We are privileged to have on our shelves another fine Yorkshire gin – York gin. Emma, one of the masterminds behind York Gin visited the London Gin Club a while back and we spent a pleasant evening chatting about gin. Fast forward a year or so and we have the fruits of the labours of the fantastic team behind York Gin in our hands. A London Dry made with 9 botanicals including juniper, cardamom, orris, lemon peel and black pepper, the aim was to create a smooth sipping gin, so how did they fare?

The nose is bold, fresh and vibrant. Floral lavender top notes and fresh camphory juniper predominate. Subtle, sweet, underlying green bass notes entice you into sipping.

Tasted neat this is a smooth gin with a round silky mouth feel. Lavender top notes yield to the cooling fresh camphor of juniper, there is a bite of pepper bitterness with pepper heat persisting into a long smooth linger with an underlying sweetness. This gin has a most satisfying balance of cooling juniper pine and warm pepper heat. Let the ice melt in the glass a touch and this is a most satisfying sipping gin indeed; round, well-balanced with an underlying silky sweetness.

With tonic (Fever Tree regular) the same nose is present but is a touch greener. The profile remains the same but is more open: fresh lavender floral top notes, cooling juniper with a pepper bite and underlying sweetness with a touch af warming spice seeping through.

This is a most satisfying dry gin – an excellent sipping gin, easy drinking on ice it also makes a great gin and tonic which we garnish with a rhubarb slice.

So raise your glass to Rutterkin, the black cat and swaggering gallant who adorns the bottles of York Gin. We most wholeheartedly welcome him onto our shelves and onto our lastest tasting menus at the London Gin Club.

 

We have a fantastic selection of new gins for spring and summer 2018. We are also extremely excited to launch our Summer Tasting menu showcasing four floral and fruit forward gins, perfect for a refreshing summer G&T.  Also new to the menu is our Fruit Gin tasting menu which showcases three sumptuous fruit cordial gins.

For Tasting menu number 1 we have:

  • Kongsgaard 44% – A Danish gin inspired by local forests. Made from 11 botanicals including apple, cinnamon, charred oak, resin and tiger nuts this gin has fresh juniper, warm apple notes balanced with the bright freshness of ginger and galangal.
  • Duck & Crutch 45% – Made in Kensington using juniper, vanilla, Darjeeling tea, walnut and fresh thyme. A smooth, warm juniper led gin with hints of spice and a Darjeeling tea finish.
  • Gower 43% – A sophisticated blend of eight botanicals including lemon, pink grapefruit, bronze and green fennel. Gower captures the freshness of the sea and the heady fragrance of local Welsh herbs.
  • Gin Wala 45% – Taking inspiration from the flavours of chai this is a London Dry made with juniper, cinnamon, cardamom, vanilla, ginger, Assam tea and black pepper. Smooth and warm with juniper and sweet spice.

For Tasting Number 2 we have:

  • York Gin 42.5% – A fantastic dry gin made with juniper, orris root, coriander and black pepper, the exact recipe is a closely guarded secret. This is a smashing dry juniper led gin with lavender floral top notes.
  • Bareksten 46% – An award-winning Nordic gin that uses organic ingredients. Oaky with bright hints of caraway shining through.
  • Foxhole 40% – Made with a Sussex grape based spirit the botanicals include juniper, coriander, orris root, liquorice, bitter orange, fresh lemon and grapefruit zest.
  • Lilliput 40% – Distilled with pride in Dorset using home-grown rosemary, basil from Egypt, thyme from Spain and fermented kalamata olives from Greece.

Our Summer Tasting menu showcases fruit and floral forward gins:

  • Black Rose 43.1% – This floral gin leads with juniper and Damascus rose bound together with piney juniper and a sweetness reminiscent of floral candies and preserved citrus.
  • Mor Irish Gin 47% – An Irish gin made using juniper, angelica, coriander, rosemary, blackberry, raspberry and cranberry. Subtle florals and vivid raspberry fruit notes shine out.
  • St Giles 42% – An elegant blend of 11 botanicals including grains of paradise, rose petals and lemongrass. Smooth and fruity with subtle citrus and floral notes.
  • Pomelo 41% – Made using Juniper, grapefruit, cox’s orange pipin, conference pears, wormwood and liquorice. Fresh and crisp with full-bodied citrus.

Our new Fruit Gin tasting menu showcases three sumptuous fruit cordial gins: Rhubarb, Strawberry & Balsamic and Sloe.

Japanese Whisky’s are known for their nuanced flavours and so we were keen to try Roku Gin, made by the Japanese distilling giant Suntory.

Roku is made with 6 traditional Japanese botanicals selected and balanced to represent the four seasons, with an underlying scaffold of 8 traditional gin botanicals (juniper, coriander seed, angelica root & seed, cardamom, cinnamon, bitter orange, lemon peel).

The Japanese botanicals are Sakura flower and Sakura leaf (cherry blossom and cherry leaf), Sencha tea (green tea) and Gyokuro tea (refined green tea), Sanshō pepper and Yuzu peel. Sakura, the ornamental cherry is the spirit of Japan with the delicate blossoms representing renewal and the brilliant and ephemeral nature of life. In Japan Sakura begin to bloom in late January, with the cherry blossom front moving north through the islands till April. As we are in mid blossom season, with a few blossoms in Regents Park despite the snow, this is perhaps an auspicious time to be tasting Roku.

The nose is delicate and inviting. There is fresh pine with citrus top notes. Fruity floral notes of sakura (almost vanilla) ebb through, with underlying green savoury notes of tea.

Tasted neat Roku is aromatic, clean and fresh. Clear heady fresh pine with fruit floral hints lead followed by underlying notes of green tea. In the mid palate there is a bold punch of fizzy, fiery pepper which yields to a long dry, citrus bitter linger which rounds out with a hint of light vanilla sweetness. This is a clean, refined, elegant gin which is very good neat and makes an excellent martini.

With tonic (Fever tree regular) the nose is clean and fresh. Citrus leads and the green tea notes open out to initially give a dryer profile with a clear pepper bite and a long citrus bitter, dry linger. Give Roku a little time in the glass and the fruit floral notes of Sakura open out and literally blossom in the glass.

An elegant, nuanced and refined gin which makes an excellent additional to our shelves.

 

There is an art to making gin. Which botanicals, in what proportions? The variations are literally endless, and for every successful recipe there will be hundreds of also rans strewn across the distillery floor. Making a good gin is hard work, but making a good savoury gin is about as tough as it gets and so we were very intrigued when we obtained a bottle of Lilliput Dorset Gin; a small batch gin based on a london dry recipe made with Bosnian juniper to which rosemary, basil, thyme, kalamata olives are added.

And we weren’t disappointed, Lilliput is really is quite a remarkable, fresh, savoury gin.

The nose is fresh, fragrant and full. Sweet, citrus, almost floral notes of basil sit at the top with vibrant, green, almost juicy savoury herb notes and ample dashes of fresh, clean pine.

Tasted neat Lilliput gin is punchy and flavoursome. The lead is cool super-fresh juniper with hints of floral lemon citrus. This gives way to a sweet anise with a building bitter peppery bite. There is a teasing hint of warmth, but the middle profile builds to a pleasing green, bold pine and rosemary freshness. Like waves on a summer Dorset beach, satisfying, lip-smacking savoury notes roll underneath, all packaged in a satisfying silky mouthfeel.

With tonic the nose is still full with Citrus, basil and camphor. The profile leads with floral citrus and piney juniper. The peppery bitter is more subdued and the underlying juicy savoury tone is accentuated with the thyme and the savouriness of rosemary & olive shining through. There is a sweet, almost fruity linger of olive & basil.

Lilliput gin is a cooling, fresh, vibrant and satisfying marriage of juniper and the lemon camphor deliciousness of fresh savoury herbs, all balanced with a subtle sweetness. It makes a cracking martini and a great gin and tonic which we garnish with a cherry tomato and lemon peel.

There is nothing better to combat the post-Christmas blues than a tasty new gin and what a fabulous specimen we have in Gin Wala. This London Dry gin is inspired by the Chaiwalas of India, the entrepreneurial street vendors who sell and serve spiced tea. The recipe took a year to perfect and uses the spices of chai: Assam tea, cardamom, cinnamon, vanilla, ginger and black pepper.

And so how does this chap taste?

The nose is vibrant and inviting. Bright notes of aromatic cardamom and ginger sing out with an underlying hint to pepper.

Tasted neat the lead is perfumed juniper followed by a flood of warming spice; bright cardamom with cinnamon and ginger undertones pleasantly mingling with a light peppery finish that yields to a soothing, smooth, slightly sweet linger.

Tasted with tonic (Fever-Tree regular) the nose is still strong and inviting. The chai spices open out and the overall profile is of the same form but lighter; warming spice, pepper activation and a soothing sweet linger. There is a hint of pleasant savouryness not noted when sipped neat which makes this gin extremely tasty and very more-ish.

This gin really is fabulous, the combination of warming spice with the sweet elements from tea working remarkably well to create a smooth, perfumed, spicy, yet soothing gin which is quite unique. So hats off to Gin Wala. Yet again we see the boundaries of artisan premium gin being pushed into new creative flavour areas.

%d bloggers like this: