Odorants to tickle your olfactory organ
Fans of TV’s Rosemary and Thyme may recall that in one series, the pair of gardening sleuths exercised their skills across the sunnier parts of Europe – and to be honest we could have used Ms Boxer’s forensic knowledge of plants to unravel the nuances to this Spanish spirit; and its website.
The chunky conical bottle – featuring a base more substantial than Kim Kardashian’s derriere – highlights the name of its four main botanicals on the label: lining up the two herb garden favourites above with the equally familiar Basil and a dose of Arbequina olives. These apparently combine with the obligatory juniper berries and some citrus ingredients.
While my first taste put me more in mind of mint than any of the flavours listed, it definitely wasn’t anything overpowering, as experienced with the German made Ruby of Rangoon: finding it both refreshing and nuanced with other notes including a delicate spiciness.
I think the issue was tasting it straight after the multi-dimensional Japanese Etsu Gin that Juliet reported on last week, and we have gone on to enjoy several more servings – pairing it with different mixers and garnishes. At 42.7% ABV, Gin Mare is definitely robust enough to take them all, and it ranks several places above any such spirit you’ll be offered at an all-inclusive resort in the Med.
I do, though have to recommend you take a look at the distiller’s website, which includes probably the most complicated analysis of any gin we’ve so far come across: including sub-divided wheel diagrams so detailed it was difficult to read them on an iPad.
After noting that both rosemary and juniper offer a woody scent, the site explains that the latter – along with basil and thyme – contain another aromatic known as beta-myrcene. We are also informed that “While Thai Basil contains more anise odorants, African Blue Basil has more camphor odorants, and Cinnamon Basil, as the name suggests, has more cinnamon odorants.”
Meanwhile the small black Arbequina apparently impart a tomato like aroma. Once again my taste buds and badly battered olfactory organ (as explained in our Twisted Nose review) just weren’t up to the challenge of decoding all this. But I’d happily sit down on a sunny restaurant terrace with Rosemary Boxer and Laura Thyme to sip a Gin Mare and discuss their latest murder investigation.