13 botanicals make Shining Cliff a bewitching brew
Despite the name and the number of botanicals we’re talking here about the edge of the Derbyshire Peak District, not the Kent coast’s chalk cliffs, and a traditional copper still rather a witch’s cauldron. What’s more, the in-your-face 45% strength of this hand-crafted gin make it a stand-out spirit we were smitten with from the first bewitching sip.
As with so many of the small batch spirits reviewed in this blog, it was unearthed by our Gin Scouts, Bill and Lesley; this time on a trip up north to see family – and although the label is short on information, the gin itself delivers a really full flavour experience with a long finish. Shining Cliff Original definitely stands up to the maker’s claim of being a smooth and balanced London dry.
Complementing the juniper are another dozen botanicals such as rose hip and Mayflower, many of them foraged from the Shining Cliff Woods, where the White Peak Distillery occupies the refurbished and repurposed Wire Works which once housed Johnson & Nephew, a heavy engineering business.
The area is a world heritage site famed for its industrial heritage of which the distillers note: “Everything we’ve done in the realisation of the distillery, and the spirits we make honours the DNA of the location, its heritage and its people.” They proudly describe it as “a place of progress and passion for great products, made the proper way.”
We’re not sure how the foraged flavours might vary over the seasons – as Ten Tors Gin highlights on its handwritten labels – but it seems certain that anyone with a passion for a proper London Dry, mixed – as recommended – with a quality Mediterranean or Indian tonic and a classic garnish will fall under its spell.
Shinning Cliff Original Gin can be purchased for £23 from the distiller, and online through various sellers.