Seasonal and limited edition gins are now released by some larger distilleries at such a pace it leaves me wondering just how much effort has gone into developing recipe and with the release of Pinwydd coming just a year after the original I did worry that maybe the guys at The Gower Gin Company might have succumbed to the same fate. However, knowing the attention to Andrew and Sian pay to each aspect of production I knew it was foolish to expect anything less than excellent and I was very excited when the postman delivered my bottle. It didn’t take me long to open the bottle for a quick smell and at that point I knew it wasn’t going to be a gin that sat on the shelf for weeks waiting for me to taste. So, how does it taste?
This gin is very different in recipe to the original, but Andrew has been busy foraging again. This time we have foraged pine tips from North Gower, pink peppercorns have been added to compliment the pine and there’s also cranberries and orange. I’m expecting a very festive drink but I’m also hoping it’s not a one trick pony.
On the Nose
Bright juicy citrus notes are the first to appear with hints of spice coming through, the pine and juniper are subtle at this point but I do start to get some berry tones coming through. A dash of water opens it up and the piney notes pick up a little but it’s the citrus that remains to the fore.
Tasted neat the sweet juicy citrus elements remain to the fore with the warmth of the pepper coming through towards the end. Pine and juniper are present throughout but neither are to the fore, they compliment the citrus and add a little complexity. The berries give a little tanginess on the finish leaving you wanting more.
As with every gin I like to experiment with different tonics.
Merchants Heart Pink Pepper – This is just OK. The citrus notes held up but it was hard to tell if the warming spice was coming from the tonic or gin. With ice and a slice of dried orange it makes a nice G&T, but probably for just one or two drinks.
Merchants Heart Hibiscus – The sweetness of the tonic actually coaxed out a few of the warming notes of the pine & juniper & the juicy notes of orange were ever present. Actually quite nice, ideal for those with a sweeter tooth or as an after dinner drink. Add some pink peppercorns as a garnish.
Fever Tree Clementine & Cinnamon (Refreshingly Light) – I went in with high hopes that this tonic would help create a wonderful Christmassy combination but the tonic killed the gin. Totally overpowering and another nail in the coffin for Fever Tree for me! Please give us consumers a choice! A little sugar never hurt anyone.
Double Dutch Indian Tonic – without a garnish it totally overpowered the gin. With added fresh orange the citrus was a little easier to detect but underwhelming.
Schweppes 1783 Crisp Tonic – Strong citrus notes, a little hint of warmth from the pepper and a hint of the pine. Very nice with some dried orange.
But for me the winner was Fever Tree Indian Tonic, the citrus notes came to the fore, there was warmth from the peppercorns and the tart tanginess of the cranberries came out a little too. Use either dried or fresh orange and for added warmth a little cinnamon stick works really well.
Keep an eye on my account as I experiment further with this gin, I have feeling with its bold citrus notes it’s going to make some great cocktails!