Back in November Graham from Colombo Gin paid us a fleeting visit and left us a bottle of Colombo London Dry Gin. We tried it and liked it straight away and so have our customers, and so we thought we would put it in the spotlight in a gin review.
Colombo is interesting as it is fairly minimalist, using seven spices and botanicals: juniper, coriander seed, angelica, liquorice, Sri Lankan cinnamon bark, curry leaves and ginger. However together they create a complex and distinctive profile. Also of interest is the story of the gin – we like a bit of gin history here at the London Gin Club and so were intrigued to find out that Colombo has Sri Lankan origins and is made to an original war-time recipe created in Ceylon where an enterprising young chap rose to the challenge of making a London Dry Gin using native ingredients that were easily sourced at Colombo’s Cinnamon Gardens.
And so on to the Gin. The nose is vibrant, fresh and confident. We detected Coriander / Juniper, that lovely citrus like combination with an undertone of Angelica earthiness.
Tasted neat, the profile is complex and rewarding. There’s a provocative flash of coriander citrus, then juniper bursts in and grabs the tongue with a distinct bitter hit. In the middle the profile rounds out with sweet licorice and cinnamon notes only for a rascally ginger – pepper heat to scamper in which persists into the linger, this subsides to leave the round sweet cinnamon and licorice notes.
With tonic, as expected the profile smooths out, however what is most interesting is that the profile seems to reverse, being distinctly sweet – sour – bitter. Round sweetness leads into a ‘juniper – spiced’ pleasantly sour middle which yields to a trademark london dry – dry / bitter linger.
This is a fantastic gin, as a flavour profile it adds something distinctive to the gin scene (we will be putting it into the spice category) and it is fabulous to think that in sipping a Colombo and tonic, not only are you having a great G&T, but you are in some way transporting yourself back in time. In a G&T we will garnish with a peel: either orange or lemon. We’re looking forward to adding this to our new tasting menus – to be announced at the end of February, watch this space.