Way back in July I was invited down to London to visit Aldi at their Christmas in July event.
It was a lot of fun, however, to my frustration, none of the gins they were offering were available to taste. So whilst I could tell you that the muscat and the pink port went very well with cheese, and I’m looking at their wireless headphones as a treat to myself, I couldn’t tell you what the gins tasted like, or even suggest which ones you might fancy.
However, finally they’re appearing in store, so I grabbed bottles last night and am going to give you a very quick and dirty run through, so if you fancy a little gin treat at Christmas, you can get it right first time.
Gin Lane 1751:
Two gins from Gin Lane appear this year.
Old Tom is a specific kind of gin – it’s a sweeter, more citrus style of gin (both are added after distillation). It’s not quite a liqueur, as the abv is still 40%, but if you’re a beginner gin drinker, this is one to add to your gin shelf. Especially as it’s under £20 and actually pretty drinkable neat.
Their Victoria Pink Gin, is a completely different style. Don’t be fooled by the pink colour, it’s no sweetie. Pink gins feature added bitters, so it’s a little more complex, a little more herbal. Ideal for a ‘perfect’ gin and tonic.
Oh boy did this one take me by surprise! When I had a chat with the spirits chap at the Christmas in July event, he believed he had a little coup on his hands with a gin made from a grape spirit. I have to say, I did take the wind out of his sails a little. One of my favourite gins which is also made using grapes is G’Vine, another French beauty.
However, where G’Vine has two types, one which is sweet and floral and another more punchy and savoury, Fleuriste is all spice and earthiness. It’s got grains of paradise and ginger amongst it’s botanicals, which neat are spicy and peppery. The juniper sits right at the back of the palate, it’s got a kick of citrus, and then it’s spice on the tip of your tongue. In a G&T soften right down with some softer citrus, ginger and earthy notes.
As a side note, I tried this with a little leftover Fever Tree Mediterranean tonic. Oh my, it’s a good’un.
Named for Robert Boyle who was also from West Waterford in Ireland, this is a small batch gin made in a copper pot still, using lots of local botanicals including apples and blackcurrants. There’s a sweetness that for me indicates it’s small batch (maybe I’ve been drinking gin too long), and on the palate it’s hot, despite it’s 40%. There’s a syrupy mouthfeel, lots of fruit going on, it needs the tonic to soften it and open it out. There’s an ice wine going on, I’m presuming it’s the apples coming through. With tonic, the fruit opens out, and it’s a pretty darned easy drinker. And again, not so shabby for under £20.
I have to say, I wasn’t surprised to see that this one is from Blackwater Distillery, given the balance of their fruit gins, I pretty much had this one guessed. Thank you Google for confirming!
Out of all of them, probably my favourite. This is a rich, punchy gin and comes in a smaller 500ml bottle. As you’d expect for something made in the Black Forest, there’s lots and lots of pine in this, but more importantly for me, there sits something rich and deep in the middle that makes it a bit more, well more. A quick search reveals some more of the botanicals: spruce needles, lavender, ginger, lemon, orange allspice and cinnamon – and three other ‘secret’ botanicals.
In a G&T again it’s still got the punchiness, even the rich mouthfeel stays with you. And yeah, this is going on my shopping list.
See you at the checkout!
As mentioned, all gins were purchased by me.