As the rise of craft distilling in the UK continues, it is great to see Scotland’s largest city get its own independent craft distillery. After all, Edinburgh already has Summerhall and the Edinburgh Gin Distillery.
The Makar gin (the Scots word for poet) is made at the Glasgow Distillery in West George Street, Glasgow. It boldly proclaims that it is “juniper-led”; this is the first time I have seen this so prominently displayed on a bottle but with so many craft gins embracing the contemporary style it makes sense.
The gin is bottled at 43.0%abv and contains a mix of seven botanicals (the gin itself fittingly comes in an attractive heptagonal bottle) which include: juniper, coriander, angelica, lemon, liquorice, black pepper and rosemary.
On its own
Nose: juniper led for sure on the nose, fresh spruce and sappy juniper, vibrant and exciting, there is then some citrus followed by a touch of woodiness and floral herbal notes of rosemary. Very inviting.
Taste: A strong and bold flavour, bursting with green, sappy, resinous juniper pine notes. The bottle says, “juniper-led” and it’s not kidding; this is an excellent option for folks who find many modern gins too light on the juniper. Citrus and coriander notes follow, with dry angelica on the finish, before fragrant, herbal rosemary.
Gin & Tonic
A tasty and juicy Gin & Tonic, with rich and full notes of piney juniper that add a clean crispness to the drink. This is a textbook Gin & Tonic – certainly worth trying.
Martini (5:1, Gin:Vermouth) Stir – Orange Bitters – Rosemary
A fragrant, yet dry Martini. The bitters and garnish draw out the rose aromatic elements of the gin. This is all followed by a spicy and peppery finish. Smooth and clean, this is a pleasant alternatie to the more common citrus-led Martinis.
Martini (Diamond method, no garnish)
Oily resinous pine-juniper, thick, viscous and luxurious texture. Just superb. This makes way for some citrus and the complex rosemary that, apart from strong juniper, a re becoming a signature for this gin.
Quite a herbal Negroni; the rosemary really comes through. The gin stands up well to the strong flavours of the vermouth and Campari , and makes a cocktail that is herbal, but more aromatic than earthy – excellent.
Gin & Soda
Fruity berry and stone fruit notes are followed by coriander and floral, juniper-pine. A light and refreshing drink and a very pleasant way to appreciate this gin.
Maker is an excellent gin and proof that a traditional style is far from boring and there is plenty of space to differentiate. I enjoy sipping it neat and in. Negroni although I didn’t find anything I didn’t like it in.