When I first heard about the release of Gwyr, Gower gin at the end of 2017 I knew that I needed to try it. It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Isle of Harris gin with it’s notes of sugar kelp, so I was sure that I’d love Gwyr gin with it’s hints of foraged fennel from the coastline of the beautiful Gower Peninsula.
It took me while to get my hands on a bottle, but when I did I quickly realised that it had been worth the wait. The gin is juniper forward with lots of piney notes to the forefront followed by a big dose of heady warming fennel and I also got a hint of the orris root before the fresh citrus undertone hit me. A delicious gin with a long finish that I could easily drink over ice.
Andrew and Sian, the owners of The Gower Gin Company, recommend either pairing with pink grapefruit and Fentimans pink grapefruit tonic to emphasise the citrus or with a good premium tonic and a slice of orange to bring out the warming fennel flavours. But how does the gin work with other tonics? And are there any other possible garnishes?
For the test I used, Double Dutch Indian Tonic and BTW with a slice of orange and Luscombe pink grapefruit, East Imperial pink grapefruit and Fentimans pink grapefruit with a slice of grapefruit. To conduct the test I tested all with and without a garnish.
First up, Double Dutch Indian Tonic. Without the garnish the fennel was hidden and the G&T took on a lot of sweet notes from the orris, with the garnish the fennel came to life a little but the overall finish was of orange sherbet. Taste 2/5
Next up, Luscombe Pink Grapefruit. The fennel came across through the tonic, but it wasn’t overwhelming and the clean tonic allowed the gin to come through well. With the garnish added the G&T took on a few fresher citrus notes and produced a very balanced G&T, however next time I think I’d use rosemary as a garnish. Taste 4/5
East Imperial Pink Grapefruit is a new tonic to me and one that I was excited to try given how much I like the Burma Tonic from the range but I have to say I was very disappointed. The tonic was more like a sparkling grapefruit juice and it completely overwhelmed the gin, which given how full flavoured the gin is was a surprise. Taste 1/5
Next I moved to BTW, I really enjoy this very bitter quinine heavy tonic but recently my pairings have been slightly off so I was keen to try again with a different combination. Without the garnish, it didn’t hit the right notes for me and made the G&T slightly unbalanced, however when I added the orange it took on a very different note creating a lovely warming G&T with the fennel coming to life. Perfect for a cold winter evening. Taste 3.5/5
I ended with the recommended serve and I was pleasantly surprised as Fentimans isn’t usually a go to tonic for me. However, it allowed the fennel notes to come through along with the citrus notes for a balanced finish. A G&T I could enjoy for one round, but a little too sweet on my palette for an all night drink. Taste 3/5
For me, the overall winner was Luscombe Pink Grapefruit Tonic, I really enjoyed the balanced flavours, so much so made myself a full sized G&T with the leftovers.
I love this gin, the bottle has such a classic design and I like nautical theme which would definitely help it stand out on your gin shelf! For me the gin is a 5/5 and I can’t wait to experiment with it in a few cocktails, although I think I’ll give the signature Gwyr Dragon’s Blood Negroni a miss , if anyone out there has a proven way of enjoying a negroni please do let me know!