Someone will likely ask, ‘have you heard of this one?’ about a gin and chances are your answer will be no. The range of gins on the market at the moment mean we are finding new ones every week. With gin sales beating other spirits hands down it can be hard to keep up. I have three distillers’ offerings here for you that are just starting to hit shelves, so if you want to get ahead of the game then read on.
Lilliard Gin comes from one of the smallest working stills in the UK. Working to represent the four seasons of the Scottish Borders they use carefully selected botanicals suh as rowan, rosehip, meadowseeet and elderflower.
On first sniff this gin gives a beautiful subtle flowery scent with a lingering of lemon on the nose.
I tasted this on it’s own, then with just a touch of water and finally with Fever Tree Original Tonic and a slice of orange rind. On each tasting I discovered a little more depth to this gin.
When given to my testers the general response was slightly lacklustre. They said it was a decent gin but lacked any character to make it stand out. A perfect base for cocktails or great for someone starting an appreciation of gin. Definetely a gin that everyone could enjoy.
Lilliard Gin can be found at Born in The Borders near Jedburgh. Born in the Borders
There is a Brewery, coffee shop, restaurant and gift shop making it well worth a visit. They even run tours and tastings – I highly recommend this to try for yourself. I have put in a request with Santa to book me in to their gin school where you get to create tour own gin to take home!
Find out more here
Saxa Vord Distillery on Unst is the UKs most northerly distillery. Only accessible from the Shetland mainland by two boats via the island of Yell . Shetland is a land of mystery and secrets. This archipelago has long summer days and unending winter nights. The perfect place to find an artisan gin!
I tried their Ocean Scent gin and their Simmer gin.
The Simmer gin is their citrus gin, I have to be honest it didn’t blow me away. An initial flash of orange flavour on the nose is quickly repalced by a warming taste. At 49% abv it packs a punch but no aftertaste of citrus to be found. The consensus with the tasters was that it was quite a strong taste of alcohol with not enough juniper flavour.
The Ocean Scent gin was in a different league however. Made using locally harvested seaweed. I loved the idea of something so unique. It tastes as I would expect a london dry gin but with a little quirk. At 49% abv it is not for the faint hearted! This needed a good tonic to stand up to it and was good with a lime wedge – they recommemd celery. My tasters thought it was one of the best gins they had tasted and it beat their usual tipples hands down. A big shock of the evening. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this gin to anyone looking for something new or people who really appreciate an artisan spirit. Incredible.
Solway Spirits are a small outfit based in South West Scotland they are only a few miles from my house and I have tasted a few of their gins in the past. They are be oming popular with their Rhubarb Crumble and Raspberry Ripple gins but we put their Cortès gin to the test and the results were very favourable!
A vanilla accented spirit this was one of the smoothest gins we tried. Easy drinking and bringing something a bit different to the table in terms of flavour from all the rest. Still a ‘proper’ level of juniper taste to this gin it attracted the experienced gin drinkers with its super smooth feel, it also won over the new to gin tasters with the slight sweet aftertaste and lack of alcohol on the nose. A big winner!
You can find out more about Solway Spirits and their exciting range here.Solway Spirits
So all in all I discovered the difference in opinions between tasters. Everyones palletes are so different and what was incredible to one was so so to another. I have another three gin reviews to publish so keep checking back for the latest!
I was given samples of gin from the distillers in exchange for an open and honest review. All opinions are my own and those of my independant testers. No monetary incentive has been given for this review.
Let me know if you have tried any of these. What is your favourite gin so far? Keep the chat going by following me over on Facebook. For any more info please get in touch!