Today I want to do something different, something new. It’s time to write a Gin review. My only problem is that I’m not really sure what to say. So, when in doubt, look on the Internet. In this case I’m going to use the fabulously well-written GinAndCrumpets blog as a template.
Let’s start with some background. Durham Gin is (obviously) produced by the Durham Distillery. The Durham Distillery is a new venture, based (I assume) in a rather romantic trading estate on the outskirts of Durham. The gin is made by the North-East’s first (and probably only), female distiller, Jessica Tomlinson. I know this because I read it online at the Northern Echo. As an aside I have to admit it’s probably the first time I’ve ever thought about the Northern Echo since I worked as a paper boy some 35 years ago. It’s quite a joy to see such stalwarts of local news like the Northern Echo, the Evening Gazette and the trusty Darlington and Stockton Times survive in the Internet age, even if they still report such local trivia as “Drunk Man threatened to bite Police Dog“. Reading the first article (no, not the dog one), I now deeply regret the fact I didn’t talk to my parents about putting a degree in “Brewing and Distilling at Heriot-Watt University Edinburgh” among my 5 choices when I sent of my application to UCCA all those years ago.
Going back on-topic I guess I should start describing the Durham Gin.
Day or Night Gin ? It’s 40% ABV so doesn’t knock your socks off. Perfect for a pre-diner drink.
What does it smell of ? Actually not too much, but not in a bad way. You can stick your nose over the end of the bottle and not come up coughing. The main botanical you can detect is the Celery seed.
What does it taste of ? The bottle and surrounding publicity mention Juniper (duhh), Elderflower, Celery Seed and Pink Peppercorns, whilst the website also references Orris, Angelica, Cardamom, Orange and Lemon peel and Coriander seeds. It’s certainly not as floral as, say, the Monkey 47 and taken neat it’s quite spicy, possibly a hint of Cardamom. The secret here is to make a Gin and Tonic. then it steps out of it’s shell and really dazzles. IMHO It’s close to being the perfect Gin for a G&T.
Buy It? If you can find it. I was lucky enough to pick up a bottle in Lewis and Cooper’s in Northallerton for £25. Otherwise it seems reasonably priced to buy it online from the distillery for £28.59 inc. P&P. As for us poor German Ex-Pats I’ve no idea how to get hold of it unless I visit the homeland again.
Overall 5/5 Since it’s my first review I should probably explain my ratings a little. Obiously 5/5 is the tops, so it would go alongside Monkey 47 and Sipsmith gins and AnCnoc whisky. The complete scale is roughly:
5 / 5 – Treasure It, something I’ll like to re-stock when I finish the bottle.
4 /5 – Good Stuff, something I enjoyed and would recommend, but don’t need to have permanently in stock, for example Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban or a Balvenie whisky.
3/5 – Good enough to drink, good enough to give to someone else as a gift. For example a Beefeater gin.
2/5 – As my school report would say, could do better. Gordon’s Gin, consider yourself warned.
1/5 – The bottle that never gets finished. If you are lucky it can be used as a base for your home-made Sloe Gin experiments. Marlborough Gin comes to mind.
OK. I think I’m finished now. Hopefully I’ll sort out a picture in a later edit, however it’s finally Friday evening here in the Rhein-Main Gebiet and there is an even more obscure bottle of Mombasa Club Gin downstairs waiting to be opened. Enjoy.