Tarquin’s Navy Strength Gin fires a broadside
My first sip of Tarquin’s SeaDog Navy Strength gin was very nearly as bracing as the wind on our ferry crossing from St Mawes, back to Falmouth where we had purchased a couple of the Cornish distillery’s spirits the previous day. Not an Atlantic gale, but the sort of shiver-inducing blow you’d expect out on the water in February.
I’d like to assure our readers that I haven’t changed my opinion of Tarquin’s branding of their bottles – with the faux plastic candlewax covering the stopper – since we originally sampled the company’s 42% ABV Cornish Dry Gin nearly two years ago. Along with the frosted glass, I reckoned it sold the contents short in 2021, and that’s even more the case with this 57% ‘Wardroom Warmer’ which was just the restorative I was looking forward to after the half hour sail back following a lovely lunch at the Victory Inn on the other side of the estuary. Like the Edinburgh Cannonball we reviewed back in the autumn, it’s definitely one you can rely on to keep the gunpowder combustible.
Our very own Salty SeaDog enjoyed his day trip to St Mawes
In fact I’d describe Tarquin Leadbetter’s SeaDog as juniper led, but with plenty of other action unfolding down on the gun deck below, as Blighty’s finest wrestle with a lengthy list of spices and traditional botanicals as they prepare to fire a full broadside.
Orris root, green cardamom seeds, cinnamon and even the cross-border Devon Violets get to work alongside citrus and pine. According to some bloggers it’s the black pepper that dominates the finish though intriguingly, the handwritten note on our bottle’s label – from Batch No 282 – referred to the flavour as being “Aromatic Orange”. Sorry my palate’s not sharp enough for such nuances.
And just to avoid any confusion lurking in the name, SeaDog does not have any hint of saltiness; nor the seaweed and samphire which distinguishes some of the other South-west gins we like such as Sidmouth. Overall this is another Navy Strength tipple which can be enjoyed long with tonic and ice or sipped slowly neat. Twas well worth the journey west.
Tarquin’s SeaDog Navy Gin can be purchased widely for around £45.