Sometimes in the world of gin you get some really nice surprises. One such surprise was when I went to pick up a bottle of Sipsmith VJOP #2 for my talk on “The Craft of Gin” at the Boutique Bar Show a few weeks back. For those that are interested, I reviewed that gin here.
Given my fondness for high-strength gins, imagine my excitement when I was speaking to James from Sipsmith and he told me that, instead of the 52.0% ABV version that I was expecting, I would be getting one at 57.7% ABV.
This new variety is made with extra juniper (like the other two VJOPs), but will be exclusively for the UK on-trade; a little thank you for all of the support that bartenders have shown Sipsmith.
On its own
Nose: Strong juniper, floral citrus, and coriander. Big and bold.
Taste: For 57.7% ABV, this is remarkably smooth and sippable. The warmth only really comes through right at the end. A lovely spirit: powerful and moreish.
Gin & Tonic
Delicious, big, bold juniper, plus some citrus. This gin will stand up to almost any tonic to create a tasty, refreshing and moreish drink.
A truly classic Martini: strong, rich, punchy, and packed with juniper. Absolutely perfect before dinner, especially if made using the Diamond Pour method (just have one!), when – without the dilution of the ice, you get a lovely, viscous cocktail. My recommendation for a garnish would be a citrus twist of your choice.
This gin makes a juicy Negroni with citrus upfront, followed by bold, slightly sappy juniper and pine. Clean, bold, and delicious.
I’ve tried the 52.0% ABV version of Sipsmith before and was impressed, but this version at 57.7% ABV (a navy strength gin) really hits the spot for me. I love how bold it is, that it has such a complexity of flavour, and that it mixes really well. One of my new favourites.