September's Gin of the Month is here! In fact, 3 gins are here! Craft Gin Club Members are enjoying Burleigh's Signature Edition, Distiller's Cut and Export Strength - all Spirits of Adventure from the 45 West Distillery.
Every month, Craft Gin Club Members receive expertly selected craft gins from the world's best artisan distillers. Each parcel is full of surprises! To get these incredible surprise gin parcels, become a Craft Gin Club Member for £10 off your first bottle with the code SEPTGIN10.
BURLEIGH'S: GIN FROM THE WOOD
A couple of miles from the Bawdon Lodge Farm, up Nanpantan Road towards Loughborough, lies Burleigh’s Wood, part of Charnwood Forest which envelopes the region. One day not too long ago, a pair of friends walked through that wood: one of the pair, a distiller seeking inspiration; the other, a botanist acting as a guide. They weren’t seeking to suck the marrow out of life as Thoreau sought, rather they were looking to bring a gin to life, a gin with regional botanical influence.
The botanist pointed out dandelion next to burdock and elderberries scattered amongst silver birch. The distiller remembered drinking dandelion and burdock as a child and his mother tapping birch trees to gather the sap which she then turned into schnapps.
He had found his inspiration.
The four botanicals that Master Distiller Jamie Baxter found that day in Burleigh’s Wood give his gins their signature notes. The Wood gives them their name.
Not botanicals regularly used in gin, the four surprised Jamie, particularly the burdock and silver birch chips he steeped in neutral spirit. “I was blown away by the burdock. It smells like wormwood, a key ingredient in vermouth, which, as you know has been paired successfully with gin one or two times,” quipped the Master Distiller.
Silver birch, even though he had often tasted his mother’s eau de vie made from its sap, was even more of a stretch for gin. “Honestly, I didn’t think it would work, but when all was said and done, it gives off a beautiful eucalyptus menthol note that jumps out of the background. The silver birch really comes through fantastically,” Jamie reflected.
With the final eleven botanicals decided upon, Jamie set to making his gin with the first successful recipe becoming what is today the Distiller’s Cut. Although it is bottled as a London Dry, he thinks it’s actually more like an Old Tom for its “soft and floral” notes. Jamie enjoys the Distiller’s Cut in a Martinez, his cocktail of preference at the moment. “That’s one of the perks of being a distiller - I can make a gin that suits my cocktail cravings,” half-joked Jamie.
Because of its Old Tom qualities, the Distiller’s Cut did not become Burleigh’s signature gin. But all three of Burleigh’s gins, each of which have distinctive flavours, are made with the same eleven botanicals, just in different ratios. Burleigh’s lead gin is “quite a traditional London Dry” with “a lot of citrus and juniper.” The eucalyptus in particular comes through nicely with tonics that aren’t too strong and the 40% ABV spirit’s distiller likes it in a G&T and negroni. The 47% ABV Export strength, on the other hand, makes the botanical flavours come through differently and Jamie likes to mix it in martinis, martinis he complements with music, a little rock n' roll that Jamie plays in the distillery and on his saxophone.
And that’s exactly what the adventuring distiller, who tweets under the handle @wildfreespirit, will keep on doing. Thoreau declared in Walden that human beings “need the tonic of wildness.” Jamie would likely concur, as long as that wild tonic complements Burleigh’s gin.