Thursday 27 January 2011

Oaked gin: tasting notes after two days

Mr Bridgman-Smith's oaked gin

DBS recently pressed a small phial of yellow liquid on me and demanded I tasted it at once. Fortunately it wasn’t a urine sample but some of his experimental oak-aged gin (see post below).

I think he said that the sample had been drawn after just 36 hours: I was impressed by how much colour had been taken on already, but I guess chipped wood does have a very high surface area.

The nose was clearly gin, but also had a smoky, caramel/burnt sugar element and a hint of petrol—subtle but clearly there. On the palate this is carried across: a touch of petrol oiliness which augments the dry, steely juniper rather well. Again a whiff of smoke but also a definite butteriness, reminiscent of big, butterfat/vanilla oaked New World white wines.

I confess I am aware of the shortcomings of the gin itself, which seems rather rough and fierce. I gather it’s Aldi own-label Oliver Cromwell gin. But David tells me that he too recognises this issue and is working on a second batch that uses Sipsmith gin. Bring it on, I say. Without doubt this experiment is worthwhile—my overall impression is that the warm characteristic of the oak should fruitfully augment the dry edge of gin and make rather a fascinating drink.

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