I’ve just returned from adventures across the pond; a quick hello to my fellow gin panelists: Aaron J. Knoll (American’s Gin Reviewer), Tracy Howard (Imbibe USA) and Dennis Barnett (Third Wave Brands), and Gin M.C., Michael Vachon. It seems rather appropriate that my first gin review upon my return be of something rather English, and so it is: today I’m reviewing Gordon’s new offering: Crisp Cucumber.
How does Gordon’s Crisp Cucumber differ to the Original Special Dry London Gin? They take their original gin and add some cucumber flavouring after distillation*. This simple addition somewhat reminds me of the days when Gordon’s made Old Tom Gin, which used their original Special Dry London Gin and added pure cane sugar.
1) On its own
Nose: Vanilla and pine upfront, followed by hints of strawberry and green cucumber. There are some sweet notes, but they’re mixed with fresh ones.
Taste: Juniper and coriander with some dryness, which then moves onto some green, crisp, leaf notes. There’s a long finish of crisp cucumber peel, although, sadly, it’s a little hollow.
When I compared it to the Original Gordon’s (37.5%), I found it to be sweeter on the palate, but more savoury on the nose, with more of the leafy cucumber elements coming through.
2) Gin & Tonic
This is an obvious choice for this gin and I think it’s how most of it will end up being drunk. I think that it works well; it’s simple and very crisp. Obviously, adding a cucumber garnish will make it even more fresh. All in all, it’s very good, with a touch of spice on the finish.
A very light Martini, but, given the 37.5% ABV, this is what you might expect. That said, this lighter style, I think, makes the drink more accessible and it could be a good choice for prolonged pre-dinner drinks; you can have more than one, as opposed to James Bond’s Vesper.
I think the dry vermouth works well with the gin and there’s definitely some good juniper notes in there, too. Soft, clean and refreshing.
Before trying it, I would not have imagined that this gin would have been designed for a Negroni. In terms of flavour, this is a less intense version of the cocktail. The fresh and leafy notes of the gin come through strongly at the expense of the intense herbal bitterness that traditionalists of the drink look for. Despite it’s contemporary style, I enjoyed drinking this cocktail and would mix it again.
No less than three minutes after posting I was inspired by a tweet from TheGinIsIn (America’s Gin Reviewer) regarding some Smoked Salmon Vodka from Alaska he gave me so here we have the Alaskan Vesper.
30ml, Alaska Distillery smoked Salmon Vodka, 10ml Gordon’s Cucumber Gin, 5ml Lillet
SHAKE and garnish with a long thin piece of cucumber peel.
A pleasant flavourful yet crisp and refreshing drink, the herbal and smoked notes from the salmon compliment the leafy cucumber notes of the gin. I originally thought this a bit of a “fun” drink but actually it really works. I’m not sure 007 will be keen though.
I enjoyed Gordon’s Crisp Cucumber and thought it was a simple, yet refreshing variation on the gin. Having steeped my own cucumber in gin previously to great effect, it is good to see a cost-effective alternative. Comparisons will inevitably be drawn between this and Hendricks, but I think that Hendricks has a lot more going on then just cucumber; rose, for example, as well as botanicals such as meadowsweet.
My favourite drink was the Gin & Tonic
Gordon’s Cucumber Crisp is available from supermarkets and shop nationwide for around £15.49 for 70cl (Waitrose are doing an introductory deal at £13.95)
*Hence Distilled Gin and not London Dry Gin.