City of London Distillery – Square Mile Gin

Today’s review is of a gin that was released last year by the City of London Distillery (a review of their new gin, Christopher Wren, will feature in November). Square Mile Gin is bottled at 47.3% ABV and is made using botanicals that include: juniper, coriander, angelica, orris, lemon, orange, and liquorice, amongst others.

1 Square Mile COLD Gin FINAL

On its own
Nose: Clean, classic, and straight-forward. This has a lovely balance of citrus, angelica, and spice, with good, strong juniper, too.
Taste: A lovely, smooth spirit with a full mouthfeel. Initially, there are flavours of warm spice and little pepper, before notes of coriander and citrus, and a dry finish of juniper and angelica. Such a soft, but flavourful spirit – superb.

Gin & Tonic
Clean and crisp, with fresh juniper, citrus, and then a little dry bitterness towards the end, which works well with the tonic. A classic and delicious Gin Tonic.

Martini
Another excellent drink. Made using the Diamond Method*, the cocktail has a delightful viscosity, which adds to the silky nature of the drink and produces a truly textbook classic Martini.

Negroni
This cocktail sees a superb integration between all of the ingredients, resulting in lovely, strong juniper notes and hints of spice. The latter fit in well with the vermouth, whereas the gin’s citrus notes complement the bitterness of the Campari.

In Conclusion
I think Square Mile is a textbook export/Martini strength gin. The bold juniper and bright citrus make it a great choice for long and short drinks alike. All of the drinks that I tried were excellent, but I especially enjoyed the Martini.

Cocktails with… C.O.L.D. (City of London Distillery) Gin with a Bonus Irish Gin review

COLD Gin Title

Continuing our series on UK Craft Gins, today’s focus is on a new distillery in the City of London. For those not familiar with the make-up of Europe largest metropolitan area, London is not just one city, but the combination of two cities and boroughs. One of the cities is the City of Westminster, where Parliament sits; the other is the City of London, also known as the square-mile, which is the financial heart of the Capital and includes St. Paul’s Cathedral. Just a stone’s throw from this architectural masterpiece by Sir Christopher Wren lies C.O.L.D. (City of London Distillery).

C.O.L.D. Gin is made by Master Distiller Jamie Baxter (who used to work at Chase), who also consults independently for aspiring distillers. The gin is bottled at 40% ABV and contains the following seven botanicals:

Juniper
Coriander Seed
Angelica Root
Liquorice Root
Lemon
Orange
Pink Grapefruit

COLD Gin FINAL

#1 On its own
Nose: Plenty of creamy citrus, a bit like lemon curd, as well as juniper and coriander.
Taste: Smooth and well-rounded, with juniper, coriander, citrus and a hint of raisin at the end. Very well-balanced, with plenty of citrus with a slightly sweet “lift” on the finish.

#2 Gin & Tonic
Bold flavours with lots of dry juniper, lemon and a hint of vanilla and citrus from the pink grapefruit. Quite citrusy, zesty, bold and refreshing.

#3 Martini
Very classic: quite crisp, with lots of citrus and dry juniper. As you drink more, the lemon comes through more strongly, so there’s no need for a twist, but an olive may work well.

#4 Negroni
Quite sweet, actually, with a snug smoothness. It seems quite soft, although there’s still a substantial shard of bitterness, thanks to the Campari at the end. A soft start, with a wild finish.

In Conclusion
This is a rather classic gin that is obviously well made and work particularly well in long drinks like the Gin Collins (my favourite) and the gin and tonic. There are plans to release a “Square Mile Gin” bottled at a higher ABV and I look forward to trying that.

But wait, there’s more!

On a recent trip to Shebeen, The Poitin Bar in Kentish Town, with Dave Mulligan, Louis Lebaillif and Michael Vachon of Master of Malt, I got the chance to try an Irish Craft Gin, probably the first I have tried: Dingle Gin.

Dingle Irish Craft Gin

Dingle Gin is made at the Dingle Whiskey Distillery in County Kerry, Ireland. It is made with a variety of botanicals, including: Juniper, Angelica, Coriander, Rowan, Fuschia, Bog Myrtle, Heather and Hawthorn.

#1) On its own:
Nose: Juniper, coriander and lime.
Taste: Quite smooth, with lots of coriander, followed by a dry, slightly spicy finish. This gin has both some sweetness and some culinary appeal to it, and should make some interesting cocktails.

#2) Gin & Tonic
Very clean, with lots of coriander and citrus, making this a fresh and crisp drink. Another dimension is then added to the drink with notes of lavender, spice and a long, dry finish.