Caorunn – just the tonic for a cold January –
Like a lot of you out there, I started the new year suffering this winter’s cold virus, which meant it probably wasn’t the best time to get the best from sampling a new gin – which came to us at Christmas from the Hills: that’s our friends in Newton Abbot rather than the rather loftier Scottish Highlands where this premium London Dry Gin is distilled.
In fact, due to restricted airways and dulled taste buds, my first reaction to Caorunn – pronounced Ka-roon – was something like when I first heard its namesake, Karun Chandhok delivering pit-lane reports in his role as one of TV’s Formula 1 commentators. I couldn’t really get past the gin’s strong and slightly spicy accent.
In fact within a couple of races I came to realize that with his experience or Formula-E as well as Grand Prix, the Indian driver offers real depth through his paddock insights and well-rounded knowledge of motorsport.
In turn, Caorunn’s flavour spectrum draws on an infusion of “Five Celtic Botanicals” according to the label, while it is four-times distilled, boosting the two liquids -base grain spirit and crystal clear burn water – to a final strength of 41.8%– and it’s all apparently the work of one man at the Balmenach Distillery in Cromdale. Importantly though, not only is Caorunn’s performance more coherent than Manfred Mann’s 5-4-3-2-1, its flavour lasts longer on the tongue than the quick-paced sixties hit.
The makers describe the aroma as floral and citrus as well as slightly spicy. I think I could detect hints of liquorice too, while the finish is lingering and crisp. They recommend serving with slices of red apple, but we enjoy it with lemon, lime or grapefruit.
“Not only is Caorunn’s performance more coherent than Manfred Mann’s 5-4-3-2-1, its flavour lasts longer on the tongue than THE quick-paced sixties hit.”
My summary then? I’d rate Caorunn as a real Scottish champion. A Jackie Stewart amongst other gins.