Sunday, 5 February 2017

The Five Gin's of Aberdeen

Dry January is over which means now is the time for me to unpack my spirits collection, or more to the point, my gin collection.

Over the past year or so, the Aberdeen gin scene has grown dramatically, with five stunning gins gracing our palettes from across the city and shire. From the lowlands of the outskirts of Inverurie, to an underground room in one of Aberdeen's finest speakeasy's, the gin market is taking Aberdeen storm, and I'm loving every minute of it. Being extremely lucky in managing to grace the presence of all of the gin distillers behind the gins listed below, I wanted to highlight what makes these gins so special and why they'd make a cracking addition to any gin lovers collection. 

Gin has become the most fashionable drink of the moment, with it now being one of, if not the most popular spirits to purchase. Quicker and easier to make than whisky, gin is becoming the more favourable spirit to distill and with over 70% of the gin consumed in the UK coming from Scotland, - we're clearly on to something good.

No mater how much I learn about the process of distilling gin, or the best garnishes to accompany the many gins out there with, I cannot commend the individuals behind these delicious drinks more for the incredible lengths they go to to please our palettes.

So here's to putting Aberdeen on the gin map, one gin at a time....
Photo rights belong to Porter's Gin
Born from a passion and love of good food and drink, Porter's, which was launched in December 2015 by three young gintrepreneurs, was the first gin to be distilled in Aberdeen city for over 100 years. With the help of the UK's oldest gin distillers, G&J Distillers, Porter's was brought to the market and is now available across the UK.

The classic London Dry style gin prides itself on its unique blend of traditional and modern  distillation techniques, utilising cold distillation methods to take advantage of the botanicals flavours which produce lighter notes when distilled at cooler temperatures. With the ethical sourcing of their botanicals at the heart of the business, every individual botanical has been used for a reason, and that reasoning, has resulted in the exquisite taste Porter's boasts today. The gin is well-known for using Buddha's hand and pink peppercorn botanicals in its recipe.

Porter's boasts a citrus flavour with a warm touch to finish on the palette. It is decadent and light, and is very flavoursome for being a London Dry.

Porter's Gin is 41.5% ABV.
Recommended serve: premium tonic water, ice, and orange peel/also cracking in a gin-based cocktail

Photo rights belong to The Teasmith
The Teasmith:
The first Scottish gin to be distilled with hand-picked tea, the gin, which the original recipe originates from rural Udny, Aberdeenshire, takes its inspiration from the rich heritage tale which links Aberdeenshire to the international tea trade. Distilled in the Strathearn Distillery in Perthshire, The Teasmith is the brainchild of Emma and Nick Smalley, who launched the gin at the end of 2016.

Main botanicals include; juniper, coriander, pure liquorice root, hand-picked tea and orange peel. All of its botanicals are distilled not once, but twice, and bottles from the second batch are now currently available to purchase.

The Teasmith boasts a unique flavour due to the tea leaves used, however, it doesn't overpower the other ingredients meaning it has a nicely rounded off finish.

The Teasmith is 43% ABV.
Recommended serve: premium tonic water, ice and a sprig of mint

Photo rights belong to Esker Gin
Esker Gin:
Created in Royal Deeside by husband and wife team, Steven and Lynne Duthie, Esker Gin was born from a loving passion for the alcoholic beverage, so much so, the duo decided to produce it commercially after 18 months of fine-tuning the recipe.

What's unique about Esker, is the botanicals it uses, especially its signature botanical, silver birch sap which is collected from the trees from the Kircardine Estate. The trees can only be tapped for sap in Spring, which means Lynne and Steve have to collect as much as they can before the season ends.

Esker is a refreshing, light, sweet (in my opinion) gin, which warms the palette and is slightly floral on the end. The artisan gin is distilled and bottled in Royal Deeside, Aberdeenshire.

Esker Gin is 42% ABV.
Recommended serve: premium tonic water, ice and a twist of orange zest

Photo rights belong to House of Elrick
The newest addition to the Aberdeen gin family, House of Elrick originates from the lowlands of Aberdeenshire at the House of Elrick estate which is oozing in rich in history.

The hand crafted, artisan, small batch gin boasts an array of citrus botanicals, as well as heather, sweet fennel and rose petals. The only gin to be made using the water from the most famous loch, Loch Ness, the taste profile of the gin is fresh, and slightly earthy. Advocates for championing the use of local farmers and suppliers, House of Elrick ensures quality is at the core of its product.

House of Elrick is a delicate gin, boasting a sweet, slightly floral finish, with a hit of an earthier taste profile added as a result of the botanicals and water used.

House of Elrick is 42% ABV.
Recommended serve: premium tonic water, ice and a twist of orange zest served as a helix (also rim your glass with the orange zest)

Photo rights belong to Indian Summer Gin
Indian Summer:
Another gin created in Aberdeenshire, this time in Huntly, Indian Summer gin uses one of the world's most expensive spices by weight - saffron - which is infused into the gin, giving the gin a warm, rich, aromatic flavour.

The gin presents a golden-yellow hue to it, unlike any of the other Aberdeen gins, and is bottled at a much higher ABV than the others too.

Indian Summer is a much spicier gin than the others, and boasts a more exotic taste due to using botanicals from across the world. It is the only Aberdeen gin to boast any colour hue to it, which makes it very different from the others above.

Indian Summer is 46% ABV.
Recommended serve: premium tonic water, ice and either a wedge of lime or a slice of lemon

I'd be really interested in hearing what your favourite Aberdeen gin is, and what garnishes you prefer to use in the different gins - I love adding a handful of berries to my gins and  also enjoy adding strawberries with black pepper to certain gins. If you haven't tasted any of the Aberdeen gins, what gins do you love the most? 

I'd also love to find out if anyone has ever used flowers as a gin garnish? I've been thinking of trying out rose petals or lavender in gin serves but I'm unsure if this would completely ruin the taste. I'm thinking about the whole sprig of rosemary concept with this idea.
  For Now...
Just Julia


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