Cotswolds Gin

Note: I emailed them for a sample for the blog and Zoe kindly replied and sent one to me. Then sent me another one when the first got lost in the post. But as always, if I don’t like it, you’ll know about it.

Cotswolds Gin hails from the Cotswolds (funnily enough) but is the brainchild of native New Yorker Dan Szor. They’re committed to keep it local – the barley and malt is produced within a 50 mile radius for their whisky and the botanicals for the gin are locally sourced. They produce a huge range of products now – their dry gin, a hedgerow gin, a barrel aged gin, espresso martini, sherry, cream liqueur… The list goes on. The Cotswolds Dry Gin mixes lavender, bay leaf, grapefruit, lime and black pepper. I’m hoping for something full of flavour and hopefully well balanced – otherwise it will be awful!

Twisting the cap off you get a citrus smell with a spiced tinge. Good start. Pouring it into the glass releases a great smell into the room. I only have a 50ml sample so I’m just trying it straight with no water, and boy does that wake you up. The freshness from the citrus meets a small kick of spice at the tip of the tongue. Mixed with a good measure of Fevertree tonic, this is different. The spiced tones come forward and balance out the zestiness from the citrus. It’s balanced but full of flavour. This tastes nothing like I expected it to, and I like it. Enough flavour to make you interested and get your tastebuds going, but not over the top or chemically. I’m a fan of this. Normally I’d add a lemon wedge, but as they use lime as a botanical I throw a slice in. The lime enhanced the citrus whilst toning back the spice. Whilst I like this, I think perhaps on its own is just as nice!

A bottle of Cotswolds Dry Gin is currently on Master of Malt for £34.95. I think this is pretty fair, especially if you want something livelier to add to your collection. They’re available to contact on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Have you tried Cotswolds Gin? Let me know your thoughts on Twitter and Instagram.


Anno Kent Dry Gin

Drinks in a Tube
Drinks in a Tube

My aunt got me a cracking Christmas present: tubes of gin. Specifically Chilgrove gin (already tried, review here), Mason’s Gin (coming soon) and Anno Kent Dry Gin.

Anno Gin hails from Kent (funnily enough) and I’ve seen them in various places but never given them a try. At Anno, they blend traditional botanicals with locally sourced lavender from the award winning Downderry Nursery, elderflower, rose hips and samphire. I’m expecting floral and slightly… salty? It certainly sounds like it packs in the flavour; the tasting notes on their website says it starts with juniper, moving to citrus and sweet spice – a flavour that grows as you drink it. Apparently it is “bold and long” (oo-er) with leafy herbal notes. It’s blended with hops so I’m expecting it to be slightly earthy amongst the other flavours.

Anno Gin
Anno Gin

Cracking open the tube (I should point out I have a bit of a blocked nose) it certainly smells floral and herbal. Tinges of walks in fields, light and fresh. I have a 50ml sample so I’m going to go for the Ginvent style of tasting – no mixing it with water. In the glass it smells headier and the juniper becomes more prominent. It’s slightly silky on the tongue, the taste certainly grows. Slightly sweet at the front, developing to a bolder flavour at the back of the tongue. I can also detect a slight saltiness which contrasts – and compliments – the woodier tones.


Alas, I only have a smidge of Fever Tree left, so it’s back to Tesco tonic. Sadly, the tonic slightly drowns the gin, but hints of flowers come through. With tonic, I can’t sense the soft spicy notes, but it is fresh and citrusy and a great post-run pick me up! (Training for my 10k run is going great btw…). Throwing in some lemon slices, it helps to bring the citrus flavours to the front. I’m not overwhelmed by this, but I think if I mixed it with a drier Fever Tree tonic it would help enhance the flavours.

A bottle of 43% Anno gin is currently £31.20 on Master of Malt which is pretty fair considering it’s from a microdistillery (Kent’s first in 200 years nonetheless). I’m certainly going to give this another go. You can get in touch with Anno via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Have you tried Anno? What do you think? Let me know on Twitter and Instagram.

6 O’Clock Gin

Note: I emailed 6 O’Clock gin for a sample for the blog and they replied by sending me a whole bottle. However, if this gin is grim, I’ll be honest about it. Although I am very happy that their version of a sample is 70cl.

I’ve known about 6 O’Clock gin for a while, and strangely have tried their tonic but not the gin. – the tonic, btw, is very good as well. Packaged in a lovely blue bottle with some simple branding, I’m a fan. They have a few gins to their range, the London Dry bottled at 43%, a sloe gin and a damson gin – as well as a whole range of liqueurs to complete your cocktail cabinet. Their gin is made in a classic copper still which is solar powered, making this a carbon neutral gin – important considering the amount of gin that is produced (and that I consume). Key botanicals juniper, orris root and angelica are joined by Winter Savoury (a Mediterranean herb akin to rosemary and thyme), elderflower and orange peel. They think the perfect serve is: gin, served with two or three times tonic. Correct. No poncy suggestions, but instead a nice note from them: “Forget the mango slices rolled in pepper corns, no need for sprigs and hold the fruit salad; our gin does the talking.” We know from the colour changing adventures of Ginvent that I’m not a huge fan of gimmicks so let’s see how this gin stands up on its own.

There’s no wax seal for me to battle with today, which is probably best after yesterday’s bouldering adventure which today means moving my arms too much hurts quite a lot. The bottle comes with a glass cork, a terrifying noise when you don’t know this is happening! Haven’t broken anything. Just the lid. The open bottle releases a string citrus smell – always a winner in my books – which fades slightly in the glass. Mixed with a dash of water, the juniper smell becomes more prominent. This is very easy to drink – I worry I drowned it in water. Definite taste of juniper and a hint of floral from the elderflower. They say on the bottle that it is “strikingly smooth” and they aren’t wrong. This is very easy to drink.

Mixed with some fevertree (treated myself on the way home), the taste of the gin is almost lost from the bitterness of the tonic. I can’t taste any gin. There’s hints of flowers and citrus, but it’s slightly lost in the tonic (I tried this as a 1:2 and 1:3 mix). A couple of slices of lemon bring this to life and highlight the citrus tones to it. I imagine mixing it with an elderflower tonic would produce similar results and highlight the floral notes. Personally I’m not sure this has enough flavour to make it stand out, but this is rather nice to snuggle up with on a snowy rainy evening. Simple, but done well. I think this is their aim, no gimmicks, no fancy flavours, just a quality gin. A bottle of this in your home could be used for many things – I think this will work well in baking as well as cocktails.

At time of writing, a 70cl bottle of 6 O’Clock gin is available on Master of Malt for £24.10 – but is listed on their website as £35. Personally for me £35 is a bit more than I would pay, but for £25 I’d certainly grab a bottle.

You can find 6 O’Clock gin over on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. What do you think about 6 O’Clock? Let me know over on Twitter and Instagram.

Dizzy Gull, Brighton

It’s a Sunday. Therefore we needed a plate of roasted foods for lunch. So after seeing a number of tweets about Dizzy Gull‘s food at the Brighton Beer Dispensary, we meandered up the road to get some grub. They start serving at 12, so thanks to the fear that good Brighton eateries have instilled in me in that if you haven’t booked, you won’t get a seat, we arrived at 12.01pm to get a table. We were literally the only people in there for at least 45 minutes. They don’t take bookings, but we were there until gone 2pm and there were plenty of tables, so don’t worry about rushing down there.

Luckily for me, the very nice lady behind the bar was very helpful in guiding me towards a beer, and I was soon handed a Brighton Bier and we settled ourselves in to the back corner with Connect 4. Then we ordered one beef roast, one Dizzy burger, beerkins and three cheese fries (to clarify: this is one portion of fries with three cheeses on it, not three portions of cheese fries). In hindsight, this was too much. The beerkins were crisp and salty when they arrived, deep fried in batter and served with mustard mayo. As a gherkin lover, I was a fan. The boy isn’t such a gherkin fan but agreed they were pretty good. Sadly, our food arrived super quickly so these got abandoned and as soon as they got cold they were just a bit oily. The beef roast was delicious. As usual in a pub roast, the potatoes weren’t the best; but the beef was tender, the Yorkshire was fluffy and the accompanying veg was good. My main issue was cauliflower cheese. I don’t like this at the best of time and I don’t appreciate cheese in my gravy.

The boy’s burger looked yummy, and as he picked it up juice and sauce came dripping out and covered the plate – perhaps a second plate is needed for people like me who actually put their food down during a meal. His review was “it’s structurally sound, tasty and attractive”. Despite the amount of sauce that dripped out, the bun held itself together and the chips were well seasoned and fluffy – again, like the roasties they could be crispier.

The chips carried on with the three cheese fries. Dripping in smoked applewood, Brighton blue and Sussex charmer they were really yummy. For the four I managed to eat. Sadly we grossly over estimated the amount of food we wanted as the first meal of the day. But these lasted way past our meals and a few more overly competitive games of Connect 4 and were still pretty yummy when cold.

We ended up somehow paying £42 – £12 for the roast (very reasonable), £10 for the burger (very good), £5 fries and £4 beerkins, which left £10.40 for two beers and a lemonade. Would we go back? Yes. The food was nice and freshly cooked, the staff were super lovely and it wasn’t rammed so we didn’t have to fight for space or yell to hear each other. Plus they have board games so it’s a winner in my books.

Have you been to Dizzy Gull? What do you think? Let me know on Twitter and Instagram!

Then we walked here <3

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.