Chilgrove Bluewater Gin review

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Just the tonic for Ashes pain –

Anyone who has read the Bulldog v Brecon gins review will know the anguish which losing to the Welsh at rugby causes me, but I have to say that being beaten by the Aussies at anything ranks pretty close: so I’ve compiled this piece on the Anglo-Australian Chilgrove Bluewater Edition Gin with gritted teeth.

I’d been saving the 46grape based spirit to toast another stunning victory in the Ashes series opener at Edgbaston, but instead our batsmen capitulated to a 250 run defeat; allowing the antipodeans to do what they are the best at in the world: Gloating.

The Ashes urn dates back to an 1882 home defeat by Australia and an “obituary” on English cricket

As my tears splashed into the glass along with the ice, however, the premium gin released a distractingly fresh fragrance, full of citrus and other tantalising hints of the taste to come. Time to pad up and decide whether to ask the umpire for middle or leg?

In the end I opted for a slice of frozen orange rather than fresh lime, along with Fever Tree’s Indian Tonic. That first mouthful was a deliciously zingy burst of the exotic.

According to the distillers, the gin is inspired by the two country’s shared history, especially the maritime trading routes. Then the Royal Navy terms a force capable of expeditionary exploits as being “Bluewater”.

The Aussie influences embrace Finger Lime, Lemon Myrtle and the ‘bush-tucker’ Davidson Plum which brings earthiness and the taste of rhubarb.  Then Riberry – used by the Aborigines for cooking back in Captain Cook’s time – is a botanical with a hint of cloves and cinnamon.

Leading the attack for England are coriander, mint and Savory: a traditional herb that adds sweetness to the aroma.  And of course, Angelica Root comes into the equation, both as a binder for the other botanicals and to bolster the earthiness. 

As I tried to get a feel for the Chilgrove pitch, the irony of those earthy notes struck me, in light of all the barracking Australia’s leading scorer, Steve Smith, took from the Edgbaston crowd for his role in the ball-tampering scandal. English fans will recall the shame we felt when Michael Atherton soiled his own reputation.

Having only secured a 50cl miniature, my pre-dinner G&T might have been ‘small comfort’, but the full bodied taste and bolstered strength of Chilgrove Bluewater quite literally lifted my spirits; and actually started me thinking about some of England’s great come backs from the past, especially the miracle of Headingley. A full bottle may have to be purchased soon.

Ian Botham sparked arguably our best ever win over the Aussies at Headingley in 1981

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