Time to break the unintentional hiatus! Due to being on a low carb diet for 6 weeks (I know how to have fun!), the tasting has gone by the wayside a bit along with the alcohol in general, but it’s time to get back on the wagon and work through some of my backlog of gins.
First up, the lovely Siân at the Gower Gin Company kindly sent me over a bottle of their Pinnwydd Gin, and since I enjoyed it so much, I felt it was a good place to get back into things.
The Gower (Gŵyr if you’re lucky enough to speak Welsh) Gin Company distils in their MicroDistillery on Gower in Port Eynon and is headed up by Siân and Andrew Brooks. There’s a strong sense of provenance and really showcasing what the area and Wales have to offer which is always lovely to see. It was great trying the London Dry for the first time at Junipalooza this year (and their use of Christmas lights wrapped around the bottles!), so I was excited to try this to follow up and see if it could stand up to the original.
Let’s get right into it. I have a bit of a love affair with the bottle design, it’s really quite simple with the Breton inspired stripes and a simple glass bottle, but it stands out like anything and a love the combination of simplicity and a bit of French “
The double upshot is that if you feel so inclined, you can dress to match if you happen to have something suitably French/Nautical! (This needs to become a thing I think.)
The original London Dry Gin is distilled with eight botanicals, including juniper, lemon, pink grapefruit, and both green and bronze fennel, and bottled at 43%. The Pinwydd (Pine Trees!) edition mixes up their original London Dry a bit bringing the namesake pine flavours into the mix, along with orange, cranberry and pink peppercorn. On the nose, the first thing that smacks me in the olfactories is the orange. It almost reminds me of smelling a bottle of Grand Marnier when you first open it, that deep, citrusy, orange oil smell that gives you a bit of a Christmassy feeling at this time of year. After letting it rest for a minute or two, the orange eases off a little, and you get some more of those pine notes coming through.
Tasting neat, the gin has a glorious oily mouthfeel to it, with that citrusy orange there are the fore. Held for a little while, the orange does retreat slightly and you get some of the pine, though perhaps not as much as I expected given the name. I don’t think this is any bad thing as the pine is there, apparently tempered by the peppercorns, but without being fully in your face like some gins I’ve tasted.
A little splash of light tonic added, unusually, pushes the citrus into the background a little bit more (normally I find it brings the citrus forward). The orange being muted a little gives the other botanicals a chance to come more to the fore and you get more of that pine, and at the end, more of the pepper and spicy notes coming through which I wasn’t expecting to get as
Garnish wise, I’m a bit all over the place here, and not in a bad way… I think you could equally garnish it with more citrus to pushing it towards being quite a summery G&T, or indeed add more spice to bring the festive feeling more to the front. I’d also be remiss not to give it a try in a Negroni, and it works marvellously. That oily citrus mouthfeel makes for a really deeply flavoured, satisfying drink, with a hit more of the orange to go alongside the Campari.
Overall, I’m really impressed – the core of the London dry isn’t lost, but it’s given a different twist that works in so many different ways. Very much looking forward to seeing what these guys can do with some future seasonal offerings.
Since it has become expected of me lately, and I am a self-confessed “proud Catdad”, the ribbon that wrapped the bottle was as equally as well received as the bottle itself.