Cocktails with… Black Death Gin

Black death Gin TITLE

Black Death Gin is owned by the Spanish Company, Central Hisumer, although it is actually produced in the UK. In edition to this gin (bottled at 40% ABV), the brand also has a vodka, a dark rum, a silver tequila, gold tequila, and a beer.

Digging into the history a bit, it seems like the brand has an uncertain and rather colourful past; the suggestion is that the brand “Black Death” originated in Iceland in 1906 as “Svarti Daudi” (the Icelandic translation). It then seemed to experience a boom in popularity in the 1980s and ‘90s.

Although my bottle says that it was made in Essex, on-line sources suggest that the gin is now made by Greenalls in Warrington. The label dates from 1992 and its botanicals are rumoured to have included: juniper, coriander, angelica, orris, and ginger.

Black Death Gin Bottle Skeleton Skull with Bowler Hat

The Taste

On its own
Nose: Very subtle: a little grain alcohol with some oily juniper.
Taste: This is a standard, simple gin; there are notes of juniper, coriander and dry angelica, accompanied by a little citrus and a dry finish. Nothing outstanding, but perfectly acceptable.

Gin & Tonic
Given that all of the drinks that I tried were of a reasonable standard, this Gin & Tonic seems to let the gin down. The spirit is easily dominated by the tonic, resulting in a drink that is too sweet and sickly. The drink can be rescued, however, by using a large citrus garnish or Fentimans Tonic.

Martini
Clean, with juniper and citrus flavours. This is average in the true sense of the word: some gins will make better Martinis, whilst others make poorer ones, but for that classic flavour, this does nicely. Either an olive or lemon garnish would work well.

Negroni
A straightforward, intense Negroni with the classic, dry, herbal bitterness that you’d expect from the cocktail. It doesn’t jump out at you, but it won’t disappoint a fan in a pinch.

In Conclusion
Black Death is an average gin, but, given its low price point, represents adequate value for money and the bottle is sure to raise questions and interest by visitors to your home or commercial bar. My favourite drink was the Negroni, but, then, it takes a lot to make a bad Negroni.

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About DTS

partial to a martini? to a smoke-hazed gin joint & a perfect tipple poured with the style, swank & skill of a true aficionado? …then pull up your stool to the bar, prepare to stock up your cocktail cabinet & get ready to drink it all in as we introduce you to a stitch in times’ resident barman… David T. Smith is a drinks enthusiast currently residing in the U.K. a long-time fan of tasting & exploring various types of alcohol, he has a fascination for vintage spirits and cocktails, in particular their heritage & origins; this was strengthened last year when he presented a talk and accompanying monograph on the Martini. it was as a result of his research of this topic that he was introduced to drinks paraphernalia, & he is now the happy owner of a colourful collection of bottles, books, and gadgets from a wide range of eras… an avid believer in the validity and variety of personal opinion, particularly in the subjective area of tasting, he enjoys hosting tasting sessions for friends, constantly challenging them to find their own favourite tipple. in addition to all of this, he is also interested in economics, three-piece suits, board games & keeping alive the art of engaging in enjoyable conversation with a good glass of port whilst surrounded by pipe smoke… www.summerfruitcup.com Thanks to Analiebe for writing this rather flattering blurb for me.

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