Hebrides’ seaweed inspired spirit is such a smoothie …
For anyone who fancies a flying visit to the island home of this distinctive spirit we’d like to offer a word of caution: Barra is served by one of the world’s very few tidal airports though it’s not clear from the maker’s label whether the key ingredient – Carrageen seaweed – is gathered off the runway.
Barra Atlantic Gin is born of a landscape almost as harsh as the Shetland Island’s Blackwoods, which was one of our earliest reviews two years back, but either due to its botanical selection or distillation process, offers a slightly softer first flavour.
At 46% ABV and with the Carrageen as a botanical, Barra gin has a distinctive flavour.
To quote the distillery: “Barra Atlantic Gin showcases a perfect balance of floral and herbal on the nose, leading to juniper, citrus and dulcet Carrageen rolling across the tongue, like the mighty Atlantic Surf breaking on Barra shores. Refreshing and clean with a long gratifyingly warm spice finish that opens out like the vast vista surrounding our beautifully remote home.”
Carrageen seaweed can be found in desserts as well as on deserted beaches.
I’d have to concur with the choice of the word dulcet as the flavour of the purplish north Atlantic vegetation does indeed meld with the more common notes of herbs and spices. The citrus seemed less prominent than in many London types, though not in any way lacking for it.
Interestingly, Carrageen seaweed also forms a base for an island broth and a type of blancmange, as well as contributing to a colloid used in food processing and pharmaceuticals. So definitely one of your five-a-day.
Our verdict then: Barra Atlantic bears up well with a mixer or against other gins such as Nordes or Sidmouth that offer coastal influences, while we can also count it amongst the handful of brands we really enjoyed neat.