My exploration of the ginaissance continues apace. Whilst it is sad to see the spirit levels of my bottles slowly but inexorably reduce, there is the consolation that it gives me an opportunity to add to my collection.
It is one thing, though, researching and reading about the merits of particular makes and another sourcing them. Of the major supermarkets in the vicinity of Blogger Towers I have found that Waitrose boasts the widest selection. But even then you are hostage to the whims of their buyer and the possibility that some other gin enthusiast in the area has bought the last bottle of your chosen hooch.
Far easier is to shop from the comfort of your study. Again, you can spend hours researching the sites of vendors of gin but I settled for 31Dover.com. They boast a wide range of gins – some 90 or so – as well as other spirits and wines. The prices are not noticeably heavily discounted but they offer the shopper convenience and next day delivery. If you spend over £100, not difficult to do if you don’t exercise some iron will, delivery charges are dropped. So I selected two bottles of gin, entered my payment details and pressed enter. And, as good as their word, a parcel consisting of two well wrapped bottles was delivered at my door the following afternoon. What not to like.
Frustratingly, on the day of their delivery I was suffering from a heavy cold and so my palette and nose were not up to giving the new gins the critical once over. I impatiently waited for my health to be restored and opened my squat, rectangular bottle of Chilgrove Dry gin. One of the reasons I selected this gin was that it is somewhat unusual in that it uses a neutral spirit distilled from grapes as its base rather than grain. Distilled in West Sussex it uses the natural minerals waters which have been filtered through the chalky Downs. There are eleven botanicals added to the redistillation process – juniper, coriander seed, angelica root, sweet and bitter orange, orris root, liquorice, grains of paradise, lime peel, wild water mint and savory.
On removing the synthetic stopper the initial aroma was spicy and the initial sensation on tasting was that it was very smooth but slightly sweet and that the spices I had smelt initially came through loud and clear. But the after taste was astonishing and long-lasting with citrus and a peppery sensation coming to the fore. A hit!
My second bottle was the more controversial Martin Miller’s dry gin – controversial because the addition of flavourings after distillation required the manufacturers to drop the appellation London from their hooch. The bottle is distinctively tall and square-shaped and comes with a screw cap. As the bottle suggests, showing a map of the UK and Iceland with a red dotted line linking the two, once the distillation process is over the gin is shipped to Iceland to be blended with the natural waters there which are the purest in the world. There are 10 botanicals used in the distillation process – juniper, coriander, angelica root, orange peel, orris root, cassia, cinnamon bark, ground nutmeg, liquorice and, possibly, cucumber.
As you might expect the spirit was crystal clear and to the nose was aromatic with orange to the fore. The taste in the mouth was dominated by orange and peppers and the aftertaste was bitter with a hint of cucumber. I found it a very satisfying drink, probably to be had as a second gin, rather than an opener.
Filed under: Culture, Gin Tagged: 31Dover.com, buying premium gins, Chilgrove Dry Gin, ginaissance, grape based gin, Martin Miller's Dry Gin, Pure Icelandic mineral water
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