Carabus Gin review


Carabus: Strong and earthy as the name suggests.

Sounding more like one of those mega-sized American camper vans, Carabus is in fact a limited edition craft gin from the makers of Papillon Gin which we reviewed in the early days of our blogging: again pledging significant financial support to one of Devon’s endangered insect species.

The entomologists amongst you will know that the name relates to the genus of ground dwelling beetles and so in this case a donation of £2 per bottle will be made to ‘Buglife’ to help protect a species thought to have been extinct until rediscovered on Dartmoor in 1985: The Blue Ground Beetle.  Money from the original Papillon spirit has meanwhile been going to the Butterfly Preservation Trust to protect the Pearl Bordered Fritillary which is also native to the moor.

In tribute to their habitat in one of the country’s most popular National Parks, Carabus contains hardy flora such as nettles and woody sorrel while the trees have given up rowan berries and hawthorn berries; the spirit is also infused with hazel nuts.  Their flavour and aroma is detectable early on when sampling, though presumably not in sufficient concentration to trouble those with a nut allergy.

Both of these berries featured in the original recipe formulated by founders, Claire and Adam Hyne, along with Angelica and cubeb berries plus a dozen other botanicals; many of which – like the gorse – are foraged locally.  From our perspective this was an interesting and enjoyable gin with a reasonably long finish, though probably not as nuanced as its lepidopteran cousin.

This gin can be enjoyed neat but is probably not the nightcap to sample if you’re settling down to watch The Mummy, where the high priest is entombed alive in a sarcophagus full of flesh-eating scarab beetles.


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Gin Blogger Two, 'aka' Bruce, is an experienced technical journalist writing for the construction industry, with being where he can relax and unwind.