Ready – Take Aim – Samphire!
It seemed appropriate to mark our 100th gin review by bringing you yet another craft distillation tracked down for us by our well-travelled Gin Scouts, Bill and Lesley who, when lockdown restrictions were eased in the summer, came back from a trip along the coast to Lyme Regis with a bottle of the “Seriously Good” local distillation.
While we should point out that the quoted accolade is to be found in bold print on the label, we can fully endorse the view, not least because full frontal in the flavour spectrum is samphire: a coastal occurring botanical we’ve enthused about in other brands over the past couple of years. These have included Nordes – one of the “Three Amigos” the Fergusons laid their hands on in the Canary Islands earlier this year – and Lantic Gin.
Samphire is actually the name for a family of salt-tolerant succulents, including crithmum maritumum or Rock Samphire that has white flowers, and is common around the UK. The freshness and saltiness which bursts forth from “Seriously Good” Lyme Regis Gin is further bolstered by edible seaweeds, while orange, lemon and lime give the citrus notes. Then as with so many London Dry distillations, coriander, cassis, liquorice, angelica and orris root come into play through the smooth finish.
Sold by the Seriously Good Wine Company of Lyme Regis, the 38.5% spirit is actually produced in small batches by The Branscombe Brewery, just along the coast where the MSC Napoli was deliberately beached. However, while in 2007 there was endless news footage of people helping themselves to the container ship’s cargo, including BMW motorbikes, we couldn’t discover who is responsible for foraging the ‘fruits of the sea’ to flavour the pure grain spirit base.
Although the Napoli was only carrying a fraction of the oil aboard the Torrey Canyon featured in our Botanist Gin review, (And after allowing the French to tow it away from their own shores into the waters off our World Heritage Jurassic Coast) the clean-up cost the UK taxpayer over £100 million and took nearly three years. At least Lyme Regis Gin won’t leave a bad taste in your mouth.