Septembers Gin Club

Right I know this is late as always.  It’s fair to say we have been mental (Moich – if you’re from Perthshire), but here goes.

So who decided that Graeme should get married head to Sri Lanka for three weeks and on the week he came back should do a Gin Club.  He did (should I say I did), twat!  That’s a sure fire way to ruin yourself.  Where was Caldow you ask, “Busy” ahaha.  Nonsense, he doesn’t know the meaning of it.  Ticketmaster sounds easy J

So Septembers Gin club was an interesting one (they all are).  We had one left field choice (which we will describe later), a choice to allow the Gin Clubbers to reach for something a bit more special when buying a standard London Dry other than Gordon’s or Bombay and a new one which tasted like the seaside.

So the first Gin we featured is one which currently has a bit of a PR problem, and this is a crying shame.

Plymouth Gin

The name Plymouth Gin is a protected brand, much like Scotch Whiskey (in that it has to come from certain casks and be made here) or Jersey potatoes which have to be made in Jersey.  It’s actually one of few Gins which have a protected name.

Plymouth Gin is essentially a London Dry in taste with a slight degree of difference that most wouldn’t taste once they fire in garnish and tonic, but as it’s made traditionally in Plymouth it gets its own Gin type, Plymouth Gin and not London Dry.

Back in the day when Plymouth was a famous naval town seeing the likes of Nelson et al there were over eight distilleries catering and facilitating the term “drinks like a sailor”, now though there is only one.

Plymouth is produced by the Black Friars Distillery. The Black Friars Distillery is the only remaining gin distillery in Plymouth, in what was once a Dominican Order monastery built in 1431, the distillery being one of the UK’s eldest in UK, dating back to 1793.

The Brand has so much history and is such a great tasting Gin for the house that I’m constantly annoyed it gets bypassed by most in pubs or the supermarket and people opt for Gordon’s or Bombay thinking its better.  The brand really has an image problem.  But Barman love it, it’s a great cocktail dry Gin, it tastes great in the home and for some reason Morrison’s always has it on special so you can get an amazing dry Gin for the same price as Bombay or a big bottle of Gordon’s.

It has seven botanicals – juniper, coriander, sweet orange, cardamom, angelica and orris root that are redistilled with pure grain spirit. For a Gin you don’t get the dominance of Juniper instead its almost sweet, with orange and cardamom giving it a soft fruity yet spicy finish.

Please reach for this instead of your traditional choices.  Plymouth should be in your drinks cabinet or globe J

We served it as G&T served with Fever Tree, garnished with Strawberry

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Edinburgh Seaside

So we have featured Edinburgh before and we can safely say the first time when they brought the Cannonball and we made Dry Martini’s along with bottles of all their other products, it was a pretty ruckus night.  Caldow had to carry women out in cuddieback form.

Edinburgh Gin has been constant innovators in the world of Scottish Gin.  For some time the Gin was bottled down south but in summer 2014 Edinburgh Gin move the distillation process to the capital.  The Edinburgh Gin range is rather impressive with Raspberry Gin (which we have been told are Rasps from Perthshire) and Elderflower Gin (and other flavoured gins); we featured the Cannonball Gin in February, this time though we are using the Edinburgh Seaside Gin.

Head Distiller David Wilkinson and the team scowered the coastline in search of the perfect ingredients to give a Scottish seaside flavour. After experimentation, they settled on a combination of seaweed, scurvy grass and ground ivy combined to the other Edinburgh Gin Botanicals making a slightly sweet yet refreshingly minerally taste, you can taste the salt.

We at Gin Club think this is the best thing they have made.  It is a truly unique product.  I know they have a huge product list, but the liqueurs are more like Gin Crack…  As in “here come and try this” to get you into it.  They are great and in fairness Mrs Macdonald drinks them all the time, but the Seaside is their best innovated Gin to date.  Well done Mr Wilkinson.

Thanks to Finlay and Ruairidh for popping down and the patter, and drinking hehe, no ruined Gin Clubbers from the mini still this time.

We served it as a G&T with Fever Tree, but to get the most out of it you should use the Mediterranean Tonic and a lemon peel twist.

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Whitley Neill

So we have Mr Niell before but this goes along the same lines and the Plymouth choice.  It’s in all the supermarkets and the usual retail price is £22-£25 which is around the same as Bombay, please pick this more (unless of course Bombay email Gin Club tomorrow saying “please promote us here’s eight bottles”).

Whitley Neill is distilled near Birmingham, in an antique copper pot still called ‘Constance’ who is over 100 years old. Using exceptionally pure water along with nine botanicals, which are carefully selected to ensure that they are of the highest quality. Whitley Neill’s tagline is “Made in London and Inspired by Africa” which is not only an insight to its creator Johnny Neill who is married to an African woman but also describes some of the botanical choices. In this line up are cape gooseberries and baobab fruit along with more traditional ones such as juniper, coriander, lemon & orange peel, angelica root, cassia bark and orris root.

To taste you get juniper and citrus notes first followed by a subtle spice and complex finish. It really does not disappoint on the “different” quote as you do get more than you normally get from a London Dry.

We served it as a G&T served with Fever Tree, garnished with Plum.

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Firkin Gin

So I mentioned earlier about our left field choice.  By this I’m not saying “this is our crap option” quite the opposite it’s the different choice, by different I mean greatly different (not sure if I’m showing different in a good light here or not).

FIRKIN Gin was launched in April 2015 by Gleann Mor Spirit Company.  Gleann Mor are mainly a Whiskey company, this is their successful Gin experiment.  Firkin Gin has a distinct whiskey look from the American oak whisky casks, it is rested in.  I really need to learn more about the brand and the history of Gleann Mor Spirits, they seem to have a great foot hold in the rare bottled Whiskey world.  Yum yum yum.  Gleann Mor, feel free to bring some along J

It really confused my senses at first.  As when you crack open the bottle you think “ohh Whiskey” but it’s not, it just looks and at first smells like one.  We served it with Tonic and orange peel which was wrong, completely wrong.  Yeah it worked for some, but as soon as you swapped the tonic for ginger beer or ale and the orange peel.  Different drink altogether.  Like Jerry Maguire “you complete me” says the Firkin to Ginger.  So much more was gained from the ginger combination.

The ingredients are a traditional line up with juniper, coriander seed, angelica root, and orris root all added into the still.  The Gin is 4 times distilled and bottled at 46%.  There is a good hit of juniper on the nose, followed by mint and lemon peel, then lemon barley sweetness develops followed by flint and elderflower;  a lovely balance between sweetness and crisp aromas.  On the palate, fudge-like sweetness with clean eucalyptus, then more mint.

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Right so that was the round up from last week.

Some thanks to Firkin (FIRKIN), to Whitley Neill, Plymouth and Edinburgh Gin.

Thanks to the Tea Room for the cakes, which we will get the recipe and post btw.

Thanks to Blonde Bridget for the vegan, and all other allergen cake.

Thanks for coming.

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