don’t understand the others).
Let me know your thoughts on Lakes Gin over on Twitter and Instagram.