2 Gins to end 2013

While I now call myself ‘interested in gin’ in know absolutely nothing about it in terms of which tastes like what. The process itself is fairly straight forward with the devil being in the details.

Anyway, with a recent Master of Malt order I thought to include some samples of gins that looked interesting and not too expensive. Of course, compared to whisky, gin is rather cheap anyway but I was stretching my budget beyond its breaking point anyway.

Professor Cornelius Ampleforth’s Bathtub Gin

Professor Cornelius Ampleforth Bathtub Gin, 43.1%

Crisp with some alcohol on the nose. Lime and lemon and maybe some cucumber. It’s light and gentle but has some nice rough edges. On the palate it’s a bit rougher than expected. Slightly buttery with more bitter lemon too. Some savoury spices are in there but I can’t pinpoint them. The finish is a lot more gentle with a touch of peppery heat. Vanilla here?

Oh, Cornelius Ampleforth is more commonly knows as Ben Ellefsen. The champ who concocts a lot of these ridiculous things.

The Botanist Gin, 46%

This is a lot less expressive on the nose with lots of different notes. Spicy and a lot less fruity than the Bathtub. That’s no surprise since it’s made with Islay botanicals. I haven’t seen many orchards there. Even the light gin base is somewhat more timid. The palate is warming and light with maybe even a hint of peat. That might be Islay’s heather that is present too. Moss too and grains. The finish is slightly spicy with black and white pepper, heather, hay alcohol and peat.

While both gins are very different, I can honestly not say which one I prefer. The fruity parts of the bathtub gin are delicious, but the botanist shows a bit more terroir in a very good way. I guess I just have to put both on my wishlist and start hosting a gin tasting in a couple of months.

I think The Botanist is slightly more whisky-spirit like since it shows more of the heather and peat characteristics I associate with that. The bathtub gin is lovely and much more crisp. I’m not big on gin-tonic so that comparison won’t happen anytime soon.

Bathtub gin, Master of Malt, 43.1%. About € 40 from Master of Malt.

The Botanist, Bruichladdich, 46%. About € 26 from DH17.

About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm very interested in booze, with a focus on whisky. I like to listen to loads of music and play lots of Magic: the Gathering, and board games too. I'm married to Anneke, have two daughters Ot and Cato, a son Moos and a cat called Kikker (which means Frog, in Dutch). I live in Krommenie, The Netherlands.
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