Pickerings

So this one I have planned ahead.  Yes go me.

For our third Gin we have the amazing Pickerings back.

Pickerings was launch in 2013 and founded by Marcus Pickering and Matthew Gammell, at the Summerhall Distillery which was the former School of Veterinary Studies.

Pickering’s is based on an old Bombay recipe which was kept as a family secret for over 66 years,and resurfaced in 2013. The gin is a recreation of this original recipe where Pickerings have increased the amount of juniper compared to the original.

The Gin itself consists of nine botanicals – juniper, coriander, cardamom, angelica, fennel, anise, lemon, lime and cloves.

The process involves macerating the botanicals for 24 hours with neutral grain spirit in a copper still, nicknamed Gert. The still is heated in a unique way almost like a custom-built water bath allowing the heat to be altered and applied directly.

To me Pickerings is a smooth bu almost earthy Gin.  Its fresh with an initial hit of Juniper (it is a Gin) with a piney taste.  There is an after taste of fennel and cardamom, leaving you with the overall spice.

We have no idea how we are serving this yet.

I may have time to fix the blog before tomorrows pre alert.

We do love this Gin though.

 

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Glen Wyvis Gin

So again this should have been part of a blog which I half finished from my trip to Inverness where we at Gin Club (I say “wee” I mean me, Caldow was moving into his new flat, like that’s a worthwhile excuse), were helping with the NIP festival.  There we met the lovely folks from Glen Wyvis which is our second Gin for this Fridays Sold out Gin Club at the Hidden Lane Tea Room.

Not much is known about this distillery.  Essentially its the creation of the local “Flying Farmer” (I need to check what this is, it sounds too exotic for Scotland and more like something you hear about in Australia). The gin launched in summer 2015 and is the first from Dingwall. The distillery (which is in construction still) takes it name from Glenskiach and Ben Wyvis, two old now defunct distilleries from the area.  Incidentally a skiach is Gaelic for  Hawthorn which is one of the botanicals in Glen Wyvis.

So like I say when I was with the guys from the Gin I got a bit too drunk and appear to have forgotten everything useful, like the distillation process.  I do know that there are nine botanicals (As I emailed Craig from Glen Wyvis shamefully). These botanicals are locally picked hawthorn as already mentioned, Juniper (it is a Gin), Orange & Lemon Peel, Coriander Seeds, Angelica Root, Cinnamon, Orris Root, Almond Powder.

To taste there is a straight hit of Juniper, which lingers just enough for the Citrus Peel to come through.  A very pleasant fresh tasting Gin which tastes like its made with love and attention.

Definitely the best thing off my top of my head to come from Dingwall, I hear they have some football team too 😉

We will be serving Glen Wyvis with Fever Tree tonic, Orange Peel and Coriander.

Eden Mill – Hop Gin

Oh god I am properly late with this one.

See what happens when the day job takes over.  Who said that 3pm on a Wednesday was the best time for social media engagement???

So Gin numero quarto, Eden Mill Hopped Gin.

It’s safe to say we have been trying to get the folks at Eden Mill along to Gin Club for a long time.  They have a huge product range and the Gin is very different to the other London Drys out there, so we have to have them feature at least once.

The Eden Mill story is quite a different one, historically there hasn’t been any spirit production on the site in over 150 years, between 1810 and 1860 where the Haig family produced Whiskey.  The brewing element has been long established, then in 2014 they decided to start producing Whiskey and Gin again.

There are no other distillers / brewers in Scotland like this.  It is a unique combination which only serves to produce unique, highly crafted spirits.  Bringing their own brand of distilling, which definitely comes from the craft beer world, gave birth to the Hop Gin.  The first of its kind in the UK! This is a fairly decent achievement to be honest, I haven’t ever done anything (nothing savoury at least) which was the first in the country.

The Gin contains botanicals: Juniper (it is a Gin), Australian Galaxy Hops, Sea Buckthorn, Oak, Hibiscus, Hickory and I think others are in there Citrus peel, Coriander and Liquorice (Sorry Eden Mill I couldn’t find a full botanical list, but I was sure I could taste coriander and maybe the Hops were giving me the citrus flavour).

To taste this, it really does confuse you, again in a good way.  It already has that beer-esq hue about it when you pour it, you half expect when you smell it that it might froth on the top (thankfully it doesn’t, I don’t know if frothy Gin would sell).  Yeah so the taste confuses you (in a good way) as the Juniper slides away to this hop like citrus taste, which lines the mouth (I believe that’s called oily but I’ve never liked that expression).

It’s a lovely drink, Gin lovers you will love the difference this drink does to your impression of what a Gin should be.  Make sure you try their other range.  Not a clue how we are serving this yet.

Darnley’s Spiced Gin

Gin number 2 for October (again there is no order to this) comes from a distillery we worked with on our second ever Gin Club event, those wonderful people over at Darnley’s View, however this time there is no London Dry and instead the spiced Gin, it is Halloween after all.

So let’s begin with some history on Darnley’s:

Darnley’s View Gin is created by the Wemyss Whiskey Company (Wemyss Malts) in fife.

The name Darnley’s View comes (apparently) from the moment when Mary Queen of Scots spied her husband and baby father to be Lord Darnley from a window in Wemyss Castle.  Randomly every time I hear the name Wemyss I think of a school trip there.  I think we also went to the Scottish Dear Centre that same day too.

You might remember the Darnley’s Gin we featured way back in August last year (the blog says August so I’m going with that), which is a stunning Gin, a lovely crafted smooth spirit.  We served it with Fever Tree and Cape Gooseberries (Cape Gooseberries are easier for Dyslexics to spell than Physalis or pronounce).

In 2015 Darnley’s ventured out into a sister Gin the Darnley’s View Spiced Gin, which is what we are featuring in October.

The Spiced Gin is distilled using 10 botanicals:  Juniper (it is a Gin), Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cloves, Cumin, Ginger, Grains of paradise (BTW grains of paradise do not look as impressive as they sound), Cassia, Angelica and Coriander.  Compared to the six botanicals in the original.  It also comes in 2.7% stronger than the original Gin too.  According to Wemyss they say that the stronger alcohol content helps bring out the spicy flavour.  You will get no complaints from Gin Club on this alcohol increased – not that we are trying to promote excess drinking though.

This is a hard Gin to pin down.  This is in no way a derogatory comment though, it’s great that you can’t pin down the Gin, it means every time you drink it, you get something else.  The original citrus tastes you get from the normal Darnley’s view are there but they vanish quickly to a warm spice.  Everyone who knows me knows I am a total wimp with spice, but this spice is perfect, it doesn’t over the Gin, its just there.  I almost want to compare it to a mulled wine, but it’s nothing like it, it just give you that warmth and difference of flavour, most people know red wine and it’s taste but when you try a mulled wine it confuses the senses in all the right ways.

Well played Darnley’s.

So how are we serving it on Friday?  Hehe that’s a surprise, but it will be in tea pots and will be warm.

Tickets for Fridays event:

http://www.ticketweb.co.uk/artist/glasgow-gin-club-tickets/944334

Thanks
Graeme

French Gin (Diplome) and German Stills (Sipsmiths)

Our last two Gins, which we have the pleasure of announcing for tomorrow night, are Diplôme and Sipsmiths London Dry (I know we have had it before but it was a dedicated Sipsmiths night so technically it doesn’t count).

So Diplôme is created in Dijon (famous for mustard) France and have been created roughly the same way since 1945, however the recipe was perfected during WW2.  Along with other cuisine and mustard Diplôme is very famous in France for its unique recipe and long standing stature.

After the end of the war, Diplôme Dry Gin became the official gin for the American Army stationed throughout Europe.

Using botanicals sourced from Europe and Morocco, Diplôme Dry Gin is made up of;  Juniper (it is a Gin), coriander, whole lemons, orange peel, angelica, saffron, orris root and fennel seed.

On the nose of Diplôme gives a slight smell of cherry trees and cloves, you also get the Juniper and Coriander.

To taste you get the natural hit of Juniper (it is a Gin) but it also has zesty citrus fruit, slightly nutty and possibly lavender.  I have heard people say it almost feels oily.  I haven’t got that however I stress that we at Gin Club tend not to be wearing Tweed waist coats, while doing tastings and try to thing how the Gin will work and how it will be enjoyed.

I would say that Diplôme tastes old.  Old class, it is very French but I can’t describe why.  Its French in the way you know Daft Punk are French just by listening but in no shape or form did the French invet Funk music they just seem to excel at creating their own unique identifiable funk based genre.  It is a very smooth Dry Gin which works well in many drinks.

So Sipsmiths, well lets begin by saying we love Sipsmiths, their whole range we also have in the Gin Shed.

Anyway…

In 2009, Sipsmith was launched by Sam Galsworthy, Fairfax Hall and Jared Brown to pursue their passion for handmade spirits.

Sipsmith became the first copper-pot based distillery to start up in London in over 150 years, a fact that made the process of being granted a license a long and tiresome affair.

Sipsmith is made using ten botanicals: Macedonian juniper berries, Bulgarian coriander seed, French angelica root, Spanish liquorice root, Italian orris root, Spanish ground almond, Chinese cassia bark, Madagascan cinnamon, Seville orange peel and Spanish lemon peel.

Each botanical plays its part however a few liquorice, coriander and angelica play distinctive roles.

To taste Sipsmith has strong notes of juniper but there are also definite citrus notes and a depth to the liquid that lingers.

The gin is distilled in a beautiful still affectionately named Prudence where she lives alongside Patience her sister at the Hammersmith HQ.

Tickets can be purchased here:

http://www.ticketweb.co.uk/event/glasgow-gin-club-tickets/178989

July Gin Club – Shetland Reel

Shetland Reel is our first Gin for July.  We have been trying to get this fine product along for some time, but it’s no easy feat.  Last time we were emailing about get the Gin along, there was a storm and some power cuts.

Shetland Reel comes from Unst, which is part of the Shetland Islands and as stated by the storms and power cuts it’s not an easy place to live, but also beautiful (I have never been, maybe one day Gin Club will get the boat for Up Hella Aa, drink Gin and pretend to be Vikings.

The Shetland Distillery Company was created by four people sharing a passion for producing top quality products in local communities (Direct Quote from the web there). Frank  / Debbie Strang and  Stuart / Wilma Nickerson.  Apparently the work of the distillery is split between couples, the Strangs turning the area at Saxa Vord into the award winning tourist resort and the Nickerson’s handle the whiskey and the Gin.  Thank you Strangs and Nickersons!

The gin uses 8 botanicals including locally grown apple mint.  On the nose there is a strong hit of Juniper and coriander, with fresh floral notes. To try it neat (most of you who normally read this know I’m now a neat trying convert, I don’t know if that makes me sound like I am officially old or an alchy).  Anyway neat it is dry with a juniper spine and a clean dry bite.  This then becomes smoother and sweeter.

As usually a good tonic (Fever Tree people, cheap stuff is banned) rounds the Gin off and compliments the fruitiness of the apple mint.  The more you drink the fruitiness builds making it a wonderful Gin, a truly loved product with of course a decent solid Juniper taste (it is a Gin)

We haven’t decided yet what we are going to garnish or serve this with yet!  According to the UK Gin Law (The London Gin Club) Coriander Leaf or Raspberry really compliment Shetland Reel in a G and T.

Tickets for July:

http://www.ticketweb.co.uk/artist/glasgow-gin-club-tickets/944334

Proud Parents

First Birthdays.

Obviously we can’t remember our own first birthday’s (if you say you do then you’re either Stewie from Family guy or your drunk), but we certainly remember other 1st birthday parties.  Having been to a few for my lovely Nephew and Nieces and now (god help us) my friends children, we know the format, crying, napping, half the adults drinking the other half drinking endless cups of tea, the one year old who couldn’t care less about the presents as the wrapping paper or the box is significantly more interesting.  A first birthday party is for the parents.  And if I’m honest they are lovely despite the flu or stomach bug you contract from playing with the little disease carriers (btw I’m getting a little broody in my old age) you really wouldn’t have it any other way.

So like proud parents (god does this mean that Caldo, Kate and I had a child together, remove Caldo from the equation and its normal haha), we move into the first birthday of our labour of love which is the Gin Club.

Our first solo event was the 6th of June 2014, however like a proper child it had a long gestation period, about nine months actually.  We recently did a blog for Ticketweb which describes how to create a club, so I best repeat myself on the gestation period to birth of Gin Club;

Conception

“The Art of Social Drinking” is something Caldo has always harped on about, where people go to a pub and drink nice alcohol and not just get wasted on the cheap stuff, dance and try and get off with people (these nights are ok too though).  Gin Club began while engaging in this Art form, two men in their late twenties, drinking artisan gin while trawling through YouTube for rap battles, Taylor Swift and Mylie Cyrus videos, then discussing the merits of both these two rather good female artists.

From these special moments slumped on a couch discussing which one would our mothers would prefer, a throw away thought in the form of Hashtag (#Ginclub) was born, which was instantaneously shared through each of our failing music and social media sites (it had been a long established fact that a photo of an album got less than 20 likes while a picture of a Gin pour or a beetroot and chocolate cake broke easily into triple figures).  In that one hashtag Gin Club was born (impregnated).

Don’t tell anyone it’s not three months yet

For the next few months we maintained the exclusivity of our club, while the member’s waiting list swelled with people retweeting, sharing photos and Gin Brands evening sending us stock!  But the intake was capped at two with the occasional “Gins a mine”, while our friends drank our expensive Gin and Tonic.   Keeping this cap along with the promotion of Gin and all its merits only increased demand.  Our Gin Club rules came into fruition too.  “No Gordon’s” and “Gordon’s is acceptable if there is nothing else”.

“Your showing”

Once our solid foundations had been set, we had demand, popularity and a thirst corporate engagement the next stage was to float our club idea. In the case of Gin Club this came with getting involved with the popular Brew at the Bog festival.  From this first big venture we had to draft in organised support in the third member, welcome the scientist (not the Coldplay song) Kate.

In developing this idea we had now made contact with all the Gin brands we loved and wanted to share with festival goers in Inverness.  This proved popular as all the Gin was drunk in the first day.

Birth

Our Idea was simple; it wasn’t to be formal Gin Club.  No noising glasses, just Gin served right so people could enjoy something a bit different to the norm and open to all Gin lovers.

Our club needed to be formative but informal so our guests left knowing more than what they did when they arrived without it being forced upon them or with them having to taste everything straight in crystal flute glass while writing notes in a language they would never use.

Fun / Nice were the words of choice, where people loved their night so much they took hundreds of photos, got to a good merry stage of drunkardness but happy their night wouldn’t be a late one.

Then after being at Gin Club they would want to go to a shop, buy a special Gin and realise what they have had in the pub for years is nothing compared to what they could be drinking.

We had the idea, we even had the date, the venue however wasn’t set, but a wee five minute conversation in Sainsbury’s solved that and it was set that we would be hosting Gin Club in a vintage tea room (with cake and the venue matched the feel of the night), then combine it with DJ’s, random props, table games, food (which get very competitive) and mountains of Fever Tree tonic.

Thinking back

I can’t believe that was a year ago!  Thinking of all the meetings with Kate and Caldo in Tinderbox or at Kate’s flat drinking loads of tea and eating way too much cake.

1st Birthday Party

So as it’s been a year we are going to celebrate by throwing a birthday party at the Hidden Lane on nearly the same date (one day out) as our first ever event.  To mark this we will be using the same Gins we started with;

Strathearn Heather Rose

Botanist

No.3 London

Caorunn

There will be all the usual trimmings along with lots of other special surprises.  I’ve been looking for the Happy Birthday song which gets playing in Jimmy Chung’s, can’t find it anywhere.

So get your tickets for the 5th June at the Hidden Lane Tea Room.

Adnams CopperHouse Gin

For our last Gin for the March Gin Club I would like you all to say “arite hen” to Adnams Copperhouse Gin.

Adnams, in my head make beer (which has since been confirmed when a work colleague who really looks like Peter Griffin from family guy, saw me writing this blog and went “great beer, I used to live next to their distillery), but they have been branching out since 2010 and now make Vodka and Gin (There was really no point in that sentence as if they only made beer and not Gin then this blog wouldn’t have even been written).

Adnams craft their Gin in a very different way to normal, for one they make the base spirit themselves “East Anglian malted barley”.  I know many Gin’s do not do this, not saying that doing it or not is better just different.  Making a base spirit is not an easy task.  Reading up on this process I see words like “beer wash”, which I only know is the initial stage of distillation (see this is actually one of the few times in life Craig Rothney would be handy to have simply to answer questions like What does Beer Wash mean? What is Low Wine? Whats a Beer Column).  This beer wash distillate is further refined into “low wine” before finally ending up as pure spirit.  From there it is infused with six botanicals in their home made copper pot still.

The six botanicals are: Juniper berries, Coriander, Lemon peel, Orange peel, Orris root & Hibiscus flowers.

The only one in here I am not familiar with is Hibiscus flower, I don’t even think I could identify the taste of Hibiscus to be honest.   Doing some reading on the wonder that is Wikipedia, it seems that our new mate Hibiscus was trialled as a fertility drug, however it can also cause mild hallucinations.  Could be an interesting Gin club then!

To try Adnams neat you would get a savoury herbaceous gin with a full hit of juniper, I’ve heard others say oily but I don’t get that texture, which could be my novice tasting skills. We are really happy to have this Gin at Gin Club and hope you taste the Beer making heritage in this Gin, I actually think you can, it’s made very differently to begin with then returned to a traditional London Dry method.

Spirit Christian Jensen

Number three in our featured Gins for March is the wonderful Jensen’s (another pluralisation, but not one like when people add the S to the end of Miller –that’s Miller lager not Martin Miller’s or when they ask for “sailor Jerry’s”.  Grrrrr).

I have to say my first impression of Jensen’s was skewed.  This was because Stuart decided to experiment with Gin one night and had the Chipotle infused version and thought it would make a mean Red Snapper.  Most people who know me know I am a complete wimp when it comes to spice, I can barely handle a Korma, so Chipotle infused Gin is a bit of a trek for me.  Well I can safely say that after that experience the taste of their Bermondsey Gin changed my initial impression of “holy hell that will burn a hole right through me”.

Jensen’s base is in London and produce some truly fine Gin.  Along with the Bermondsey they have an Old Tom and a fair few infusions like the Chipotle one (everyone except this one appeals to my palate).  I have read that man behind this fine spirit Christian Jensen (Spirit Christen Jensen – sounds like a bluegrass Americana performer), was in Tokyo and feel in love with a certain Gin and was then told that it was defunct.  He then went on a mission and found the recipe for the Gin and worked with a team at Thames Distillers to recreate it.  To test they had it right he bought the lost spirit at auction and compared.  I haven’t worked out what this illusive spirit was thought.

How does it taste:

To smell it comes over with a strong sent juniper (it is a Gin – I might tire of this line), then you almost get sappy pine with coriander and liquorice. You also get fresh ginger, resin and violet. The liquorice carries through to the taste along with the piney juniper.  I read somewhere that one taster was getting Uncooked Runner beans – Thankfully I never got this.  No thanks to runner beans full stop, they remind me of my mother force feeding me them (by force feed I mean stern looks and ultimatums for not eating them).

Thanks

Graeme

Daffy’s Gin

daffys-gin-70cl-bottle daffys-gin-age-gate

Our second Gin (I say second but remember there are no rules to the order of things in Gin Club, just hand over the #GinMe card and ask for the one you want) we get the feature (says a very excited me) the wonderful Daffy’s Gin.

I first tried this wonderful stuff while doing my now frequent loitering in the Good Spirit Company hoping that Mark will see me standing around and say “have you tried this one”, regardless of if the answer is yes I will say no just so that he whips out some glasses and whatever bottles are open under the counter.  On this particular occasion the answer was No.  I had heard of and seen Daffy’s on the shelf but never tasted and hadn’t read about it (yet).  But before I ramble on about 20 mins one day in the Good Spirit Co I should Segway back into Daffy’s Gin:

Founder Chris Molyneaux explains that he and the “Daffy’s team” spent 4 years on the Daffy’s journey learning, researching and testing.

Taking from their lovely website:

“We started by using the finest pure wheat grain spirit from northern France that we could find, then, distilling it in the same manner as malt whisky on an ancient single batch copper pot still. The botanicals that we steep and distil are a combination of the traditional – juniper, coriander seeds, cassia bark and the new – Lebanese mint and rare variety lemons.

The quality of the base spirit we use, along how we steep and distil our botanicals results in a deeply complex and well balanced spirit that is exceptionally good to drink on its own over ice, in cocktails or as a life-changing D&T with fresh mint and lime.

Lebanese mint as a botanical brings and extraordinary freshness to Daffy’s complimenting our other tasting notes of toffee, citrus, spice caramel and fresh mint”.

The Mint really makes the Gin stand out.  Its tough to place this next to other Gins.

Daffy’s also comes in a little stronger than other Gins at 43.4% proof.  I don’t know about the rest of you but I have grown accustom to stronger Gins over the years and need the larger alcohol content.  It almost makes the strength of the flavours stand for me.  This is probably a total contradiction.

Daffy’s is a perfected product; it feels like it’s afforded the same TLC of Tajima (Kobe Beef) cattle.  It’s a Gin a choose to drink straight which for me is rare.  When you first taste it, it doesn’t feel like a normal gin. It’s feels like a Gin Liqueur, which it clearly isn’t, it’s just crafted so well that it’s easy on the palate; this is a testament to creator Chris Molyneaux’s vision. There is the hit of Juniper but its masked behind the Lebanese mint.  Again you would be fooled into thinking this could be a liqueur because of this, but it is most definitely a Gin, a rather perfect one.   Chris thank you for crafting this!

Thanks

Graeme