Distillery openings across the globe are booming – a trend that really gained momentum a few years back. As such, we are starting to see distilleries bring out their second wave of gins, often aged, sloe, or – a favourite of mine – Navy Strength, bottled at a punchy 57-58% ABV.
This is no exception in New Zealand, the home of Greytown Fine Distillates and the Lighthouse Distillery, which is based in Martinborough on the North Island.
Bottled at 57.0% ABV, Lighthouse Gin Hawthorn Edition is made using a mix of nine botanicals, including:
Navel oranges, and
Yen Ben lemons.
On its own
Nose: Intense aromas: plenty of citrus and floral coriander along with some angelica and leafy juniper.
Taste: Lots of flavour and a thick texture. There are notes of menthol and chocolate to start, with just a touch of spice. These are followed by dry, piney juniper, angelica, and coriander.
Gin & Tonic
A full-bodied Gin & Tonic. The extra ABV really helps to carry the botanical flavours, giving the drink a real, hearty wallop (in a delicious way!). An array of different pine, leafy, and citrus notes follow, all with very subtle hints of bitterness that neatly complement the tonic water.
This cocktail has an intensity of flavor that reflects the intensity of the gin’s ABV. There’s crisp citrus, as well as some leafy notes. Cooling and invigorating.
Very intense and rather bitter, with plenty of fragrant, citrus, and slightly bitter coriander, which add a floral quality to the cocktail. It has a smooth texture and a pleasant dryness.
Lighthouse Navy Gin is an intense and highly aromatic gin. Its strong character makes it a great choice for mixing in long drinks; my favourite was the Gin & Tonic.