Farewell to 2015 - a truly gintastic year!

So here we are at the end of 2015 – and what an amazing gin-filled year it’s been!

In the UK alone, it’s expected that gin sales will have passed £1bn and 25 new craft gin distilleries will have opened – the most we’ve seen in recent times.

It’s also been an amazing year for the Craft Gin Club and all of our members. In our first full year we’ve been lucky enough to share some incredible gins with our members, as well as uncovering the stories of the passionate distillers behind them. We’ve also grown our wonderful community of gin-lovers to over 150,000 people, all sharing and interacting with each other online to enhance their – and our – ginjoyment.

Here’s a look back at our 2015 gin journey – we can’t wait to embark on a whole new one with all of our members in 2016. Cheers!

Want the full stories behind all our 2015 Gins of the Month, as well as guides to gin history, botanicals and tasting, a range of cocktail recipes and more?

The 40-page Craft Gin Club Companion has it all – and it’s available to buy now.

 


The Craft Gin Club's 2015 Gin Journey

January

MAKAR GLASGOW GIN

Mike Hayward and Liam Hughes’ Glasgow Distillery Company’s first product is steeped in poetry - for “Makar” is the Scots for “poet”.

Botanicals

  • Juniper berries
  • Angelica root
  • Coriander seeds
  • Liquorice
  • Cassia bark
  • Black peppercorns
  • Lemon peel
  • Rosemary

Tasting notes

Bone dry, clean gin, powerfully juniper led with fragrant notes of coriander and angelica, along with liquorice and spicy black pepper.

Perfect G&T Garnish

Fine slice of mild green chilli

February

WARNER EDWARDS HARRINGTON DRY GIN

Tom Warner and Sion Edwards met while studying at agricultural college and established their distillery on Tom’s family farm in Northamptonshire, launching their first gin in 2013.

Botanicals

  • Juniper
  • Coriander seeds
  • Angelica root
  • Cinnamon
  • Orange peel
  • Black pepper
  • Lemon peel
  • Cardamom
  • Dried elderflower
  • Ground nutmeg
  • A secret!

Tasting Notes

Exceptionally smooth and clean on the pallet, with an initial strong burst of juniper followed by a long and complex spicy finish.

Perfect G&T Garnish

Whatever you want! The WE team say “don't be told what to put in your gin! Favourite garnish is freedom of expression”.

March

BLACKWATER NO.5

Ireland’s first craft gin is produced by Peter Mulryan in Cappoquin in the Blackwater River valley in County Waterford.

Botanicals

  • Juniper
  • Coriander
  • Lemon
  • Bitter orange
  • Green cardamom
  • Bitter almond
  • Cinnamon
  • Liquorice
  • Angelica root
  • Orris root
  • Secret 1
  • Secret 2

Tasting Notes

At first, the classic London Dry embrace of juniper and coriander. The middle is spice, warm and tongue tingling and as this is a gin in three acts, expect a final rumble of liquorice.

Perfect G&T Garnish

A fresh wedge of lime.

April

COTSWOLDS DRY GIN

Inspired by the golden barley fields near his Cotswolds home, former foreign currency exchange specialist Daniel Szor began sing the grain to distil his own gin in 2014.

Botanicals

  • Juniper
  • Coriander
  • Angelica root
  • Grapefruit
  • Lime
  • Black pepper
  • Bay leaf
  • Cardamom seed
  • Cotswolds lavender

Tasting Notes

Clean and balanced. Pine spice from the juniper is followed by fresh grapefruit and coriander seed. Black pepper spice builds with a touch of dryness from the angelica root. Light mineral and eucalyptus notes from the bay leaf before subtle notes of lime and lavender.

Perfect G&T Garnish

Pink grapefruit peel and a bay leaf.

May

Anno Kent Dry Gin

Andy Reason and Norman Lewis left their careers as organic chemists at GlaxoSmithKline to focus their alchemical powers on creating delicious craft gin in the Garden of England, Kent.

Botanicals

Traditional:

  • Juniper
  • Coriander
  • Angelica root
  • Orris root
  • Cassia bark
  • Liquorice
  • Cubeb


Kentish & floral:

  • Samphire
  • Hops
  • Lavender
  • Elderflower
  • Rosehips
  • Camomile

Citrus:

  • Lemon
  • Bitter orange
  • Kaffir lime leaves

Tasting Notes

Classic juniper, moving to citrus and then sweet spiced notes. Overall, soft to start with a complexity of flavours which grows as you sip.

Perfect G&T Garnish

Kentish samphire – try to get hold of it when it’s in season.

June

CHILGROVE DRY GIN

Husband and wife team Celia and Christopher Beaumont-Hutchings used an unusual grape-based spirit to create their multi-award winning gin in West Sussex.

Botanicals

  • Juniper
  • Coriander seed
  • Angelica root
  • Orris root
  • Liquorice
  • Grains of paradise
  • Sweet orange
  • Bitter orange
  • Key lime
  • Summer savoury
  • Wild water mint

Tasting Notes:

A big, powerful, complex gin that is seriously smooth with a superb length. The neutral grape spirit base gives a soft mouth feel and bring forward floral notes as it combines with the citrus botanicals, ending up with a spicy peppery note delivered by the grains of paradise working with the juniper.

Perfect G&T Garnish:

A sprig of fresh English mint.

July

DA MHILE BOTANICAL FARMHOUSE, SEAWEED AND ORGANIC OAK-AGED GINS

John Savage-Onstwedder moved from Holland to establish Glynhynod Farm in the county of Ceredigion, where he not only makes award-winning cheese, but also award-winning gins.

Botanicals

Dà Mhìle Botanical Gin

  • Juniper
  • Coriander
  • Angelica root
  • Star anise
  • Liquorice root
  • Fennel
  • Cardamom
  • Savory leaf
  • Camomile
  • Nutmeg
  • Spearmint
  • Peppermint
  • Ginger
  • Cloves
  • Cinnamon
  • Lemon peel
  • Clover
  • Elderflower

Tasting Notes

To start, floral with bitter notes of dandelion and peppery cloves followed by intense juniper tones and peppermint cool.

Perfect G&T Garnish

Try with Mediterranean tonic and a garnish of lime or kiwi.

August

ROCK ROSE EXCLUSIVE DISTILLER'S EDITION

Rock Rose gin is made in Dunnet Bay in the Scottish Highlands, the most northerly point of the UK mainland. For our August Gin of the Month, distiller Martin Murray and his wife Claire create an exclusive batch especially for our members, with the addition of apples from the region and lavender from the distillery garden.

Botanicals

  • Italian juniper
  • Bulgarian juniper
  • Rose root
  • Rowan Berries
  • Sea Buckthorn
  • Watermint
  • Cardamon
  • Verbena
  • Angelica Root
  • Coriander seed
  • Blaeberries
  • Grains of Paradise
  • Cinnamon
  • 2 species of lavender
  • Apple juice from the Black Isle
  • Secrets!

Tasting Notes

Nose: Delicate apple notes accompanying by the fresh pine of the juniper and Rock Rose’s signature floral scents

Palate: Very Rock Rose with creamy mouth feel, light juniper and floral flavours. Add tonic and the apple juice comes through

Finish: A bite of lavender overtakes the lemon sherbet flavours characteristic of Rock Rose

Perfect G&T Garnish

A slice of Pink Lady Apple.

September

BURLEIGH'S GINS: SIGNATURE EDITION, DISTILLER'S CUT, EXPORT STRENGTH

The Leicestershire woods that give Burleigh’s gin its name is also the source of four unique botanicals used by Saxophone-laying master distiller, Jamie Baxter.

Botanicals

  • Juniper
  • Coriander seed
  • Cassia bark
  • Cardamom seed
  • Fresh orange peel
  • Angelica root
  • Orris root
  • Dandelion root
  • Burdock root
  • Elderberry
  • Silver birch

Tasting Notes

Sweet, smooth, earthy juniper and violet. Mellow and smooth on the mid palate, candied citrus and aromatic spice.

Perfect G&T Garnish

Choose from grapefruit, orange peel or a sprig of rosemary, depending on your mood!

October

BLUE BOTTLE DRY GIN

The Blue Ginsect from the isle of Guernsey was a huge hit with our members – not only because of its delicious, spicy taste, but also it’s beautiful blue bottle and intricate, insect-adorned label, inspired by master distiller and former scientist Matt Polli’s previous career studying bugs.

Botanicals

  • Juniper
  • Coriander
  • Cubeb pepper
  • Cardamom
  • Nutmeg
  • Fresh lemon peel
  • Fresh orange peel
  • Gorse flowers (locally picked)

Tasting notes

Traditional juniper is here but doesn’t dominate. Hints of vanilla and the sweetness of nutmeg, along with spice from cubeb pepper.

Perfect G&T Garnish

A wedge of pink grapefruit.

November

SLINGSBY GIN

Capturing the spirit of the Yorkshire spa town of Harrogate, 17 of Slingsby Gin’s 24 botanicals have a tight link with the town and the surrounding area.

Botanicals

Sourced from Harrogate:

  • Green & Jasmine tea
  • Seven seas rosemary
  • Silver posie thyme
  • Citrodorus thyme
  • Vulgaris thyme
  • Rhubarb
  • Sage
  • Lovage
  • Chervil
  • Hyssop
  • Primrose
  • Sweet cicely
  • Oregano
  • Nettle
  • Milk thistle
  • Moorland heather

Sourced internationally:

  • Rosehip
  • Angelica
  • Cassia
  • Orris root
  • Coriander
  • Liquorice
  • Grapefruit
  • Madagascan juniper

Tasting Notes

An initial burst of refreshing rhubarb and citrus from the grapefruit base gives way to juniper before a very smooth herbaceous sweetness, led by sweet cicely and a light green tea scented with jasmine blossom.

Perfect G&T Garnish

A twist of pink grapefruit peel and blueberries.

December

SIBLING TRIPLE DISTILLED GIN

With all of them under 25 years of age, Felix, Clarice, Cicely and Digby Elliot-Berry from Cheltenham are not only award-winning distillers of Sibling Gin, but also the youngest distillers in the world.

Botanicals

  • Juniper
  • Coriander
  • Orange
  • Lemon
  • Blueberries
  • Cardamom
  • Vanilla
  • Liquorice
  • Cubeb berries
  • Orris root

Tasting notes

A soft and full spirit, gently giving way to light peppery freshness and orange citrus. Vanilla and a burst of fruity blueberries give a finish that is long and distinctive.

Perfect G&T Garnish

Plenty of ice with no fruit is best, but also works with orange peel and sliced blueberries.

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