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.
From the bottle, it smells just like a wheat sack I have to goes in the microwave to keep you warm at night. ALL THE LAVENDER. Once you’re used to the lavender (take a few deep sniffs and you get there) there’s a hint of coriander-type freshness and a hint of cardamom. There’s also something slightly herbal in there like rosemary – although this could just be the lavender combining with the other aromas. When it’s poured into the glass it becomes a whole new gin. The lavender is there certainly, but there’s also now a great hit of citrus and a whole headiness of pine to it. Is that a real sentence? I’m not sure, my new commute is making me very tired. Trying it neat, I’m not a fan. Too much lavender at this stage and that leaves a tingle on your tongue that’s not allowing me to get past it to the other flavours. It has a very long finish to it, and it leaves a menthol like quality in the mouth. I’m wondering if something like a Merchant’s Heart Floral Aromatic gin would pair with this to enhance the sweetness and lift the flavour slightly… instead I’m pairing it with Fentimans which is certainly calming down the lavender into something far more palatable. There’s a sharpness at the back of the mouth, but this is balanced by a new sweetness at the front. Overall, very aromatic and actually nicer than I anticipated. I was worried this would be too heady and too much – as it was at first sniff. But mixed with tonic, the flavours are allowed to shine and not overwhelm the sense.
You can get yourself a bottle of the 42% gin on Master of Malt for £36.62 (at time of writing). I’m quite a fan, but like most gins with a ‘unique’ botanical, I think one is enough for me so couldn’t quite justify the price tag. You can find Masons on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.