I keep a wishlist of gins that I am keen to try and, recently, one of those wishes was granted when I tried Victoria Oaked Gin, courtesy of the folks at the London Distillery Company, producers of Dodd’s Gin.
Another gin that has intrigued me for a while now and has also been on my wishlist is Goa Gin and, for a gin that I hadn’t tried, I knew a surprising amount about it. For instance, I knew that it was made by Thames Distillers, exclusively for the Spanish market; also, that it’s bottled at 47% ABV, contains 8 botanicals, and is packaged in a hexagonal, blue bottle, which is very similar, but not identical, to that of Tanqueray 10. I first saw the bottle when I visited Thames Distillers on the Gin Ramble.
On its own
Nose: Juniper, but quite peppery, too. The cumin is strong, making this nose slightly reminiscent of Darnley’s View Spiced Gin. There’s a little vanilla, too.
Taste: Like the nose, the cumin spice is dominant on the taste; this is followed by juniper and some coriander. This gin is rather spicy, but not hot, and at the same time has a dry, savoury – almost salty – character throughout. This combination of characteristics reminds me somewhat of spiced/seasoned tortilla treats, such as Doritos. There’s also some cardamom sweetness in the middle and a little fiery ginger, too; I would imagine that this works well with the new Ginger and Cardamom Schweppes.
i) Schweppes Tonicá Originale
Very spicy, indeed – the cumin comes through very strongly and, if you don’t like curry spice, then this is probably not for you.
ii) Schweppes Cardamom and Ginger Tonicá
Another very spicy cocktail; there are definitely some curry notes, but they’re relatively well-balanced. The tortilla chip savoury characteristics also return and, as such, I think that this would be a perfect Martini to pair with Spanish tapas dishes.
Cumin on the nose, followed by a rather spicy and savoury Negroni with plenty of cumin, caraway and cardamom. This drink is rather smooth, but with quite an intense bitterness at the very end. This is also slightly salty, which is unusual for this drink, but – overall – this is pretty good.
Goa Gin is pretty good, like it’s spiciness and savoury notes; although I think it’s Scottish counterpart Darnley’s View Spiced has slightly better balance. My favourite drink was the gin tonic with the Heritage Schweppes.