The next Cornish gin I purchased from the Aladdin’s cave that is Constantine Stores was a bottle of Caspyn Cornish Dry Gin which, according to its rather prosaic label is distilled with passion. There was me hoping that it would have a base spirit and some botanicals but I think I may have misunderstood the intent of the advertising message.
The spirit comes in a bell shaped bottle with an artificial cork stopper. The front label which is fixed at a jaunty angle is a mix of dark blue and gold on a white background. There is a rather off-putting image of a shark with its mouth wide open and a red seal but get past that and you will find much of the information you need. It is handcrafted, a product of Cornwall made in West Penwith in the west of Cornwall and my particular bottle was distilled on 8th July 2017, the seventy-third bottle from batch 18. The hooch has an ABV of 40%.
Cornish Dry Gin is the first gin to have been produced by Pocketful of Stones Distillery and is supposed to have been inspired by the crisp Cornish spring mornings. The base of the gin is an organic (natch) grain spirit to which the botanicals are added. They seem to consist of juniper, orris, lemon and orange peel, lemon verbena, Japanese tea, hibiscus flowers and some locally foraged ingredients including gorse. The mix is allowed to mascerate overnight and then put into a copper pot still for six hours. The spirit is then reduced to the 40% ABV by the introduction of Cornish water before it is left to settle for a few days. The gin is then bottled, labelled and numbered by hand.
So what is it like? On taking the cork out of the bottle there was an immediate sensation of juniper, floral notes and a hint of tea. I tried it neat first and the Japanese tea was to the fore before a rather pleasing spicy, warm feeling hit my mouth in the aftertaste. Perhaps it is my taste buds but I was surprised that the floral components were not so prominent but the addition of a dash of Fever-Tree Premium Indian Tonic Water seemed to enhance the floral elements and tone down the tea. Overall, I was a bit disappointed. It will grow on me, I’m sure.
Near the distillery is to be found a Neolithic stone circle called the Merry Maidens, nineteen of whom were turned into stone for having the audacity to dance on the Sabbath. Two megaliths to the north-east of the circle are known as the Pipers and they are said to have been the musicians who accompanied the girls. The name of the gin, Caspyn, is a variant of the Cornish Ancient Sites Protection Network, the y added to make the name more mellifluous. I hope I’m not petrified for being sniffy about the product.
What started me off on this long exploration of the ginaissance was a bottle of Elemental Gin I bought in St Ives. I couldn’t mark my return to Cornwall without buying another bottle. I have reviewed it elsewhere but suffice to say it didn’t disappoint, being a well-balanced gin with a pleasant mix of sweetness at the start leading on to a more bitter aftertaste. It is very smooth and it takes an iron will not to pour another glass.
Until the next time, cheers!
Filed under: Gin Tagged: Caspyn Cornish Dry Gin, Constantine Stores, Cornish Ancient Sites Protection Network, Cornish gins, Elemental Cornish Gin, ginaissance, Pocketful of Stones distillery, the Merry Maidens stone circle
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