Now before I begin this, it’s worth noting that when I do a gin review, I do a bit of research. It might involve me chatting to the people behind it, it might involve me requesting a press release, or it might involve me doing a little online research. For this gin, I did the latter. Davenham is in Cheshire, not a million miles away from where my sister lives. It’s also the birthplace of Paula Radcliffe – which you’ll discover if you visit Wikipedia. I do, however, get the feeling that someone may have been having a little fun with the site….
I mean… I’m open to being corrected, but I’m pretty sure there are a couple of untruths in there.
Anyway, back to the matter at hand, gin. Named after the Blue Bridge over the River Weaver, Blue Bridge Gin is the creation of Jones Gin. The gin features 14 botanicals, including locally foraged ingredients, from the Weaver Valley. The latter include sorrel, raspberries, common hogweed, spruce and meadowsweet.
The botanicals are added to a neutral spirit in their copper alembic still named Skip, and the resulting distillate is let down with spring water from a neighbouring village, to sit at a comfortable 43% ABV.
Neat the gin offers a little fruit, and lots of soft green notes, soft herbs, and citrus on the nose. Take a sip, and there’s that distinctive copper still sweetness, and the juniper takes a bit of back seat to soft green earthy notes, fruity acidity and citrus. Neat it’s smooth, but a little layered – and needs a little softening to tease out the flavours.
As a G&T, there’s a wave of celery, all green, soft and herbal. The fruit and the sorrel adds an acidity rather than a flavour, it’s tart and sits at the top of the mouth, makes me think that a little soft citrus bitterness, something like a wedge of pink grapefruit would be a good garnish. But that’s definitely something I can play with later.
Blue Bridge is a classic small batch gin, taking inspiration from local ingredients, and being made locally, the epitome to me of what a ‘craft’ gin is. Small, local, subject to seasonal changes and availability. And I suspect we’ll see more from this distillery.