LoneWolf: Distilling masterclass delivers marauding menace.
Aberdeen based BrewDog has invested considerable time and effort in adding a distinctive gin to its drinks collection that is not only smooth, but packs sufficient punch to justify sharing the name once attributed to marauding German U-boat captains such as Werner Henke, who terrorised the Allies’ Atlantic shipping.
In case anyone is anticipating a review of a Navy strength spirit like The Beast or ELG, LoneWolf actually comes in at a relatively tame 40% ABV though you will sense more power to the jaws than with the tantalisingly fresh Wicked Wolf which we covered in the early days of our blog. And though they all count as craft gins, BrewDog’s offering comes from a far larger pack.
A lengthy description of the production facility, given by Ginfoundry, reveals the staggering size of the set up that involves a three-stage distillation and purification process that could easily serve as a film set for a future James Bond movie – complete with some crazed genius intent on world domination. The process passes the 50:50 wheat and barley mash through an 11,000 litre, multi-bubble still resembling a giant hookah pipe, before rising through a second which, at 18 metres high is taller than a submarine’s conning tower.
The resulting 97% purity vodka is then given final clarification via a ‘demetheliser’ tower before the spirit gets infused with any of the dozen plus botanicals and is distilled again in smaller copper stills.
All of this care and attention delivers a citrus rush – led by grapefruit – almost as distinctive as the St Austell Brewery’s Proper Job ale, but rapidly releases a range of other flavours, including almonds, coriander and cardamom. Like the French QVT gin we covered recently, lavender puts in an aromatic appearance to complement the thrusting Tuscan juniper; all nuanced with pink peppercorns, Angelica and orris root. Kaffir lime, mace and lemongrass add further depths.
The legend on the label also demands reading: “Born under a hazy moon, LoneWolf rose from the ferocity of Scots forest. Lavender and citrus notes run alongside a forage of feral pine needles, but it’s the ferocious juniper backbone which stands this gin tall.”
Landowners are considering reintroducing wolves to Scotland to control deer numbers.
And happily you won’t need to dig too deep in your pocket to try this bonnie brand either, selling for just £20 at most large supermarkets and, of course, Amazon.