Gin review: Inshriach Gin 43%

Inshriach gin is made in a shed, but not just any shed, the shed that houses the Inshriach distillery won shed of the year in 2015. Sheds are good, and out of them can come fantastic things including gin. The shed in question is deep in the Cairngorms on the Inshiriach estate where Walter Micklethwaite makes Inshriach gin with local juniper and other native botanicals all picked within a few miles of the estate. There is not a lot of information about the botanicals used: Juniper, Juniper shoots and rosehips, with the total number unknown so for this tasting we are pretty much tasting blind.

The nose is bright and inviting. Sweet floral top notes, green piney juniper with an underlying sweet musky depth.

Sipped neat the lead is sweet citrus rose, almost geranium-like but with an underlying fruitiness. The sweetness momentarily subsides to a bright, refreshing eucalyptus pine. A round sweetness resurfaces accompanied by a mellow bitterness with a slight pepper bite. The hints of lemon and pepper make us wonder if bog myrtle is in the mix. This is a gin that is very easy and most pleasant to sip on the rocks, we have to top up before moving on to adding tonic.

With tonic (Fever Tree regular) the nose persists but edges towards juniper pine. The profile remains broadly the same starting off with a round, fruity, floral sweetness with a hint of lemon citrus. Fresh piney juniper kicks in followed by mellow bitter bass notes that builds into a long round linger.

A perfect balance of bitter and sweet with floral pine top notes, Inshriach gin is refreshing and moreish sipped neat and makes an excellent gin and tonic. A superb addition to our shelves, you will be able to find it on our new autumn tasting menus which will be out in the next week or so.

They also have a navy strength version, as you can see in the image

Manchester Three Rivers Dry Gin: 40% abv

Manchester Three Rivers small batch dry gin is made in the heart of Manchester and takes much of it’s inspiration from the city itself. The name Three Rivers refers to the three rivers that run through Manchester: the Medlock, Irwell and Irk, the distillery it’s self being near the banks of the Irk. The 450 litre copper pot still in which the gin is made called ‘Angel’ takes its name from the area of Angel Meadows just a short distance from the distillery. Now a public park it is a place deeply connected to the highs and lows of the city’s industrial heritage, a city of which it was said “What Manchester does today, the rest of the world does tomorrow.”

And is this so with gin? Lets find out!

The gin is made using 11 botanicals: Juniper, coriander seeds, cardamom, orange peel, cinnamon, almonds, oats, vanilla, angelica, black pepper, orris.

On the nose there are immediate aromatic cardamom floral top notes singing out against subtle green savoury earthy bass notes. The nose is seductive and enticing, making us keen to move onto sipping.

Tasted neat the start is aromatic cardamom with lemon citrus from the coriander, followed swiftly by a juniper & citrus peel bitterness. This yields to a bright pepper activation which starts a long, warming linger.

With tonic the nose is still present and enticing. The top notes open out with the citrus ringing out more clearly. The middle has warming pungent cardamom paired with juniper dryness, the pepper heat in the linger rounds out to a buttery almost fruit like sweetness with the vanilla taking the stage. What is also pronounced is a lovely, silky round mouthfeel from the almonds and oats.

This is a great gin with a distinctive well balanced profile which makes for an interesting and satisfying flavour journey. It makes for a fantastic Gin and Tonic, which we garnish with strawberry and juniper. We liked it so much you can find it on our tasting menu.

Gin Review: Boomsma Dry 45% abv

Boomsma Dry gin has a number of enticing qualities. The first is their super smart bottle. The second is that the company has a long distilling history spanning 125 years with the 5th generation currently at the helm. The third is that the recipe for their dry gin is inspired by Beerenburger, a spirit they have been producing since 1883 that uses traditional medicinal and bitters herbs such as gentian, centaury, blessed thistle, laurel, and calamus.

We were first introduced to these herbs through our research for our Cityread “Tastes of Elizabethan London” tasting event where we were up till the small hours poring over 16th century distilling manuals which included paragraphs extolling the virtues of various herbs. Centaury, known as “100 pieces of gold” and a supposed cure for the plague. Laurel, used for inspiration and dreaming. Blessed thistle which was renowned as a “heal all”, and gentian, employed as an antidote to poison and one of the most potent bitter compounds known. This is the first gin that we are aware of that uses gentian and so we were very intrigued to know what was going on inside this beautiful bottle.

Boomsma Dry gin uses 12 botanicals which include Juniper, Angelica, Licorice, Blessed Thistle, Centaury, Laurel and Gentian.

On the nose, this gin is fragrant with lavender floral citrus, which we suspect is from the juniper and laurel. There is an underlying earthiness and delicate pine notes which entice you on to sipping.

Sipped neat with ice the attack is sweet floral citrus. There is a cooling menthol pine and a warming bitter spice. The linger has the same dual aspect quality: cooling sweet menthol and warm bitter spice with a mildly astringent bitter linger, however the bitterness is more complex than a traditional gin. The use of bitters herbs brings a more nuanced flavour profile. This is an extremely well-balanced profile, almost a sipping gin.

With tonic (FeverTree), with a traditional 1:3 ratio the gin opened out to an almost fruity sweet start yielding to a juniper dry menthol middle and a mellow linger. However it was most interesting and satisfing at a 1:1 ratio as a sipping gin.

This is an excellent well-balanced gin from a distiller with a fantastic pedigree. If you love gin a sip of Boomsma Dry Gin will further your journey into the exploration of this fabulous spirit.




Hot off the press!

Yes it does!

A lot of people who visit the bar admire our ‘Gin Does the Job!’ poster and so we thought we would bring a bit of gin related sunshine into peoples lives by making it available as a poster.

Available to buy in the bar or at our online shop just in case someone special in your life needs reminding!

Also available as a postcard in case you need to carry a copy on you at all times.

Gin Review: Mary-le-bone 50.2% abv

Marylebone is a stone’s throw away from us here are the London Gin Club, so we were most interested to try the new local gin, Mary-le-bone small batch gin. We were even more intrigued to learn that the company is located on the site of the 18th century Marylebone Pleasure Gardens. We knew there were pleasure gardens in Vauxhall, but did not know there were pleasure gardens so near to us, apparently visited by Dick Turpin no less!

Mary-le-bone gin is made from 13 botanicals, some inspired by the gardens including of lime flower, lemon balm, chamomile, there is also grapefruit in the mix and it’s bottled at a robust 50.2% abv. The brains behind this inspired venture is Johnny Neill, who also created Whitley Neill Gin so we were pretty sure it would be a good gin, but how good?

The nose is clean and bright. There is an apple freshness from the chamomile, with lemon sherbet citrus and hints of coriander.

Tasted neat with ice Marylebone starts with a lavender floral and citrus hit followed by piney juniper and warming spice, this then rounds out to a mellow sweetness (we think liquorice). Overall the finish is long and has the lovely bitter dryness of a tasty gin. Very well balanced for 50% abv.

With tonic (Fever Tree regular) the gin opens out with a pleasing light camomile, hay freshness and lemon top notes. This is followed by a bite of grapefruit and a juniper kick that gives way to a pleasant warming dry bitterness which rounds out in a long linger with a hint of liquorice sweetness.

Mary-le-bone gin really does have an excellent profile, it starts with delicate garden floral notes but has real body and ends dry with a pleasant bitterness balanced with a hint of round sweetness. This is a rewarding gin that, and after you have savoured a mouthful beckons another sip. We are sure the 18th century tipplers in the pleasure gardens would wholeheartedly approve.

Mary-le-bone makes a great gin and tonic, which we garnish with a blackberry, you can find it on our latest tasting menus.

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