Winter Warmer Gins to beat The Beast – Part 1:
With “The Beast from the Baltic” inflicting the coldest temperatures for decades on many parts of the UK, we felt it was an ideal time to review some gins to warm you through: starting with Whitley Neill Rhubarb and Ginger Gin which we were given for Christmas.
The purple coloured bottle came as a present from Juliet’s former nursing colleague, Chris Hill, who also introduced us to that racy London Dry called Caorunn two years back. And although it’s a very different experience, it has proved equally pleasant to drink, albeit we choose to sip this richly flavoured 43% spirit neat, rather than enjoying it with ice and tonic.
Some will recall that, by coincidence, we chose a wild beast to head up our review of Whitley Neill’s Dry gin, in referring to the Cape Gooseberries and Baobab Fruit that Johnny Neill adds to more common botanicals in paying tribute to his wife’s South African heritage. The Gooseberry and Ginger is far sweeter – both in taste and smell – but does not stray down those sugary slippery slopes which have made us shy away from most of the pink gins around.
I’d guess as the strength is the same, that the Neill family – who have been distilling fine gins for eight generations – infuse the base dry gin with the stated essence of rhubarb and genuine pieces of ginger, to produce what they justifiably describe as a “Full bodied and complex finish.”
Finally, as the ‘Real Feel’ temperature today has been down around -6o centigrade there’s a good chance I will have one of the last remaining measures of Rhubarb and Ginger tonight, instead of a standard G&T, when I settle down to watch the news. And just as a point of information, rather than referring to a primate’s private parts, the phrase “Cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey” shares its origins with 57% Navy Strength gins, and the effective operation of muzzle loading cannon.