Cocktails with… One Key Gin

Generally, the thing that attracts and excites me most about a gin is likely to be something about how or where it is produced. Also, whether it made using a particularly intriguing process or titillating botanical. Is it the first juniper spirit that I’ve tried from its country or state of origin? But occasionally, what attracts me the most is the bottle.

Picture of The One Key Gin Bottle Close

Picture of The One Key Gin Bottle Close

One Key Gin Bottle Key

The Key

One Key Gin Bottle Opening

Opening

Such is the case with One Key Gin. A bottle for which you need a special key to open. The gin is made in Slovenia, as such it is part of my World of Gin series. Bottled at 40.0% ABV botanical include Juniper, Coriander and Ginger.

The bottle is made of blue glass and contains a cask metal key in the bottom, a bit like an allen key or they keys train guards use to access their control panels. On this key is a Mars or Male gender symbol. This fits into a small one each

Opened

Opened

cap on top of the bottle, which bears a Venus or Female gender symbol (I know, but seriously it does!) which unscrews to allow you to pour the gin.

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But what does One Key Gin taste like?

On its own
Nose: A light-touch nose, with notes of citrus, coriander and a hint of suntan cream.
Taste: Quite juicy and succulent to start, this is all about citrus: coriander, orange and lemon, although are some pleasant juniper notes at the end.

Gin & Tonic
Clean and straightforward, with plenty of citrus, followed by notes of juniper and coriander. Given its light citrus elements, I think this would work well in the Gin Tonica serve. Not complex, but still good.

Martini
Okay, but nothing special in fact, on reflection, this is sub-par. Lacking the defined and clean flavours of a Martini and actually a little difficult to drink.

Negroni
A simple, but adequate Negroni: bittersweet, with the same citrus notes as previously noted, but nowhere near as multidimensional as a Negroni can be.

In Conclusion

Despite how great the bottle is, the contents is a real let down and I think that is a great shame. The exciting packaging deserves better that said there is plenty of room for improvement. The gin is also rather difficult to pour out of the bottle.

One Key Gin is available from The Whisky Exchange for around £38 for 70cl.

Cocktails with… Goa Gin

GoaGinTitle

I keep a wishlist of gins that I am keen to try and, recently, one of those wishes was granted when I tried Victoria Oaked Gin, courtesy of the folks at the London Distillery Company, producers of Dodd’s Gin.

GoaGin FINAL

Another gin that has intrigued me for a while now and has also been on my wishlist is Goa Gin and, for a gin that I hadn’t tried, I knew a surprising amount about it. For instance, I knew that it was made by Thames Distillers, exclusively for the Spanish market; also, that it’s bottled at 47% ABV, contains 8 botanicals, and is packaged in a hexagonal, blue bottle, which is very similar, but not identical, to that of Tanqueray 10. I first saw the bottle when I visited Thames Distillers on the Gin Ramble.

GoaGinBots

The Taste

On its own
Nose: Juniper, but quite peppery, too. The cumin is strong, making this nose slightly reminiscent of Darnley’s View Spiced Gin. There’s a little vanilla, too.
Taste: Like the nose, the cumin spice is dominant on the taste; this is followed by juniper and some coriander. This gin is rather spicy, but not hot, and at the same time has a dry, savoury – almost salty – character throughout. This combination of characteristics reminds me somewhat of spiced/seasoned tortilla treats, such as Doritos. There’s also some cardamom sweetness in the middle and a little fiery ginger, too; I would imagine that this works well with the new Ginger and Cardamom Schweppes.

Gin Tonic
i) Schweppes Tonicá Originale
Very spicy, indeed – the cumin comes through very strongly and, if you don’t like curry spice, then this is probably not for you.

ii) Schweppes Cardamom and Ginger Tonicá
3

Martini
Another very spicy cocktail; there are definitely some curry notes, but they’re relatively well-balanced. The tortilla chip savoury characteristics also return and, as such, I think that this would be a perfect Martini to pair with Spanish tapas dishes.

Negroni
Cumin on the nose, followed by a rather spicy and savoury Negroni with plenty of cumin, caraway and cardamom. This drink is rather smooth, but with quite an intense bitterness at the very end. This is also slightly salty, which is unusual for this drink, but – overall – this is pretty good.

In Conclusion
Goa Gin is pretty good, like it’s spiciness and savoury notes; although I think it’s Scottish counterpart Darnley’s View Spiced has slightly better balance.  My favourite drink was the gin tonic with the Heritage Schweppes.

Cocktails with… Masons Yorkshire Dry Gin

MasonsGinTitle

Today is World Gin Day and so it’s fitting that today is the day that Masons Yorkshire Dry Gin is launched to the world. Masons Gin is based near Ripon in Yorkshire* and uses water from the local Harrogate Spring to cut the distillate ready for bottling, which is done at 42.0% ABV.

As Karl Mason is something of a Gin & Tonic aficionado, I decided to focus this review around this colonial drink; Karl even suggested some garnishes that he thought worked well in Gin Tonicas. But first, let’s try the gin on its own…

MasonsDryYorkshireGinBottle

Nose: Fennel and coriander, as well as a little leafy lemon.
Taste: A smooth spirit with some malty, grain notes reminiscent of gin made with a white whiskey base. This is followed by coriander mixed with some piney elements alongside some juniper. The flavour then moves onto some herbal notes such as fennel, liquorice and caraway; this combination of flavours both adds a little sweetness and gives the gin a long, lingering finish.

Classic Gin Tonic (Fevertree)
Excellent – full of flavour, with some malty notes and the juniper, it is very rounded and comforting, almost “cuddly”. Then, you get some great fennel and liquorice on the finish. This is definitely something different. My suggested serve for this would be to use plenty of ice and a nice wedge of fresh lemon.

MasonsDryYorkshireGin1938GinTonic

1938 Gin Tonic
This is a Gin Tonic as Served at Shepheard’s in Cairo in April 1938. Take a rickey glass, rub the inside with the peel of a lime. Pour in a jigger (35ml) of Masons Yorkshire Dry Gin, add ice cubes, a slice of lime or lemon, and fill with Fevertree Indian Tonic Water.

As covered by Twitter: @summerfruitcup

The drink allows the gin to come through especially the anise/fennel/liquorice giving it a slightly sweet start. This is then balanced out by the juniper and coriander as well as the lime peel and ganrish. As the ice melts and the drink get a little cold it improves even more. Very refreshing and a nice dry crisp finish. Overall @YorkshireGin makes a tasty GT but it is not your usual fair, good for those seeking something less pedestrian. Good stuff 1938 AD.

Karl’s Suggested Garnishes – All with Fevertree Tonic

MasonsDryYorkshireGinAppleAnise

Gin Tonica (garnished with star anise and apple)
Tasty stuff, with the crispness of the apple and the anise bringing out the fennel and liquorice notes of the gin. Fresh and crisp and, for extra bite, you can munch on the tangy apple. A fine Gin Tonica for a lazy Saturday afternoon; lively, but not too intense and relatively light.

MasonsDryYorkshireGinOrangeCardamom

Gin Tonica (garnished with orange peel and cardamom pods)
If you want a fragrant Gin & Tonic, then this is superb. I really like how the orange complements the flavours of the gin and the spice of the cardamom works well with the fennel/liquorice notes of the gin. This is superb, vibrant and refreshing.

Gin Tonica (garnished with red grapefruit)
A simple, but very effective garnish, with the rich, zesty citrus juiciness working well with the character of the gin. Crisp and refreshing.

MasonsDryYorkshireGinRedGrapefruit

As lovely as all of these drinks are, how can you test a gin without trying it in these two classics?

Martini
A good, solid drink with juniper, citrus and some malty, grainy notes, coriander and the some sweet fennel notes, too. There’s a long glow of flavour with a little warmth on the finish. Bold and classic with a slightly contemporary edge, but plenty to keep you interested as you drink, and wanting another.

Negroni
This is another good drink: the fennel/anise/caraway notes work well with the Campari and vermouth, almost giving the drink an impression of an absinthe rinse around the glass. It has a good bitter-sweet balance, with a full flavour, rich texture and lasting finish.

*It is currently actually made under contract in Cambridgeshire by the English Spirit Company, but that is only whilst the Yorkshire distillery is being built.

Cocktails with… Butler’s Gin

ButlersTitle

With what is perhaps the beginning of a renaissance in artisanal gin distilling in the UK, it is exciting to speak to someone who is not only doing their own distilling, but also coming to the industry from a wholly different angle.

Such was the case when I first spoke to Ross Butler of Butler’s Gin. Ross started out by wanting to create a product that reflected his character and, as a part of this, he wanted to start off debt-free, purchasing raw materials only when an order came in. When I spoke to him, Ross spoke of the trade-off between time and money and how he had decided to invest time in his product rather than borrowing money. It seems to have paid dividends, as Butler’s Gin is now due to launch in the USA and the EU next month. Given that he only sold his first bottle of gin on 22nd February 2013, this is remarkable.

Butler’s Gin is made in Hackney and takes a London Dry Gin, which is made to Ross’  specification and recipe, which he then infuses with various botanicals kept in muslin bags, a bit like over-sized tea bags. The infused botanicals include lemongrass and cardamom.

ButlersGinBottle

On its own

Nose: A dry, berry juniper with liquorice root, allspice, ginger/cardamom and lemongrass.

Taste: A measured, classic start of juniper and coriander, followed by some sweeter, spiced notes such as ginger, cassia and cardamon. This is all rounded off with a long finish of lemongrass.

Gin & Tonic

A clean gin and tonic with juniper, plenty of spice from the cardamom and citrus from the lemongrass. My tonic recommendation would be Fevertree and maybe Schweppes; however I would steer clear of eFentimand or Waitrose own-brand as they are too citrusy.

Martini

All of the crisp juniper and citrus that you would expect from a Martini, but with the added character of cardamom, spice and then the dry grape character of the vermouth. Full of flavour and pretty classic, if you are talking about the Martinis of the ‘30s and ‘40s rather than the ultra dry drinks of the ‘50s and ‘60s, but that’s just how I like it.

Negroni

The bold flavours of this gin work well in a Negroni; it’s exceptionally flavourful, with some dark chocolate spice coming through, along with a finish of cardamom and citrus.

Cocktails with… Hven Organic Gin

HvenTitle

Hven Organic Gin comes from the Island of Ven or ‘Hven’, situated in the Öresund
Strait between Denmark and Sweden. This is a small island, around three square miles in area, and has a population of only a few hundred.

Hven Gin is made with a wheat spirit base and a whole array of botanicals, including: Swedish Juniper, Mauritian Bourbon Vanilla, Cassia, Grains of Paradise, Citrus, Sichuan pepper, Aniseed, Guinea Pepper, Calamus Root and Cardamom. Before the distillation, the botanicals are macerated in spirit in oak barrels for 24 hours. After a distillation with these botanicals, the distillate is then rested in casks, before being re-distilled and bottled at 40% ABV.

HvenBottle

On its own
Nose: Crisp green apple and pink grapefruit with a hint of vanilla.
Taste: What is immediately noticeable with Hven is the texture of the gin: it is almost water-like in its smoothness. Initially, there are notes of citrus, especially grapefruit, followed by some coriander and then a little spice and vanilla sweetness. There’s a burst of dry pine towards the end and a long, lasting finish with a little citrus tang.

HvenTonicGin & Tonic
Lots of citrus and cilantro; incredibly crisp and fresh. This is a Gin & Tonic that sets itself apart, with the crisp citrus notes being more leafy than juicy. It makes for a refreshing drink with some bitterness, which will appeal to those who shun sickly sweet cocktails.

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HvenMartiniMartini
A rather fragrant and leafy Martini with citrus and a touch of nuttiness. The perfumed aspect of the coriander and a slight hay-like aspect also come through. This is a very complex Martini with many layers of flavours that open up as you drink.

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HvenNegroni

Negroni
A rich, thick and flavourful Negroni, with a strong, jammy hint of raisin coming through, Along with cassia and cinnamon, this gives the drink a fruity, confectionary element, which is followed by an enduring bitter streak at the end. As I drink, I am reminded of Christmas pudding. This is different, but quite exciting and well worth a try.
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HvenTonicGin Collins
The floral citrus notes of this gin work well with the tart lemon, as well as adding a little dryness. The gin sits quietly in the background for this drink, but is still discernable. If you want a bit more of the spirit, then I’d suggest adding an extra half measure of gin.

HvenSweetMartiniSweet Martini
This has a perfumed flavour, with a combination of floral herbs and spice. This would make an excellent aperitif and would probably be quite well-suited to preceding a fish dish. (After a test, this does appear to be the case.)

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HvenIceOver Ice with Lemon
This is a recommended serve on the Hven website.
Works very well at this temperature, where the texture becomes a tad more viscous. The fresh, zesty lemon complements the floral citrus notes of the spirit.

In Conclusion
Tasting Hven makes it clear that there is more to this spirit than a striking bottle. My favourite drink was the Negroni.

Hven Gin is bottled at 40%ABV and is available for around £30 for 50cl from Master of Malt.

Cocktails with.. Greyling Gin

Greyling Gin Header

I like gin from Michigan; mostly because I’ve never had a bad one and so, now, whenever I see a mention of the Great Lakes state on a bottle, as  with Two Bird Artisan Spirit’s Greyling Gin, my expectations are raised.

That said, I soon discovered that this particular gin is currently being made by experienced distillers Yahara Bay in Madison, Wisconsin. They also make Yahara Bay Gin and used to make Death’s Door. I’m sure that, if all goes well, like with Death’s Door, Greyling may fly the roost and set up shop on their own.

For clarity’s sake, I think that it’s great that there is such a range of variety options for people who want to make good quality gin. The tens of thousands of dollars (or pounds) of investment, not to mention the time, needed makes making spirits from scratch out of the reach of many individuals. As always, the most important point is that you design/produce a product that tastes great.

Greyling Modern Dry Gin c/o TheGinIsIn.com

Greyling Modern Dry Gin c/o TheGinIsIn.com

The Taste

On its own
Nose: Classic and straightforward: bright, green, sappy juniper to start, which then softens to a less sharp citrus – lemon and grapefruit mainly, with a hint of lemon pith in particular.
Taste: Pretty classic, rather vibrant, some spicy coriander notes upfront as well as anise or maybe fennel. A citrus (grapefruit, orange) and coriander middle and the a dry juniper finish. Some sweetness throughout almost reminiscent of a fine orange liqueur. Most sippable.

Gin & Tonic
Greyling makes a crisp, citrusy and flavourful Gin & Tonic. There’s also a little vanilla, combined with notes of lemon curd, as well as some dry pine. Overall, this is a very accessible and tasty drink and exceptionally refreshing.

Martini
Great – another clean and crisp drink, with clean, pine-y juniper followed by some lovely rounded-out notes of sweet rose, somewhat reminiscent of Turkish Delight. Classic, but with a twist – very good, indeed. This cocktail also has a lovely texture and is something that I would happily drink again.

Negroni
A fine Negroni if ever there was one; a great bitter-sweet balance and quite a thick texture, as well as juniper and citrus notes. Nothing outrageous or out-of-the-box; just a good, solid drink.

 

Greyling Gin is available for around $28  for 750ml from InternetWines.com

Cocktails with… Dodd’s Gin – Distilled in London

Dodd'sGinTitle

A little while back I review the London Distillery Company’s Testbed Gin selection and I also mentioned my visit there for the WSET’s Gin Ramble. SO it was with anticipation that I tried their first flagship products, Dodd’s Gin.

But who was Dodd?

Ralph Dodd is described as a serial entrepreneur, but, more importantly, he was the founder of the Intended London Distillery Company in 1807, whose aim was to “manufacture Genuine British Spirits and Compounds”. Although many preparations were made for the business, no distillation took place and, by 1812, the company had been disbanded. That was, until 2011, when Darren Rook resurrected the company at its new home in Battersea.

Dodd'sGin

At least three of the botanicals being used are unique, to my knowledge at the time of writing* (I have a record of the botanical make-up of about 200 gins), which is very exciting. That said, they don’t stand out as gimmicks; they all make perfect sense.

I quizzed distiller, Andrew MacLeod Smith, about his use of cardamom and he said that he simply likes the taste of green cardamom (I, too, am particularly fond of the flavour) and that the black cardamom seeds add a menthol note. I can also confirm this, having tried a black cardamom distillate from Sacred’s Ian Hart on the Gin Ramble back in February. The London honey comes from bees kept in the city and is added to the pot pre-distillation to primarily enhance the mouthfeel of the spirit.

dODDS gIN bOTANICALS

The Taste

Own

Nose: Some interesting salty notes meet my nose to start, as well as some smoky elements, making this particularly unusual. There are some green cardamom notes, too.

Taste: This is a good, smooth spirit with plenty of spice, with the green cardamom in the middle and the menthol of the black cardamom towards the end, which is mixed with dry, piney juniper and a spiciness reminiscent of freshly cracked black pepper. This is a spicy and savoury gin and is, truly, something very different; no-one is doing anything like this in London or even the UK.

On a second sip, more of the classic gin notes emerge, with coriander and citrus upfront. I also note that the spirit is 49.9% ABV and, although the flavours are strong and bold (carried by the higher proof), the texture is smooth until the spicy finish. This is potentially due to the impact of the London honey.

I can see how this gin builds upon the work of the Testbed range and it truly is a Anglo-American or Trans-atlantic/Cary Grant Gin**, starting off classic in flavour and becoming contemporary.

Gin & Tonic

Just superb; very fruity, with some jammy berry notes. It’s exceptionally smooth, with a little creamy sweetness in the middle that then gives way to some spice from the cardamom, as well as a leafy note. Some coriander is in there, too, all concluded with a dry, juniper finish. All in all, this is a complex and engrossing drink and a spin on the classic flavour profile of a Gin & Tonic, whilst remaining wonderfully accessible.

Martini

Sweet and spicy with a real pow of flavour thanks to the high ABV. Very smooth nevertheless with an exceptionally balance, I’d suggest no garnish for this so that you can really enjoy the full impact of the flavours.

Negroni

A good Negroni, with lots of bitterness and deep spice notes, as well as some hints of cocoa and coffee. As such, describing it as dark and intense seems fitting. A long juniper finish is paired with an earthy bitterness. Drinking this, you sit up and take notice; but, at the same time, there is a nonchalance to the drink, which makes it a bit of an enigma!

In Conclusion

Dodd’s really is something different and I’m sure it will appeal to the palate of both traditionalist and revolutionaries of the gin world; if you like cardamom, you will love this. We’ve had a bit of a wait to finally get to try Dodd’s, but, boy, was it worth it.

* A few gin distillers add honey after distillation, but not before like Dodd’s.

** A mix between Classic (UK) and contemporary (US) styles of gin – named after the British-American hybrid accent of actors of the golden era of Hollywood such as Cary Grant.

Cocktails with.. Hunters Cheshire Gin

HuntersGin

I think that rumours that the gin boom has ended are something of an over-exaggeration. It has yet to “jump the shark”, or so to speak; in fact, as far as I can tell, there have been more gins launched in the first months of 2013 than in any other period that I can recall; definitely during the last five years that I have been following and commentating on the industry, at least.

These new gins come from a mixture of new distilleries and the big three, third-party distillers in the UK: Thames, Greenalls and Langley. It is the last distillery (run by Alcohols Ltd.) that today’s feature gin hails from.

Bottled at 43.3% ABV, Hunters Cheshire Gin was the brainchild of drinks industry veterans Jon Jones and Ian Cass and is made using the London Dry Gin method, although, notably, this term does not make an appearance on the bottle  actually the term is on the back of the bottle. The botanical mix includes: juniper, coriander, orange and lemon.

HuntersGin Bottle

On its own
Nose: Very classic, with plenty of juniper, followed by some angelica and citrus. Bold and sprightly.
Taste: Very smooth, with a little sweetness and some bold flavours: plenty of juniper, angelica and some floral notes such as orris. These are followed by some fruity citrus notes and a long, crisp finish that’s slightly reminiscent of freshly cut apple. Bold and fresh.

Gin & Tonic
Classic and so crisp; lots of fresh and zesty citrus, but still the bold and traditional juniper and angelica flavours, too. This Gin & Tonic is particularly easy to drink and accessible – a drink that will pretty much please anyone. Lovely.

Martini
Greta another classic, works well with the vermouth; coriander and the dry juniper as well as sweet zesty citrus which gives the drink a  lovely crisp edge. A good standard.

Negroni
Hunters makes a classic version of the drink that’s exceptionally smooth, with a good balance between sweet/bitter and dry. The citrus notes of the gin also complement the other notes in the drink nicely. Very good, indeed.

In Conclusion

I’m very impressed with Hunters Gin; I like its bold and crisp flavour, which makes it a little more citrusy then many classic gins, although it is not as far out as, say, the Philadelphian Bluecoat (which I also rather like). This is also a really great Gin & Tonic gin, even with a simple tonic like Schweppes; this was easily my favourite way to enjoy Hunters.

Hunter’s Premium Cheshire Gin is available for around £30 for 70cl from Master of Malt.

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Cocktails with Chase Single Botanical Gin or is Juniper Vodka?

ChaseSingleBotanicalGinTitle

Some folks of the Twitter-set may have seen Anonymous Artist’s recent ThirstyChat (Twitter’s leading drinks debate platform) on the subject of London Dry / Botanical Vodka*, so I was amused and delighted to receive a surprise package from the Chase Distillery containing a single botanical gin; or (as the accompanying letter suggests) is it a juniper vodka?

This product comes at a time when people are thinking about the flavours of individual types of juniper more than ever. Cascade Mountain (now Crater Lake Gin) kicked things off a few years ago** and this was followed last year by Master of Malt’s Origin series, which focused on using juniper from specific geographic locations.

WilliamsChaseSingleGin

My bottle from Chase came with an accompanying letter informing me that this is one of only 1,000 bottles of this spirit and that the aim of the product was to highlight the importance of the base spirit in the production of gin and that Chase is somewhat different in that they make their own.

It is unusual for a British gin to make their base spirit from scratch; other than Chase, the English Spirit Distillery and Adnams are the two notable others. In the USA, however, it is far more common for distillers to make their own vodka from scratch to use as the base spirit for their gin.

By using their own base spirit, it is almost as if the distiller can adjust the flavour in a third dimension; the spirit adds a further variable and can act like a botanical in its own right.

ChaseJuniperVodka

Bottled at 40%ABV Chase Single Botanical Vodka uses Chase’s potato vodka spirit as a base. This is the same base as their excellent Chase Extra Dry Gin.

#1) On its own
Nose: Superb – big and full, with green pine, a hint of sap, a touch of citrus (almost like coriander) and vanilla. Rich and compelling.
Taste: Thick and full in flavour, with strong notes of pine needles, followed by hints of bitter wood.

#2) Gin & Tonic
Another great drink, crisp refreshing and vibrant the flavours seems to “pop” out of the glass. In addition to the piney juniper I do get some hints of anise and a touch of vanilla just showing the depth of flavour that a juniper spirit has.

#3) Martini
Very clean with a pleasant crispness and whilst keen focus on juniper there are some other spicy elements in there; hint of ginger and cinnamon making the drink a little more interesting than you might expect. I don’t think it needs a garnish but I would side with using a lemon twist over an olive.

#4) Negroni
This makes a simple, but flavourful Negroni. The juniper bounds through and holds up against the sweet vermouth and Campari with ease. Classic in style, and one for the big fans of this classic gin drink.

In Conclusion
I think that Chase Single Botanical Gin is an excellent product and highlights the importance of base spirit well. I look at this as a single botanical gin, even though it could, technically, be called a juniper botanical vodka.

I do think that the base spirit used makes a difference, but, at the same time, I don’t think that gins that use neutral grain spirit are inferior; in fact, some folks are firm advocates of the use of NGS for making gin.

I think that both types of gin have their merits (and I really enjoy and value both), but making your own spirit opens up a lot of room for experimentation and innovation. Food (or rather gin) for thought, indeed!

*If you missed it, check out the transcript here. This week’s debate (on Tuesday 26th March at 15:00 GMT) is on the subject of celebrity booze.
** They actually use Juniperus Occidentalis, which is larger than the more mainstream Juniperus Communis.

Chase Single Botanical Gin is available for around £37 for 700ml from The Whisky Exchange

ChaseMirror

cocktails with… Finsbury 60% ABV Gin

Finsbury60Title

Last year, we undertook a Navy Strength Gin tasting where we looked at gins that were 100 British Proof (57% ABV), but there were a couple of gins that have an even higher alcoholic strength: Hiram Walker 60, Blackwoods 60 and Finsbury 60. Unfortunately, only the last two are still available. The final one, Finsbury 60, will be the focus of today’s article.

Finsbury Gin used to be made by Finsbury Distillers in London, but, for many years now, they have been made by the gin specialists at the Langley Distillery.

finsbury60Bottle

On its own:
Nose: Strong juniper and then some citrus.
Taste: Intense – you can tell that it is 60%ABV; it leaves a very warming feeling, but not a burn. There’s juniper upfront, followed by sweet liquorice in the middle and then some citrus. This is quite pleasant to drink, but it will really wake you up and make you pay attention.

Gin & Tonic
A very powerful and flavour Gin & Tonic, this is almost as textbook as they come, with a great texture and intensity of taste. There are notes of juniper, coriander, and citrus, making this a fresh, crisp and dry drink. This will impress even the most stalwart traditionalist and I think that, garnish wise, a lemon wedge is the order of the day.

Martini
Impressive, with a real kick and lots of power, this is – again – evidently a 60%ABV gin.  Notes of juniper and citrus are strong from the start, followed, later, by coriander and angelica. This is one for the drinker who really wants a buzz from a Martini. I thought it was great, but it is definitely the sort of drink that you can only have one of in a night.

Negroni
A smooth and balanced Negroni. The strength of the gin is quite discreet in this cocktail, with only a slight, extra warmth on the finish indicating the higher proof of the spirit. This is quite a simple example of the Negroni, but nonetheless pleasant to sip and recommended for those instances when you need a stiff drink.

In Conclusion

Overall, Finsbury 60 is a textbook gin for the traditionalist: dry, with citrus and earthy botanical notes and, of course, plenty of juniper and pine. The extra ABV adds power to cocktails and carries the flavour of the gin well. The Martini is particularly impressive and fun, but, for my money, my favourite was the Gin & Tonic.