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 – Ginvent Gin

img_9970Happy Christmas Eve! With the happy times comes one sad thing, the end of Ginvent ūüôĀ I must admit, the pressure of daily blogging has been a bit much but I have loved this month. As our final drink, we’ve been given an exclusive bottle of the Gin Foundry‘s very own Ginvent gin. Themed around the festive season, this gin brings us tastes of red fruits, juniper and chocolate – what, no brie??

img_9971It certainly smells Christmassy. Nice and soft, with hints of berries and an almost vanilla hint. In the glass it opens up a bit, it smells comforting and like a nice cuddle. Mum takes a sip, coughs and says “it just tastes like neat gin”. Fact. Tasting it brings out the star anise and spiciness, it’s very warming but palatable. With tonic, this is really nice. Doesn’t taste too strong, but there’s a slight bittersweetness of the chocolate at the back of the throat and a fruity edge to it. I like this; it feels right for the season unlike the lighter Pinkster Gin and such types. Slightly earthy but comforting. I’m a fan. Cracking end to 2016’s Ginvent.

img_9972You can find Gin Foundry on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. If it comes back in stock, a bottle of this costs just £29 on Master of Malt.

If you missed any of Ginvent, you can catch up here and let me know your thoughts over on Twitter and Instagram.

Now I’m going to go eat my body weight in pigs in blankets and stuffing. Merry Christmas.

Ginvent 2016 – Ancient Mariner Gin

img_9967As final day of Ginvent approaches, we’ve reached Ancient Mariner‘s gin. Made from 100% British grain, this gin was inspired after someone recited the famous poem “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” at a church roof fundraising event. Based in Argyll (I’m really refinding my Scottish routes this Ginvent!), the Hebridean Liqueur company also produce a number of whisky and flavoured liquers. This¬†gin is bottled at a mighty 50% so I’m expecting big strong flavours today.

img_9968It smells fragrent in a herby way – “it smells like my dad’s greenhouse”. Thanks boy. In the glass the juniper comes out and it definitely smells stronger. Mum has joined us today, she just said “it smells of oranges‚Ķdoesn’t it?” Mum’s partner joined in “it smells like paint stripper.” Brilliant team tonight. It certainly tastes like 50% gin, and Mum’s face is brilliant. She is not a gin drinker. Head’s up, we’re using a different type of tonic to usual. I think it’s a bit bland. Certainly junipery and gin tasting, but I’m not picking up anything special. Having a look at the Gin Foundrys twitter, the are only four botanicals. That would be why. Very simple, but nothing exciting. Yesterday’s gin was simple but lovely. This is a bit boring. Nothing wrong with it, but I think a wedge of lemon would help.

img_9969You can grab a 50cl bottle of Ancient Mariner gin for £30.86 over on Master of Malt, and you can find Hebridean Liqueur over on Twitter and Facebook.

So tomorrow is the final day of Ginvent – if you’ve missed all the action you can catch up here. Let me know what you’ve thought so far on Twitter and Instagram.

Ginvent 2016 – 58 Gin

img_9938Three gins left! Today’s gin in my Ginvent calendar is 58 Gin. I’ve followed them on Twitter for a while and have admired the bottle for a long time (we all know I love a good label). Made by¬†Mark Marmont who became obsessed with gin after moving to London from Australia – or, more specifically, finding a gin he liked. After a few years of experimenting, he perfected 58 Gin – so called after his house number. Mixing traditional botanicals with the sweeter Sicilian lemon, pink grapefruit for balance and bourbon vanilla to round off the flavour, this gin is said to have a “crisp taste and a soft finish”.

img_9940Cracking open the bottle, it smells really nice. Fresh and zesty, it smells light and not too heavy. This could be the nice end to my working week, and the end to my hangover (if you read yesterday’s blog, it’s clear I wasn’t on top form and I regretted that this morning). Opened up in the glass, it smells very similar but with a bit more juniper coming to the front. It’s certainly zingy on the tongue. The hit of straight alcohol has woken me up. Mixing it with tonic, this is great. This could be a perfect every day gin. Thanks to heading Shirewards tomorrow, I have no fresh lemon in the house but I imagine this, or some grapefruit, would pick this up perfectly. Well balanced, a bit of juniper and a hit of citrus, this is right up my alley.

img_9941A 50cl bottle is available to buy on their website for £35. Now, I know this is a bit pricy for an everyday gin, but I like this and will be looking into getting a bottle post-Christmas.

You can find 58 Gin on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and check out my gin (and other things) related musings over on my Twitter and Instagram Рand check out the last 21 days of Ginvent here.



Ginvent 2016 – Fishers Gin

img_9895 [Note: I am writing this at 11:10pm after three glasses of wine and half a bottle of prosecco]

It’s day 21 and we’re nearly at the end of Ginvent. Frankly, this has been tougher than anticipated. I’m not the most consistent at blogging at the best of times. But today we get to try Fishers Gin – which I think is winning best bottle design so far. Created on the Suffolk Coast using location-specific botanicals spignel, rock samphire, wood aven and bog myrtle. No, I don’t know how these taste either.

img_9896Straight from the bottle it’s juniper heavy, and in the glass it opens up to a more zesty smell. Straight from the glass, it has a lot of flavour. A slight cumin taste comes forward, with a saltier edge which I imagine comes from the rock samphire. The taste lingers, it is certainly pungent. Not in a terrible way. But it lingers. With tonic, it’s slightly non-descript. It definitely tastes of juniper, with some zestiness. But it’s nothing special. I would describe this as an every day gin – slightly heavier than a Gordon’s etc., but nothing to write home about (or indeed, wait up instead of going to bed at a normal time to write a blog about). I’m sad about this, I checked #ginvent on Twitter before I went out for dinner (I had a social life tonight) and people seemed to think it was fairly flavoursome. I’m not that impressed.

img_9897A 50cl bottle of the 44% gin is £47 over on Master of Malt. I would buy it purely for the bottle design, for the taste? Not so much. You can find Fishers Gin on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Catch up on Ginvent here, and let me know what you think on Twitter and Instagram.

Ginvent 2016 – Berliner Brandstifter Gin

img_9875 It’s a horrible coincidence that today’s gin is opened the day after a lorry attack on a busy Christmas markets in the streets of Berlin. When I first read that we would be receiving Berliner Brandstifter Berlin Dry Gin in our calendar I was excited and couldn’t stop thinking about my holiday there last year, so it’s a shame that we can’t all try it under nicer circumstances. This gin was launched in 2013 and is designed to make you think of “taking a wonderful walk on a careless summer day in the capital” using elderflowers, woodruff and mallow as key botanicals. This gin¬†is limited to just under 10,000 bottles per year, and each bottle is hand bottled and labelled. It sounds like this should be a nice refreshing, floral gin. Hopefully a lighter note to brighten our days.

fullsizerenderFrom the bottle it certainly smells fresh (Note: I do currently have a bit of a blocked nose and am wearing a pore strip so my nose isn’t on top form right now). It reminds me slightly of Blackwater No 5 (the best gin) in that it smells a bit like rain – although this has a stronger juniper nose to it. Tasting it straight, the main flavours (after the small shock of drinking straight gin) is floral and light and slightly sweet like a hint of sherbet sweets. I like. With tonic, this is a delight. Slightly sweeter than a usual gin, but not too sweet. Just light and refreshing, with a flowery aftertaste. It’s hard to describe (check out #ginvent on Twitter for people being more eloquent [it’s been a long day]). Less fresh rain and more kids sweets, but I’m enjoying.

img_9877You can find Berliner Brandstifter on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and you can grab yourself a bottle of this from Master of Malt for ¬£47.85. This seems quite a lot for something I don’t think I could have as my every day gin, but it certainly feels like something special. Perhaps it’s the import costs?

Catch up on the last 19 days of Ginvent here and let me know what you think! I’m around on Twitter and Instagram.


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 Hern√∂ gin for a while, and I’m excited that today’s Ginvent offering is their sloe gin. Hern√∂ 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 – Audemus Pink Peppercorn Gin

img_9823Another day, another gin. Today’s gin is Audemus Pink Pepper Gin. Hailing from France, Audemus gin uses traditional techniques “blended with a modern alchemy and a passion for innovation”. Pink Peppercorn sounds like a good example of this. Their Pink Pepper fin is designed “to be an entirely unique, intense and aromatic gin”. The flavour should change from a spicy pink pepper and juniper blend to a warmer vanilla and honey tone as the gin ages and comes to room temperature.

img_9825Straight from the bottle the smell is very fresh and slightly savoury – not what I expected for something that tastes of honey as it warms (this has been sat in my lounge for the last month so it’s not exactly cold…). It smells smooth (yes I know that’s strange) but I can sense the vanilla. This tastes nothing like I expected. The pepper comes out, with the smoother softer vanilla at the back of the tongue. Making it into a G&T, this is certainly unusual. The pepper tastes fade away, and it is reminiscent of cake. The vanilla and honey are more prominent than expected, and not in a bad way. It’s smooth to drink, with no nasty alcohol burn. Sweet, but not cloying, I quite like this. Do I think I could drink this every day? No, but as a one off now and again it is certainly a nice change. And this comes from someone that doesn’t like a sweet gin.

img_9826You can find Audemus spirits on Facebook and in basically no shops so find them over on Masters of Malt where a 70cl bottle (44% ABV) will set you back £45.91 (at time of writing).

Have you tried the Pink Pepper Gin? Let me know what you think over on Twitter and Instagram, and catch up on Ginvent here.




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.