Cambridge Distillery gin has graced our shelves for some time. Producers of small batch bespoke and artisan gin, we reviewed their Japanese Gin back in 2014, so a recent visit from them with their new Cambridge Dry gin in hand was of course, very welcome.
We are sampling Batch No 1 which is Cambridge Dry made using Macedonian juniper and a blend of local botanicals harvested across the 4 seasons: Blackcurrant leaf, Basil, Rosemary, Lemon verbena, Rose petals, Violet petals and Angelica seed rather than root. So how does it taste?
On the nose this gin is very fragrant, almost perfumed. A good strong nose of juniper with perfumed floral notes and a pleasant, bright menthol headiness.
Tasted neat there’s a sweet floral almost lavender lead, followed by a dryness which literally grasps the tongue, this smoothes out to a round sweetness which is followed up with a lip tingling finish, almost a pepper heat! All round a lovely balance of bitter-sweet, a most pleasant and very interesting flavour profile.
With tonic the gin opens up and the fruit sweetness really shines out – by the way we tasted this gin blind and we thought there were notes of fruity elderflower and sweet grapefruit citrus – from the botanicals listing we are guessing this is a combination of the blackcurrant leaf, rose, and violet. In the middle there is a round, soft almost malty under note, then a spine of juniper dryness. The zing of pepper-like activation is still there in the linger but is lighter.
This shows what amazing gins can be crafted using a handful of local botanicals, with of course care, craft, lots of skill and attention to detail. This really is a delightful combination of floral, citrus notes with a sweet maltiness balancing with a gentle pepper heat.
It’s good sipping neat on the rocks and makes a lovely fruity G&T, which we think will work well with a lemon and/or thyme garnish.
This is another fine gin from the folks in Cambridge and will be on one of our new Autumn/Winter tasting menus in the next week or so. Thanks guys!