With gin the only spirit in the UK not declining in sales and the drinking public pining for the drink, it’s no surprise that distillers throughout the land are launching their own gin brands. With 15 new micro-distilleries going online in 2014 - an addition to the 11 opened in 2013 and 10 from 2008-2012 - it seems that almost every week a new gin enters the market. Here are some of the latest gins to help you kick off the New Year on a new note.
The former wine maker and whisky distiller behind Daffy’s set out to make a gin that’s as easy to drink on the rocks as the smoothest of malt whiskies. That’s one of the reasons why they distill Daffy’s in an old copper pot whisky still from French wheat spirit. The new gin’s eight botanicals are fairly common - coriander, Angelica root, lemon peel - except for the use of Lebanese mint which, according to the distiller’s website, brings an “extraordinary freshness” that complements the gin’s “other tasting notes of toffee, citrus, spice caramel and fresh mint.”
If mint is the gin’s distinguishing taste characteristic, then the gin is also attempting to differentiate itself physically with an attractive, limited edition bottle designed by Robert McGinnis, the American illustrator of paperback book covers and movie posters from Barbarella to James Bond films.
Made by a group of five gin-loving, entrepreneurial friends who love their city, Brighton Gin launched in December after a conversation over gin (what else?). They newly-launched gin’s website doesn’t mention which botanicals are used but it told the Spirits Business that it includes fresh orange and milk thistle. The crew believes that the gin is best served in a G&T with a slice of orange.
To have a taste, you’ll have to head down to the southern coast - the first batch of 400 bottles is available only in restaurants, bars and shops in Brighton and Hove.
Proudly calling itself “Ireland’s First Craft Whisky and Gin Distillery”, the Blackwater Distillery announced the last week of 2014 that it would begin production on its first product to be released, it's No. 5 Gin, the second week of January. It’s website does not yet explain what type of gin the distillery will make but if the description of the whisky it is in the process of distilling is any indication, then the gin will include local ingredients: the two whiskies - a Single Malt and Pot Still Irish - will be made with barley spirit from the Blackwater Valley.
The distillers behind the Craft Gin Club’s Ginuary Gin of the Month, Makar Glasgow Gin, recently announced the release of its very special whisky, Prometheus. The purchase of Speyside single malt casks that have been locked away for 26 years by the distillery will act as a precursor to its own whisky aspirations. GDC is thought to be the first distillery in Glasgow to be producing whisky in over 100 years and has started the 1770 Club, a channel by which whisky enthusiasts can pre-purchase 50, 100 or 200 litre casks. GDC’s whisky stills have recently arrived at the distillery and the team is in the beginning stages of creating its Scottish spirit to accompany its Glasgow Gin.