Archive for the ‘Gin’ Category

T.E.A Tasting Notes

Posted: July 1, 2017 in English Gin, Gin, Uncategorized

TEA Jasmine Gin 42%

The base spirit is made from East Anglian sugar beet by the English Distillery Company. The botanicals are macerated in the spirit before being re-distilled. Also some of the Earl Grey tea is vapour infused as well. Botanicals include: Jasmine Silver Tip Tea, English Rose Petal, Bay Leaf, Seville Orange Zest, Juniper and Coriander.

Tasted: Feb 2016

A lovely, pungent nose of slightly oily spirit character. Quite natural, creamy and earthy with subtle juniper, jasmine, coriander and orange.

The palate is soft and oily, opening with un-sweetened rose petals, jasmine and hints of juniper, earth and bay leaf. Wonderfully herbaceous with an almost minty freshness on the middle. Lovely balance and a long jasmine finish.

TEA Earl Grey Gin 42%

Botanicals include: Earl Grey Tea, Natural Bergamot Oil, English Rose Petal, Bay Leaf, Seville Orange Zest, Juniper and Coriander.

Tasted: Feb 2016

Pungent and oily with plenty of earthy spirit character. The bergamot and Earl Grey notes are quite subtle and delicate with a touch of orange and coriander coming through.

Soft and oily with plenty of bergamot to begin with. Gently sweet but earthy with bay leaf and coriander. The rose petal notes come through quite strongly on the middle and linger along with a touch of sweet-ish orange on the finish.

Copperhead Gin Tasting Notes

Posted: June 5, 2017 in Belgian Gin, Gin

Copperhead Gin 40%

Mr. Copperhead, according to the company was an alchemist who was searching for the elixir of life. During his experiments he distilled the following five botanicals – juniper, cardamom, orange peel, angelica and coriander in his copper pot still and lo, a myth or a gin was born. This gin, however was created by Yvan Vindevogel, a famous Belgian pharmacist who was interested in the medicinal properties of gin.

Tasted: Mar 2017

The nose is quite herbal with noticeable juniper, coriander and orange. It has a pleasant citrus/ spice balance, although the spices come across as slightly musty.

The palate is slightly perfumed with sweet juniper and noticeable coriander. Hints of orange on the middle. Good length with lingering citrus and a slight bitter spice bite.

Copperhead Black Edition 42%

Made with adding elderberry and black Ceylon tea to the standard five botanicals.

Tasted: Mar 2017

The nose is pungent and manuery with no shortage of black, slightly bitter tea leaves. There’s a hint of juniper but the tea notes dominate.

The palate isn’t quite the black tea overkill of the nose and shows more sweet juniper. Lightly mentholated with the black tea character being more integrated. Hints of bitter elderberry on the middle and the orange comes through on the finish. It’s unusual to say the least.

Nginious! Tasting Notes

Posted: June 5, 2017 in Gin, Swiss Gin

Nginious! Original Swiss Blended Gin 45%

Produced from 18 botanicals which are distilled in 4 separate batches before being blended together. Batch 1 (Fruity) – juniper, barberry and laurel berries. Batch 2 – (Citrus) – lemon, sweet orange peel and fresh grapefruit. Batch 3 (Herbal) – These herbs are native to Switzerland and include, hay flowers, clover blossom, bee balm, verbena, hyssop, chamomile, blackcurrant leaves, iris, carline thistle root, galingale and liquorice root. Batch 4 (Rooty) – whole peeled cardamom.

Tasted: Mar 2017

The nose is quite smoky with an aroma akin to pine sap. The cardamom is very noticeable and the juniper has a pleasant freshness. It becomes quite herbal in time with a touch of chamomile and leafy herbs.

Again pine sappy notes on the palate with a touch of citrus and a good complexity of floral and herbal notes. The juniper is slightly smoky and comes through on the middle with an almost cinnamon-like spice note. Long and subtly peppery. In conclusion it’s punchy and intense.

Nginious! Summer Gin 42%

Produced in a similar way to the Blended Gin, using peach, lime, jasmine, white pepper and rhubarb along with the blueberries and juniper.

Tasted: Mar 2017

The nose is subtly fruity with a distinct summer fruit mix (berries and citrus). The juniper, although subtle has an astringent edge and with time a touch of white pepper appears.

The palate is quite full and oily with juniper and toasty spice notes. It’s a bit odd and lemonade-like on the middle as the floral and citric notes come through along with a touch of white pepper. Long and a bit sweet on the finish. It’s an odd one this. Different, but I’m not sure it’s my cup of tea!

Nginious! Original Swiss Blended, Barrel Aged Gin 43%

Aged for 6 months in barriques which first held Barolo and then Cocchi Vermouth.

Tasted: Mar 2017

The nose opens with subtly sweet, almost mocha-like notes with a hint of vanilla and soft fruit. There’s a touch of citrus but the juniper is pretty subdued.

The palate is very herbal and mentholated. Fresher and less sweet than the nose suggests with a touch of sugar coated chamomile. Long and remaining mentholated. The nose shows too much Vermough character, but the palate is a little better balanced.

Nginious! Smoked & Salted Gin 42%

Produced from 3 batches. Batch 1 – contains juniper, quince, ginger, coriander and bitter orange. Batch 2 – contains pureed smoked chestnuts and Batch 3 – contains whole halved smoked chestnuts. Flakes of smoked salt are added post distillation.

Tasted: Mar 2017

The nose is surprisingly subtly smoked and nutty with hints of juniper, orange and salt.

The palate has more upfront chestnut flavours and has a greater smoky and salty pungency than the nose suggests. However citrus and subtle juniper notes come through on the middle to balance. A very pure, rock salt finish. It’s quite unique and enjoyable.

Four Pillars Rare Dry Gin 41.8%

Situated in Healesville, Yarra Valley, Australia. Four Pillars was created in 2013, and uses a CARL copper pot still called Wilma. the final gin includes 10 botanicals – juniper berries, coriander seeds, cardamom pods, lemon myrtle, Tasmanian pepperberry leaf, cinnamon, lavender, angelica, star anise and fresh oranges. Perhaps most interesting in this line up is the use of whole oranges.

It is quite unusual to use entire fresh fruits (both the peel and flesh) when making gin but distiller Cameron Mackenzie believes that Australian citrus is highly aromatic and the whole fruit supports the spicier botanicals like cardamom and star anise better.

Tasted: Mar 2017

The nose opens with some subtle juniper, followed by a good intensity of oily orange. It has a pleasant warmth and fullness which is apparently down to the pepperberry leaf. Gently spiced and smoky with anise, coriander and with time it develops a light floral character.

The palate has a lovely balance. Again quite full and weighty with pepper, sweet orange and juniper. The spices – coriander, anise and very ‘green cardamom come rushing through on the finish along with a subtle mentholated note.

Four Pillars Navy Strength 58.8%

Made with juniper, organic oranges, finger limes, turmeric, coriander, fresh ginger and star anise

Tasted: Mar 2017

The dusty turmeric is very noticeable on the nose as is the lime and star anise! But the freshness of the spirit really cuts through. This is no shrinking violet. Subtle, smoky juniper and coriander with time.

The palate is very unusual and definitely has the Wow factor. It has a fleshy banana-like feel with lightly coffee’d spice, pepper, coriander, star anise and subtle juniper. Intensely alcoholic, which comes through with an almost biscuity character, but it’s well contained. Long, peppery, botanical/ herbal almost medicinal cardamom finish. Complex and very impressive.

Four Pillars Bloody Shiraz Gin 37.8%

Each year, Yarra Valley whole berry Shiraz grapes are steeped in the gin for 8 weeks. The fruit is then pressed and blended with the Rare Dry Gin.

Tasted: Mar 2017

Obvious, subtly smoky and subtly sweet blackcurrant shiraz notes, but the fresh spirit balances and doesn’t let it get out of shape. Hints of juniper, pine needles, citrus, pepper and grapey spice follow.

The palate is quite mentholated, piney and herbal with more noticeable juniper and orange. The blackcurrant and raspberry notes are subtler and it has a slightly syrupy feel, but there’s enough alcohol to stop it becoming too sweet. Long and very shirazzy with a touch of vanilla, pepper and anise on the finish.

Four Pillars Bartender Series, Spiced Negroni Gin 43.8%

They upped the amount of Tasmanian pepperberry leaf and cinnamon, then added organic blood orange, ginger, grains of paradise, clove and Sichuan pepper.

Tasted: Mar 2017

Like the Rare Dry Gin it has a lovely warmth on the nose, but a whole load more spice! Dusty clove and anise with a very subtle juniper note.

The palate is big and powerful with the juniper dominating the soft but gently bitter spices. Again there is a fullness and sweetness to the spirit with clove, pepper and coriander notes coming through on the finish.

Abelforth’s Tasting Notes

Posted: June 5, 2017 in English Gin, Gin

Abelforth’s Bathtub Gin 43.3%

Re-Tasted: Mar 2017

Subtle but pungent aromas of juniper. Subtly smoky with hints of cinnamon, cardamom and clove. Good balance and intensity.

The palate is not as sweet as previous bottling and shows a more crisp, fresher character. Quite citric with sweet juniper, cinnamon and lightly bitter cardamom. Good length with the sweet juniper lingering.

Abelforth’s Bathtub Gin – Old Tom 42.4%

Sweetened post distillation with cane sugar

Tasted: Mar 2017

A big, mentholated juniper nose with a subtle sweetness. Lightly creamy and rounded with a touch of citrus.

The palate is powerful and sweeter than the nose suggests. Lightly smoked juniper, menthol and subtle spice follow. Lightly herbal with a pleasant spicy grip in the finish.

Abelforth’s Bathtub Gin – Sloe Gin 33.8%

Almost half a pound of the finest Sloes are used to produce every bottle of this cold-compounded Sloe Gin.

Tasted: Mar 2017

A huge hit of marzipan and almond on the nose with berries in syrup. Rich, sweet and almost liqueur-like. I suppose you can’t complain that it’s not expressive!

The palate shows more of the bitter/ sweet sloe character with subtler marzipan notes. Better balanced with hints of herbs, spice and juniper. Long with a pure berry sweetness and lingering marzipan. 

Abelforth’s Cask Aged Bathtub Gin 43.3%

Aged in first fill American oak oactave casks for 3 months, then a further 6 months in refilled casks

Botanicals: juniper, orange peel, coriander, cinnamon, clove and cardamom

Tasted: Dec 2016

Nose: Plenty of toasty oak and burnt wood. Very subtle juniper plus hints of lime. Quite smoky with time and develops warm cinnamon and white pepper.

Palate: Quite sweet with oak and juniper but some balancing crisp lime on the middle. Lightly mentholated herbal notes appear with time.

Finish: A little hot, citric and bitter.

Conclusion: Great nose, slightly disappointing palate and I’m not a fan of that finish!

Abelforth’s Bathtub Gin – Cask Aged 43.3%

Aged in ex-Few Spirits American oak first fill Octave casks for 3 months, then six months in second fill.

Re-Tasted: Mar 2017

The nose opens with no shortage of sweet vanilla, but the pungent juniper character stands up to it well. Pungent, expressive with a subtle mentholated note.

The palate is elegant and displays more juniper. The smoky vanilla oak is subtler, but still noticeable. Hints of orange rind, herbs and lightly bitter cardamom come though. Medium length with a bitter spice and oak finish. 

Abelforth’s Cask Aged Bathtub Gin, Navy Strength 57%

Tasted: Dec 2016

Nose: Mint, juniper and saffron? Along with hints of cinnamon, coriander seed and subtle vanilla oak. Slightly mentholated an toasty with developing granulated sugar and pepper.

Palate: Pleasantly soft with juniper, pepper, coriander seed and well integrated oak.

Finish: Medicinal and peppery with an almost savour character.

Conclusion: Dangerously easy to drink neat!

Abelforth’s Bathtub Gin – Cask Aged, Navy Strength 57%

Re-Tasted: Mar 2017

Powerful, smoky oak and smoky juniper aromas. Everything seems amplifies, the citrus, the spice, the juniper and the oak. The oak, however displays less of the vanilla character of the standard bottling and more of the oak char.

The palate shows more sweet vanilla along with the charred oak. There’s also with plenty of mentholated herbs, juniper and spice. A gentle sweetness balances the bitter spice on the finish.

Edinburgh Gin 43%

Launched by Spencerfield Spirit Company in June 2010. Originally produced at Langely’s but since 2014 it is produced at their distillery in the heart of Edinburgh using two 140 litre Christian Carl stills. The two stills are shaped differently: one is an alembic still, the other a more traditional column. This allows for numerous techniques to be employed and – critically – many different types of gin to be made, should they want to make them.

Botanicals include, juniper (both Macedonian and Scottish), coriander, citrus peel, angelica, orris root, lemon grass, milk thistle, Scottish pine and heather.

Tasted: Mar 2017

Aromas of smoky juniper, pine sap and hints of citrus from the coriander. Good balance with a touch of lightly creamy spirit beneath.

The palate opens with sweet juniper and intense, bitter spice. Lightly herbal and floral with pine sap on the middle. Good, sweet-ish finish but it’s balanced by an almost astringent, piney bitterness.

Edinburgh Seaside Gin 43%

Botanicals include, survey grass, ground ivy and bladerwrack seaweed.

The nose is very salty and seaweedy with smoky juniper and hints of citrus, dried grass and a suggestion of mint.

The palate showers sweeter juniper and good spirit character with plenty of salt, seaweed, citrus and mint. Lovely, intense, balanced bitter/ sweet spice finish.

Edinburgh Cannonball Navy Strength Gin 57.2%

Botanicals include Schezuan pepper

Tasted: Mar 2017

Intense and juniper with smoky juniper. There is plenty of milky spirit character and the alcohol, although high is very well contained. Hints of citrus and possibly some seaweed notes (or maybe that’s my imagination!?!)

Soft but intense with plenty of juniper and pine notes. Lovely, softy smoked juniper and hints of citrus and spice. In fact the spices really come through on the finish with a Schezuan peppery bite along with a bite from the alcohol. Very impressive.

Harrington Dry Gin 44%

Created by best friends Sion Edwards and Tom Warner, Warner Edwards Gin is made in a 200-year-old converted barn in Harrington, Northamptonshire. Their neutral grain spirit is brought in from Langley’s and their botanicals are a heady international mix which includes Cardamon from Guatemala, angelica root from Holland, black pepper from Vietnam & cinnamon quills from Sri Lanka, along with local elderflower, Italian juniper and Spanish orange. Distillation takes place in a Holstein Still (similar to the Burleighs) called ‘Curiosity’.

Tasted: Mar 2017

An interesting, fresh nose with a quinine note? Relatively subtle juniper which has a light smokiness. The citrus notes have a pleasant sweetness and there’s a touch of cardamom, black pepper and nutmeg.

The palate is glacial fresh and crisp. It shows more juniper character and lemon. Subtly spiced middle and a long, dusty nutmeg and cinnamon finish.

Harrington Botanical Garden ‘Melissa Gin’ 43%

Small batch, made with lemon balm.

Tasted: Mar 2017

The nose displays plenty of pungent, earthy spirit notes along with earthy juniper, mint? and lemon balm. The aromas have a lovely, natural character.

The palate is oily and character with herbal juniper and again a slight mintiness. Earthy juniper, liquorice root and coriander mingle with the lemon balm, which lingers on the finish.

Harrington Elderflower Gin 40%

Infused with elderflower and sweetened post distillation

Tasted: Mar 2017

Quite a subtle nose with smoky juniper and floral elderflower and herbal notes.

The palate is sweet and sugary with hints of juniper and lemon. The elderflower comes through pretty strongly and it continues sweet. I don’t think there is quite enough citrus to balance the sweetness.

Harrington Victoria’s Rhubarb Gin 40%

The dry gin is re-distilled with crushed rhubarb juice.

Tasted: Mar 2017

A charming and subtle nose with a good combination of sweet and sour rhubarb. Hints of smoky juniper follow along with what seems like a touch of rose petal.

The palate displays the same, pleasant bitter/ sweet balance as the nose with plenty of rhubarb character. Hints of spice, juniper and rose petals follow along with a touch of cardamom and nutmeg. Good length with lingering rhubarb.

Harrington Sloe Gin 30%

Tasted: Mar 2017

The nose is quite subtle on the sloe character with hints of cumin, juniper and slightly mentholated herbal notes.

The palate displays both sweet and smoky sloe character along with hints of juniper. Quite fresh but the sweeter berry notes come through strongly on the finish.

Colombo London Dry Gin 43.1%

Colombo London Dry Gin is made with a recipe which dates back around 70 years, including a number of spices from the Cinnamon Garden of Colombo, Sri Lanka. At its core, Colombo London Dry Gin features 7 botanicals – juniper, angelica, coriander seed, liquorice root, Sri Lankan cinnamon bark, curry leaves and ginger root.

Tasted: Mar 2017

The nose is quite duty and barky, the cinnamon is very noticeable, but the juniper is very subtle. With time hints of liquorice root and angelica.

The palate pretty much mirrors the nose with the emphasis definitely on the cinnamon and coriander rather than the juniper. Good intensity and length with a light citrus finish.

Whitley Neill Tasting Notes

Posted: June 5, 2017 in English Gin, Gin

Whitley Neill Small Batch Gin 42%

Distilled at Langley’s near Birmingham, from 100% grain spirit that is steeped with botanicals prior to being distilled in a beautiful antique copper pot still called ‘Constance’ who is over 100 years old. (As is Brokers, Daffy’s and Langley’s No8)

Botanicals include: Juniper, coriander seed, sweet lemon and orange, orris, cassia bark, angelica root, and two African botanicals, Baobab fruit and Cape Gooseberries.

Tasted: Mar 2017

A fresh and citric nose with hints of juniper, spice and an almost pulped fruit character.

The palate is soft and quite full, almost starchy in character with subtle juniper and citrus. Pleasantly balanced with a touch of orris sweetness and a lightly floral finish.

Whitley Neill Quince Gin 43%

Tasted: Mar 2017

A pungent nose of fleshy quince, which comes across quite banana-like. There’s a subtle juniper and spice note but the fruit dominates.

Very sweet on the palate with again fleshy quince, honey. lemon balm, lemon peel and subtle juniper. Long and quite spicy (cassia?) but remaining sweet and slightly grassy.

Mary Le Bone Small Batch London Dry Gin 50.2%

Produced by the Pleasure Gardens Distilling Company, owned by HJ Neill, Located on the former site of Marylebone Pleasure Gardens, one of the three fashionable Pleasure Gardens of London, which existed in the 18 century, They claim to be London’s most central spirits distillery, with a history dating back eight generations to 1762. The Pleasure Gardens Distilling Company claims that Marylebone Gin uses the floral botanicals associated with those gardens.

Tasted: March 2017

A good, intense nose of smoky juniper and soft spice with an integrated floral note.

The palate opens with dusty spice and smoky juniper, followed by a touch of citrus peel and what appears to be lemon verbena. Good length with the clove and cassia bark coming through on the finish.

Firkin Gin Tasting Notes

Posted: June 5, 2017 in Gin, Scottish Gin

Firkin Gin Batch 3 46%

Scottish gin bottled by Gleann Mor. Rested in an ex-20 year old Glen Garioch American oak cask

Botanicals: Juniper, angelica, coriander seed and orris.

Tasted: Feb 2017

Pungent aromas of smoky juniper with hints of angelica and wood spice. Subtle, mentholated herbal notes appear along with heather and toasted oak, which obviously has a subtle whisky character.

The palate opens with sweet vanilla oak and mentholated herbs. Hints of juniper and citrus follow. Long, with the toasty oak and subtle whisky notes lingering along with a late peppery spice note.

Firkin Gin Original Batch 4 46%

Rested in ex- 10 year old Lagavulin cask

Tasted: Dec 2016

Quite neutral but smoky nose with obvious grain spirit notes. Subtle, coconutty oak with a touch of clove and peat.

The palate is again quite neutral but showing a touch of juniper and clove. Subtly oaked with plenty of smoke.

Finish: Long, citric and smoky with a touch of bitter spice.

Firkin Gin Islay Cask 46%

Rested in an ex-Laphroaig American oak cask

Tasted: Feb 2017

Surprisingly it’s the smoky juniper that shows first. The smoky Islay cask notes mingle well. Hints of vanilla, orange and slightly medicinal peat notes follow.

Like the nose, the palate opens with the smoky juniper and subtle peat smoke, although the peat comes through quite powerfully on the middle. Hints of juniper, toasty oak and mentholated herbs. Long, citric and smoky finish with the juniper notes lingering.