Those chaps over at Master of Malt have been at it again with their experimentation, this time in the world of aged gins. If you are looking for a spirit that will please someone who is both a gin and a whisky lover, then definitely check out their range of aged gins. Here are some highlights from 2015.
Lightly Peated Cask Aged (43.1% ABV)
Subtly aged in an ex-Ardbeg Islay whisky cask.
Colour: Champagne gold
Nose: Light, with some deeper herbal notes and a little sticky fruitiness, followed by wisps of wood smoke.
Taste: A full texture that fills the mouth, whilst not being too thick. Strong, herbaceous botanical notes come through, before a light, woody sweetness. The dry wood smoke notes build on the finish and linger for minutes after.
Rum Aged Bathtub Gin (10 Months) (43.1% ABV)
Bathtub gin aged for 10 months in an ex-rum cask.
Colour: Pale golden yellow
Nose: Sweet molasses and allspice, somewhat reminiscent of Pimento Dram. There are also the sweet, herbaceous notes that evoke memories of old-time curiosity cola and some hints of Jamaican Ginger Cake, too.
Taste: Sweet and spice, with a little stickiness upfront, followed by woody spice – cassia, cinnamon, and nutmeg – before some bitter, herbal treacle notes and a woody and dry botanical finish.
Manhattan Aged Bathtub Gin (9 Months) (42.5% ABV)
Bathtub gin aged for 9 month in a cask that was previously use to barrel-aged a Manhattan cocktail.
Colour: Burnt ochre
Nose: Deep orange marmalade and woody, herbal notes of aromatic bitters, then some light, woody resin and bread notes with just a touch of wormwood.
Taste: Citrus notes of burnt orange upfront, before the dry, mellow, woody breadiness of rye, before a burst of spice and a botanical sweetness. This is followed by juniper and angelica notes, and an exceptionally long and lightly sweet finish of floral rose and turkish delight.
Whisky Bitters Cask Aged Bathtub Gin Batch #2 (43.3% ABV)
Bathtub gin aged in an ex-whisky bitters cask.
Colour: Light Chardonnay
Nose: Quite light, with some vanilla spice, moving towards hints of gentian root and the aromatics of cocktail bitters.
Taste: This has mellow aged gin notes to start, followed by a bitter, earthy woodiness, along with a touch of a maple-like sweetness. There is dry juniper on the finish.
Very Old Tom (47.5% ABV)
Based on a blend of both aged and unaged spirits, cold distilled botanicals are then added before a maceration of juniper berries and a light sweetening. The spirit is finished in a 50 litre casks for 5 months.
Fresh Lemon Peel
Fresh Grapefruit Peel
Fresh Lime Peel
Fresh Orange Peel
Fresh clementine Peel
Earl Grey Tea
Colour: Burnt flame orange
Nose: This has a deep complexity, with the notes revealing themselves over time. There are some orange a woody notes to start, followed by a honeyed sweetness and notes of orange blossom, cherry, and other stone fruit. Finally, there’s a dryer, woody nuttiness.
Taste: A lovely texture: thick, like maple syrup. Like on the nose, rich, sweet orange and marmalade notes come forward, before some intense botanical notes: fresh juniper, woody angelica, and then citrus spice. The finish is similar to that of a Highland malt, with burnt citrus and nutty pecan notes. This is very complex and should appeal to whisky drinkers.
Professor Cornelius Ampleforth’s Anglo-Scottish-American Gin (67.5%ABV)
Part of an experimental range released by the professor, this gin takes Scottish malt spirit and re-distills it with botanicals under a vacuum. The spirit is then aged in England in a cask previously used for a batch of FEW Barrel-Aged American Gin.
Nose: Quite creamy, with vanilla notes followed by a hint of dry spice, reminiscent of homemade custard or crème anglais.
Taste: Powerful spirit, but also rather smooth and an almost liqueur-like texture to begin with, along with a creaminess, courtesy of the barley spirit base. There is a fair amount of sweetness, and the spice of a dry gingerbread cookie. The finish is more gin-like, with citrus and juniper. A very long, winding finish.
Professor Cornelius Ampleforth’s Old Fashioned Aged Bathtub Gin (43.3% ABV)
The latest addition to the Professor’s range of creatively-aged gins, this has been matured in a 50 liter cask that had previously contained a batch of Old Fashioned cocktail.
Nose: Honey and orange, with hints of spice and whiskey, much like a good whiskey liqueur.
Taste: Very soft, velvety, and full-bodied. There are wood notes upfront, with sweetness and spice, as well as a touch of whisky smoke and burnt orange. The flavor then shifts to more traditional gin notes: juniper, angelica, citrus, and a slightly floral flair, somewhat reminiscent of violets and root beer.