In the immortal words of Debbie Harry, picture this, a day in December…the 1st of December in fact, and I am at the end of a week long retreat of writing, long walks and endless cafe visits in Whitby. But all is not lost. Before my return, I have one last duty to perform – the tasting of four different brands of gin kindly provided by Rebekah at Liquid Indulgence.
Regular readers will know that my knowledge lies more with food than drink, but I am partial to a drop of the old Mother’s Ruin and gin suits my taste buds perfectly. All of the samples described were accompanied by the excellent Fevertree tonic and stored at room temperature before serving. So let us begin…
The Party Pleaser
First up was the rather novel Spanish gin from IMajik. Distilled from corn and the colour of light caramel it has a rather unusual party trick. Poured over ice and topped up with tonic the IMajik gin quickly changes from brown to mauve pink – a feat that makes it a popular choice for special events. But how does this chameleon gin taste? My tasting notes provided by Rebekah refer to black cardamom and it certainly had a deep, spicy character with undertones of burnt sugar. The overall effect reminds me of dark rum and clove.
Price – £38.00 for 70cl
Star Rating ***
On The Rocks
The Jonge Genever gin from Dutch distillery Zuidam also breaks from the norm with a mash made up of equal parts rye, corn and barley. It has a clean, smooth profile that works remarkably well over ice. There aren’t many gins that I would choose to drink straight but this is definitely one. If straight gin feels too hardcore for you fear not, the flavour lifts further with a squeeze of lime and a dash of tonic encourages fresh, herby notes to appear.
Price £24.95 for 70cl
Star Rating ****
A Good All Rounder
The penultimate gin at this marathon tasting was the well rounded and easy drinking Tower Bridge London Gin from Molvino. Made to a traditional London recipe this gin will suit the drinker who doesn’t like her (or his) gin messed about with too much. It certainly makes an excellent gin and tonic with a twist of lime and would be my gin of choice for entertaining at home.
Price £28.80 for 70cl
Star Rating ***
The Star of the Show
Leaving the best till last, my personal favourite has to be the Aviation Gin. The result of a collaboration between Seattle mixologist Ryan Magarian and distillers Lee Medoff and Christian Krogstad, Aviation packs a well rounded, spicy punch reminiscent of medieval spices and bitter orange. If like me, you prefer your gin deeply aromatic with just a splash of good quality tonic then you really can’t go wrong with this American newcomer.
Price £33.50 for 70cl
Star Rating *****
In conclusion, the recent popularity of gin and the growth of the small distillery has produced a wide selection of newer gins that can easily stand up to the old stalwarts. You won’t necessarily find them on your supermarket shelf, however, and I can only encourage you to support independent traders like Liquid Indulgence next time you are looking for an alternative to the standard fare.
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