Cocktails with… Cotswolds 1616 Gin

Last month saw the commemoration of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. As such, throughout this year, various events have taken place across the UK and the world, remembering the bard’s life and work. The world of gin is not immune to this commemoration; the Cotswolds Distillery have recently launched a special aged gin to mark the occasion.

1616 Cotswolds Barrel Aged Gin.jpg

Cotswolds 1616 Gin is created in the style of a 17th Century aged genever. Its botanicals include:
Juniper
Coriander
Angelica root
Orange peel (dried)
Caraway
Nutmeg
Cassia
All spice

It is made using the same base spirit as their single malt whisky, so far more of the base character comes through. It is aged in American oak ex-red wine casks.

On its own
Nose: Freshly baked fruit loaf with dark, spiced fruits and a hint of candied peel, as well as dark chocolate chips and vanilla.
Taste: This gin has a luxurious, thick texture that fills the mouth and a light, cosy warmth to it. There are oily citrus notes to start, then the base notes come through, adding a touch of chocolate and a hint of breadiness akin to marble rye bread. This is followed by dark, vine fruit notes and a gentle lift of cedar and oak.
Finish: Dry, with notes of juniper and an array of complex, spiced notes: a combination of baking spices and deeper, peppery, menthol, mace-like notes, which linger for several minutes after sipping.

Frozen
Quite ale-like – the rich malt notes really shine through, making it almost reminiscent of a beer schnapps – with the lingering citrus pine of juniper and dry, fruity wine notes. Unusual, but quite fascinating.

Sweet Martini
Delicious; more complex and less dry than many Sweet Martinis, with a soft and smooth texture and some juicy wine and mellow malt notes. Really very good.

Old Fashioned
Possibly my favourite way to drink this spirit. It has all of the engagement and subtlety of a whisky Old Fashioned; a drink full of nuance from the malt, cereal base, and the aromatic botanicals. Light spice and wood notes from the wine casks come through on the finish.

With Soda
Superb: fresh and complex with hints of anis and grape, followed by woody spice and a crisp, dry finish. There is also a very light vanilla sweetness – delightful.

Negroni
Delightful and soft with that rich and warming bready character from the base spirit singing through. The woody, slightly tannic notes from the wine barrels are also an excellent match to the Campari and Red Vermouth – very tasty indeed.

Cocktails with… nginious! gins – from Switzerland!

Nginious was founded by Oliver Ullrich and Ralph Villiger, two chaps from Switzerland that had previously owned a gin bar in Zurich.

nginious Gin Range FINAL

nginious! Swiss Blended Gin (45.0 %ABV)

The first gin that they created was in response to a desire to capture the soul and character of Switzerland in a gin by utilising local botanicals and flavours. The botanicals are distilled in batches and then blended together, in a similar method to that used by Gin Mare.

The Swiss Blended Gin is made using 18 botanicals:
Juniper Berries
Lemon
Sweet Orange
Iris*
Cardamom
Liquorice Root
Grapefruit
Chamomile*
Verbena*
Hyssop*
Blackcurrant Leaves*
Galingale*
Hay Flowers*
Clover Blossoms
Laurel Berries
Barberries
Bee Balm* (part of the mint family)
Carline Thistle Root

nginious swiss blended FINAL

On its own
Nose: Very herbaceous. This has lots of pine and green, leafy alpine notes, along with a gentle ginger spiciness.
Taste: This has an oily texture, with mellow juniper notes and a lightly sappy, sweet, and woody pine flavour coming through. Leafy and herbaceous, with good complexity. The main palate has light notes of citrus, florals, and spice, before the warm spiced notes of ginger and cardamom on the finish, with just a hint of bready sweetness.

Gin & Tonic
Spicy and resinous, with woody, herbal notes and spiced notes such as cardamom and anise. Bold and complex, and a great all-year-round Gin & Tonic.

Martini
This cocktail has lots of bright juniper and the intense citrus spice of coriander, before notes of oily citrus peel and, finally, some more woody spice.

Negroni
Bright and very fruity, with dry juniper and luscious pine notes at the start. These are followed by citrus and spice, especially coriander. This is lighter than many Negronis, in terms of bitterness, but is absolutely packed with flavour.

nginious! Summer Gin (42.0% ABV)

The Summer Gin is made using botanicals that include:
Juniper Berries
Blueberries
Peach
Fresh sweet limes
Jasmine blossoms
White pepper
Rhubarb roots
Rhubarb

ngInious Summer Gin FINAL

On its own
Nose: Vibrant, fruity, and floral notes, with plenty of zesty citrus that makes it lively and engaging. There are also hints of orchard and stone fruit.
Taste: Perfumed floral notes upfront quickly make way for plump stone fruit: plum, cherry, and peach. This is followed by the citrus zip of coriander, then woody, lightly menthol pepper notes. There’s also a touch of delicate honeyed flowers in the middle of the palate.

Gin & Tonic
Lively and zesty, with lots of exciting citrus notes. This is a plump, refreshing, and truly delicious drink.

Martini
Very floral, with jammy hints of rose, violet, and Turkish Delight, followed by plump, fruity citrus and juniper. There’s a hint of crushed, spicy coriander on the finish.

Negroni
Dry fruit notes, including freshly cut apple and stone fruit, followed by a mellow, bittersweet interplay between the vermouth and Campari. Refreshing, summery, and invigorating.

nginious! Cocchi Vermouth Cask Gin (43.0%ABV)

The third gin that we’re looking at today is an unusual double-aged vermouth cask gin. The Swiss Blended Gin is aged in 225 litre barrels that originally held Cocchi Barolo and then Cocchi vermouth.

The first filling of the barrels from Cocchi is for one week, simply to remove the immediate, heavy flavours of the vermouth – in a way, this is conditioning the barrels for their second filling with high-proof gin. The final gin is a blend of these two aged distillates.

nginious Cocchi Vermouth Cask Gin FINAL

On its own
Nose: Red fruits, pump and juicy before some floral notes come forward reminiscent of an alpine meadow. the comes some of the deep herbal notes commonly associated with vermouth, woody and earthy.
Taste: Very fragrant and lively to start with, plenty of citrus too. In the middle the impact of the wood comes forward bitter woodiness combines with the bitterness of the grapefruit finally a sweet lift of spice on the finish.

Gin & Tonic
This works surprisingly well – many aged gins don’t work so well in a Gin & Tonic, but the Cocchi Vermouth Cask Gin has a great herbal complexity to it that works well alongside the flavours of the tonic water. It’s an intense, dry, and thirst-quenching drink.

Martini
Bright, resinous juniper really shines through and, unlike many others that I’ve tried with aged gin, the wood adds a herbal bitterness, followed by a more delicate, woody sweetness.

Negroni
A complex cocktail with delicious wood and herbal notes; there are also increased vermouth notes from both the spirit and the wine. The pine and juniper come through well, before the lightly bittersweet notes of the Campari.
nginious! Smoked & Salted Gin (42.0%ABV)

Our final gin for today is a very unusual spirit, made with an original botanical recipe of juniper, coriander, bitter orange, ginger, quinces, and chestnuts.

Before their individual distillation, the chestnuts are cold-smoked for 40 hours. The salted element comes from smoked stone salt from the Swiss Alps, which is created by evaporating brine; the resulting salt crystals are spread out and smoked on larch tree boards.

nginious Smoked and Salted Gin FINAL

On its own
Nose: Creamy notes of crème brulee and toasted caramel, along with a hint of smoke and a little salinity.
Taste: The salt flavour is upfront, followed by more smoky flavours, somewhat reminiscent of smoked ham. This is followed by the more traditional gin notes such as juniper, angelica, and citrus spice. Very unusual and complex.

Gin & Tonic
Even with an unflavoured tonic, this works well, but I think that it could excel even more with some of the more herbaceous tonic waters.

Martini
A very smooth and smoky Martini – savoury, with hints of smoke cheese and meat, but with great woody notes, too. Complex and unique.

Negroni
This gin makes an unusual Negroni and its salty element really comes through at the start. The vermouth and smoke flavours mix well together, before a classic bittersweet Negroni finish.

Cocktails with the new Barrel Reserve and Peat Barrel BIG Gins – from the USA!

As 2016 approaches, I thought that today I would share with readers two 2015 releases from one of my favourite distilleries; not only do they make delicious, award-winning products, but the owners are a hoot! I speak, of course, of Captive Spirits: Ben Capdeville, Holly Robinson, and the entire Big Gin family.

In 2014, Bourbon-Barreled Big Gin won Best Contemporary Gin at the IWSC and now the folks at Captive Spirits have released two new aged gins.

Barrel Reserve Big Gin is aged for Three Years in Ex-bourbon (Heaven Hill casks).

Peat Barreled Big Gin is rested for 3-4 months in Westland Distillery’s American Single Malt Peated Whiskey barrels (which previously held Wild Turkey) and is bottled at 47% ABV.

Barrel Reserve BIG Gin

BB-BarrelReserve

On its own
Colour: Light gold
Nose: Light fruit and vanilla. This is sweet and inviting, before a hint of pine blossom towards the end.
Taste: Delightfully smooth and sippable, this has a lovely balance of the complex, sweet wood spice and the dryer, piney gin notes. It also has a thick texture that fills the mouth and the menthol pepper of the Tasmanian Pepperberry on the finish.

Frozen
This gin chills down well, adding a lovely viscosity to the texture. Upfront, there are notes of toffee and spice, with some crisp pine and citrus, too. The finish is more floral, with sweet spice and wood; it’s creamy, before a peppery finish.

Gin Soda
Herbaceous and woody; this is quite resinous, but the lengthening of the soda gives the gin a lighter, refreshing character without compromising on intensity or quality.

Sweet Martini
Sweet, fruity, and jammy, with a touch of bitter herbal notes. Then comes some spice and vanilla, and a lovely, creamy finish.

Negroni
Wow! Simply fantastic – there is an excellent synergy between the gin, the wood, and the other ingredients. Smooth, mellow, and relaxed, the gin takes the drink to another level, with beautiful vanilla wood and maple notes in the middle. A must try!

Peat Barreled BIG Gin

BB-PeatBarreled
On its own
Colour: Pale straw
Nose: Light spice with a wisp of dry, smoked wood, then a little citrus and cedar. This is complex and evolving with a few subtleties kept back for the palate.
Taste: The wood creates a very dry, light smoke that lingers and builds as you sip. The dry wood notes work well with the fundamentally dry character of the gin. After the wood comes some juniper, angelica, and a little citrus. The finish is of spice and the slight menthol pepper of the Tasmanian Pepperberry.

From the Freezer
Dry, with flavours of apricot kernels, followed by flavours of fragrant cedar. Excellent, cooling, and sippable.

Gin Soda
The woody notes are dry, adding to the refreshing nature of the drink and complementing the other botanical notes, whilst the spice adds complexity. This is, without a doubt, an aged gin made for soda.

Sweet Martini
Superb – light and dry, almost as if it was made with dry vermouth. Despite that, there’s a lovely sweetness at the end, along with delicious, rich orange notes. This is truly excellent and sets itself apart from other Sweet Martinis.

Negroni
A wonderfully woody Negroni: the smoky wood works really well with the bitterness of the cocktail and here is a touch of very dark chocolate thrown in, too. All of this is balanced by the sweetness of the vermouth and the extra bitterness of the Campari. Another excellent drink.

In Conclusion

It’s great to see the folks at BIG Gin not rest on their laurels after their big win at IWSC with their first Bourbon Barreled Big Gin. These two new additions are no fly-by-nights and have obviously been well thought through before their release.

The Barrel Reserve adds smoothness and complexity to what was already a great gin and really starts to bring aged gin in line with some of the better whiskies that are great to sip and explore neat.

The Peat Barreled Gin achieves a fine balance between gin, wood, and smoke and, whilst the peat is certainly there, it does not overwhelm the gin’s character; in addition, the extra woody, smoky dryness that it adds is – I think – fantastic. I highly recommended trying both.

Cocktails with… Bombay Amber – Gin finished in French vermouth Barrels

Bombay aMber Gin TITLE

Today, we are reviewing something exceptionally exciting: Bombay Amber, Bombay Spirits first foray into aged spirits. For my upcoming book, “Forgotten Spirits & Long-lost Liqueurs”, I’ve been writing a lot on aged or yellow gin, so I was very excited to learn that another large brand is bringing out a spirit in this long-lost sub-category.

Bombay Amber follows the release of the high-end Burrough’s Reserve from Beefeater, which retails at around £70 a bottle and, as such, the focus tends to be on sipping the spirit neat. Now, I am a fan of Beefeater’s offering, but it is a shame that the price is a little inaccessible and it hasn’t reignited the interest in yellow gin cocktails that once existed.

Bombay Amber Bottle GIN MAIN

Bombay Amber (47.0%ABV) is made using the classic 8 botanical mix of Bombay Dry (click here): juniper, coriander, angelica, lemon, orris, liquorice and almond. To this original mix, they add black cardamom, nutmeg and bitter orange. The gin is then distilled using vapour infusion.

After distillation, the gin is finished in French vermouth barrels. My educated guess would be that these were Noilly Prat barrels, as Noilly Prat is both French, aged in wood, and owned by Bacardi-Martini, the parent company of Bombay Sapphire.

The Taste

1) On its own

i) At room temperature
Colour: Straw gold
Nose: Reminds me of a Martini: there are the dry, juniper elements from the gin, but there’s also a slightly sweet spiciness and herbal note, as well as a hint of oxidised citrus, reminiscent of a white vermouth.
Taste: Smooth, but with a strong flavour: the additional herbal and spiced notes come through, along with a touch of pepper/menthol from the black cardamom, so, although this is not made using the peppers found in Bombay Sapphire (cubeb berries and Grains of Paradise), a similar character remains. There is then some jammy, zesty flavours from the orange, followed by a more plump, herbal impression with juniper, coriander, and then some woody notes. It is amazing just how much of the character of the vermouth seems to come through in the spirit, but it gives the gin a great complexity that is there all the way through to the finish.

ii) From the refrigerator
Nose: Sour cherry and zesty orange, as well as some dry, tangy notes.
Taste: In my opinion, a light chill isn’t the best way to enjoy this spirit: you miss out on the best world of the spirit at room temperature and from the freezer. Interestingly, the bitter notes seem to be more concentrated and it tastes much dryer, although there is still a hint of a marmalade-like sweetness. I think that some people would really like this serve, but, for me, I prefer the other two.

iii) From the freezer
Nose: Pine sap, orange and sauterne.
Taste: Some of the fruity and citrus flavours that you would expect from a sauterne wine come through, along with a sweetness and fragrant, zesty orange, too. This is followed by a dry portion of juniper and angelica, then some bitter, earthy notes with liquorice root, some menthol, salt and wormwood. The low temperature seems to concentrate the contrast between the sweet and bitter notes, as well as provide a silky mouthfeel. This is an usual spirit that is both engaging and takes a little time to fully appreciate. If it had been served to me in a Martini glass, I may have mistaken it for a medium-dry Martini.

2) Gin & Tonic
This makes a dry Gin & Tonic that doesn’t have the overbearing sweet spice and oak that you usually get when mixing an aged gin with tonic water. There are quite a lot of herbal notes and a dry, woody bitterness at the end, which is not just from the quinine, but reminds me of wormwood, too. This may just be the power of suggestion, given that the vermouth barrels used, but, either way, it is a pleasant surprise and a refreshing drink.

3) Martini
A great way to enjoy this gin – the spirit is dry enough that it doesn’t overtake the cocktail, but the woody, herbal notes integrate well with the flavours from the dry vermouth. If you use Noilly Prat (the vermouth that’s barrels I – unofficially – think that this has been aged in), the integration is even more perfect. This is more like a classic Martini, rather than the ultra-dry variations of the late 20th Century – sophisticated, flavoursome and superb.

5) Negroni
Lovely – the woody, herbal notes and the black cardamom work well with the Campari and red vermouth. Usually, you might expect an aged gin Negroni to have slightly sweeter, vanilla-oak elements come though, which tend to mellow out the drink, but also make it less bitter. However, with Bombay Amber, the drink is as bold as ever and, for those that like their Negroni with bite, I suggest trying this. Superb.

In Conclusion
Bombay Amber is a great addition to the aged gin category. I find it interesting that the term “amber gin” has been received favourably when I’ve been discussing a catch-all term for “gin that has interacted with wood” with colleagues and contemporaries. Of course, for Bombay, it not only describes the colour, but also links into the use of names of precious stones, such as Sapphire. What’s next? Perhaps Bombay Emerald or Bombay Ruby are on the cards.

Flavour-wise, the spirit is unique, complex and engaging, with plenty of scope for innovation in mixing. And, with its price point expected to be around £30-35, I think Bombay Amber can help to put yellow gin back into the bartenders toolkit.

Watch out for the second part of my Bombay Amber post, where I try it out in some classic yellow gin cocktails.

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Cocktails with… Filliers Barrel Aged Gin

I have written a fair bit about yellow gin recently and I’m very excited that more varieties seem to be coming to the market. Followers of the site may also recollect my article on Filliers Dry Gin from Belgium, including my rave review of it mixed in a Negroni with Martini Gran Lusso – a simply superb drink.

As such, it was wonderful to see the two subjects – yellow gin and Filliers – come together in Filliers Barrel Aged Gin. Bottled at 43.7% ABV, this is made using the same recipe as the Filliers Dry Gin 28, but it is aged for around 4 months in ex-Cognac
barrels.

Filliers Barrel Aged Gin Bottle - Yellow Gin

The Taste

On its own
Colour: Very pale straw yellow.
Nose: Juniper, citrus, coriander and a little cinnamon and wood; quite light.
Taste: A lovely, thick texture with the classic gin flavours such as juniper, angelica,
coriander and citrus upfront, followed by more mellow notes of vanilla, nutmeg
and oak. The finish is long and dry. This is a great example of a classic
yellow/aged gin, with a good balance between the gin and the wood.

Dry Martini
A good, bold-flavoured Martini with crisp juniper and citrus and then a more mellow finish of cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla from the wood. This is an excellent example of what a traditional yellow gin Martini should be.

Sweet Martini
A lovely flavour, with a great mix of sweetness, herbal and spiced notes. The finish is good and dry, with just a little citrus. My suggested garnish would be a cherry or orange twist.

Frozen
The chill improves the texture without the gin losing its character; very viscous and silky. There are some good, crisp notes to start, a warm and comforting middle with a little light spice – like cinnamon sugar – and some light wood notes, followed by a long, dry, slightly bitter finish.

Negroni
Full of strong, bold flavours, with some very bitter, woody, herbal notes, too. The aged gin works really well with the vermouth,
which brings a rich mouthfeel and complexity. An excellent aperitif after a long day.

World Exclusive! – Cocktails with Herno Juniper Cask Gin

hernojunipercasktitle

Today, we have an exceptionally exciting product to work and we’re proud to say we were given the first bottle to review, too. That product is Hernö Juniper Cask Gin from the Hernö Distillery, the world’s Northernmost distillery in the small village of Dala, just outside the City of Härnösand in North Sweden. This spirit follows on from the great success of their Swedish Excellence Gin and their Navy Strength Gin.

A few Craft Distillers have already experimented with aged/rested/yellow gin, but most use ex-bourbon casks; other examples include Cognac and ex Jean de Lillet casks (the latter is used by Burrough’s Reserve), but, as yet, no-one has integrated that vital component of gin into their use of wood: juniper.

Until now…

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Hernö Juniper Cask has been matured in barrels made from Juniper wood. The barrels are Ankare in size, which is a traditional Swedish measurement dating from the 1600s that equates to 39.25 litres. After its time in the barrels, the gin is diluted with water from the distillery well to 47.0% ABV. It is purposefully not chill-filtered, in order to retain maximum character.

On its own
Colour: Light lemon/straw yellow.
Nose: Some lemon and orange, followed by a progression of crisp pine notes, woody notes of juniper and a little sappiness. Intense, inviting and engaging.
Taste: A rich, smooth and silky – almost honey-like – texture. There’s a herbal sweetness to start, before moving onto a light, green juniper note, followed by a darker, heavy flavour of juniper and rich, bold pine notes. Finally, there’s some citrus peel and a little woody sappiness.
Finish: Resinous pine, a hint of beeswax, citrus peel and a touch of coriander – long and harmonious.

Frozen
Very thick, with a silky texture. Big, full and bold flavours of green juniper, pine, and hints of sappiness, followed by citrus, coriander, and some herbs and spices, such as fennel. The flavour then progresses on to notes of vanilla and wood, before a long, dry finish of pine with a hint of beeswax. Intense, superb and a great way to enjoy the spirit.

Bees Knees
A great long drink: the piney, woody juniper notes work really well with honey, as opposed to sugar. This is a great way to appreciate the gin in a long, refreshing drink.

Herno Juniper Cask - The Barrel

Gin & Tonic
Some savoury spice notes come through on the nose, such as cumin and caraway. The flavour is mainly strong juniper and coriander, with a little sweetness to start, followed by a dry finish, which is long and lingering.

Martini
Looks superb – a very light gold in colour. This is a clean and crisp Martini, but, although it makes a good drink, I can’t help but feel that the vermouth detracts from the flavours of the gin at the ratio that I used (5:1). I think the solution to this problem would be to go dryer, i.e. use less vermouth. Also, mixing it with Lillet may have some potential.

Negroni
Very intense; perhaps a little too sweet with Martini Rosso (which adds a slight note of coconut), so I would recommend using a more bitter vermouth, such as Antica Formula or Sacred Sweet Vermouth. There’s a great, long finish of piney juniper with just a hint of sap. With the more bitter vermouth, this is simply superb.

Juniper Cask French ‘75
An intense French ’75, but nonetheless very good, indeed. This is full of excellent, strong pine notes, a little sappiness and a hint of raw honey. Complex and unusual. Superb.

In Conclusion
Hernö Juniper Cask is a superb spirit and certainly one of the highlights of 2013’s gin releases so far; I’ve not had anything as exciting and engaging and with such bold juniper flavours since I tasted Barr Hill from Vermont – coincidentally, fans of this gin are sure to be fond of Hernö Juniper Cask.

The gin is excellent on its own, but I enjoy it even more from the freezer. As mixed drinks go, I think the Bees Knees (a variation on a Collins) was my favourite.

A special thanks to Jon and the Herno Team for giving this exciting preview.

Burrough’s Reserve

Today, I have spent the majority of my day just south of Godalming at an airfield, judging the International Wine and Spirits Competition Gin Panel, where we judged 87 spirits in just over 4 hours. Today’s article, however, is about something rather interesting that I tried yesterday; namely, Beefeater’s Burrough’s Reserve.

Now, you know that here at Summer Fruit Cup and at our US counterpart’s blog, The Gin Is In, we are big fans of yellow gin. Essentially, this is any gin that has had contact with wood to impact the flavour.

Up until a few weeks ago, there were just over a dozen yellow gins available, with Citadelle and Hayman’s leading the charge in Europe and Seagram’s and a host of US craft distillers waving the flag for the good old US of A. But, until now, no major UK distiller has ventured into aged gin.

On the face of it, you may think, “Sure, Burrough’s Reserve is just aged Beefeater.”, but it goes a little deeper than that. The gin that is subsequently aged is made in still number 12, an original still from James Burrough’s Chelsea Distillery (Beefeater is currently made in Kennington). So, although the gin is made to the same recipe and with the same botanical mix as regular Beefeater, the fact that the still is a different style and much smaller than the modern stills, means that the resultant distillate is rather different. In essence, this spirit, before the aging process, is a close approximation of the spirit that the founder of Beefeater would have made in his Chelsea Distillery.

BurroughsReserveBottleFINAL

Not content with this trip down memory lane, Beefeater, led by their (not yet knighted) Master Distiller Desmond Payne, decided to age it in Jean de Lillet casks. Jean de Lillet is a high-end, rarer version of the classic Lillet Blanc. The gin is generally aged for around 3 months, but, in reality, it is a case of when it’s ready, it is ready.

Burrough’s Reserve is retailing at around £70 a bottle and, as such, Beefeater recommend that it is not used for mixed drinks. I understand this to an extent, given the complexity of the product, but, as a result, I was surprised to discover that Beefeater had enlisted the help of world renowned mixologist, Tony Conigliaro, for their launch. It turned out, however, that they didn’t want Tony to mix with the spirit, but to design the right glassware to go with it.

For the global launch, we were able to try out the specially designed Conigliaro glassware, which consisted of a non-stemmed tasting glass, upon which sits a stemless martini glass. The idea behind this is that, depending upon the width of the glass, the amount of evaporation and, hence, the aromas that are given off changes. Tony wanted to illustrate this. He also spoke to us about serving the gin at different temperatures, which I’ve incorporated into my tasting notes below.

BurroughsReserveGlassFINAL

Now the part that you’ve all been waiting for…

The Taste
At room temperature
Nose: Juniper, orange, dark caramel and woody spice.
Taste: Soft texture, with plenty of vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg up front. Whilst quite sweet to start, this moves on to a dryer, slightly tannin-like flavour, then the classic juniper and angelica gin flavours with a little citrus, before finishing with some vanilla oaky notes.

From the fridge

Nose: The notes of the wood are more pronounced at this temperature; some floral notes, like grape flower, orange blossom and camomile come through, as well as a resin-y juniper.

Taste:  The lower temperature starts to increase the viscosity of the gin, which gives it a thicker texture. The flavours are still strong, but some of the citrus and floral elements are more dominant, such as orange peel and orange blossom. There’s also a little creamy toffee up front and a dry finish.

From the freezer

Nose: The strength of the nose is reduced when it’s this cold, but the citrus still manages to come through, accompanied by a dry spiciness.
Taste: This has an excellent, thick, rich and smooth – almost velvety – texture, which really adds depth and character to the spirit. There’s juniper to start, followed by some vanilla, spice and hints of Simnel cake, then a very long, lingering and incredibly dry finish that stays for well over a minute.

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In Conclusion
It seems clear that aged/rested/matured/yellow gins are here to stay; once one of the big bosses moves towards a trend, you know that it has legs. I liked the balance of Burrough’s Reserve and it certainly highlights Beefeater’s underlying botanicals and the impact of the Jean de Lillet wood. It’s a sipping gin and that’s reflected in its £70 price tag, which, by my estimate, makes it the third most expensive gin in the world*.

* After Nolet’s Reserve ($700) and Adler’s Reserve (500 Euros).

Burrough’s Reserve is available from The Whisky Exchange for around £63 for 70cl.