Thunderflower’s FireShip blows hot and cold
Following hot on the heels of their last high-octane discovery – Night Flyer – our trusty Gin Scouts have ferreted out another fortified offering from one of our South-west distillers: the Navy Strength FireShip from Thunderflower in Teignmouth.
Juliet – AKA Gin Lover One – wrote the original review of the 42% London dry type, giving the makers a high score for both the freshness and the subtlety of flavour. So I poured myself out a double mixed with Fever Tree Indian Tonic and ice, full of expectation. And I can report you are definitely in no doubt this is a premium spirit in the tradition of those allowed aboard British warships, by an Admiralty worried about spoiling the gunpowder.
Somehow though, the initial taste and the nautically threatening name don’t quite unleash a full broadside like Dartmoor Distillery’s Beast, or even the slightly submarine, 55% ABV Old Raj Gin we found in Topsham last autumn. Perhaps Ghost Ship would be a better name as it’s hard to pin down where the flavour disappears to.
As our friends at Masters of Malt are keen to point out in their sales pitch, FireShip isn’t just a beefed up version of the standard fare; having a carefully crafted recipe of its own, with an impressive set of botanicals. You’ve still got the orange and lemon blending with the juniper and stalwarts such as cardamom plus a stick or two of liquorice; but it’s all over too quickly and I was craving a few more spicy aftertastes.
Our verdict then? There’s no way the crew are going to mutiny over being given FireShip to swig down, but instead of delivering the sort of pyrotechnics we were hoping for, it just turned out to be a bit tame. More like a Roman Candle than a properly startling thunder-cracker.
Perhaps Ghost Ship would be a better name as it’s hard to pin down where the flavour disappears to.