The Magnificent Eleven – just the tonic for gin obsessives
Our followers may remember us hanging a trio of Spanish gin reviews on a tenuous reference to a Steve Martin movie – The Three Amigos – but this definitely isn’t an attempt to ride along with Sergio Contrera’s classic western. Instead we’d like to report on another classic London dry gin tracked down by our trusty gin scouts, which fully justifies going by the name of Obsession.
Bill and Lesley were on a pre-Christmas trip to the Northcote Hotel at Langho in Lancashire when they came across this spirit, specially distilled for the venue by Sandgrown Spirits using a selection of plants to be found in the surrounding Ribble Valley. The list of botanicals is unique in our experience: combining Sea Buckthorn, Rowan berries and Burdock root with the juniper and the more common London Dry constituent like bitter orange, coriander seeds, orange zest, orris root, liquorice, samphire and grains of paradise.
The Northcote’s website talks about the “outstanding presence of fruity and floral notes created by the intensity of the high-quality botanicals and ingredients in each bottle”, but we’d probably rank the spiciness above these as the outstanding aspect to the taste. Undoubtedly though, the overall impact is intense and really rather pleasant. Our first taste was mixed with a can of Schweppes tonic but also tried it with the London Winter Tonic we bought from the Craft Gin Club, as well as a wee neat nip – just for research you understand. At 47% ABV, Obsession is at the upper end of the range until you move into Navy Strength territory; and reflects well on the skills of the makers.
I’m pretty sure we will be sampling this gin again in the not too distant future, and meanwhile will be deciding which of our Top Ten has to give way – to reference a much older Rock Hudson film, this really is a ‘Magnificent Obsession.’
Obsession Gin can be purchased from Northcote Hotel for £49