After producing gin on site for hundreds of labels, earlier this year, the WH Palmer Group decided to launch their own gin, but even that has a little story behind it.
The original Palmers Gin recipe is 105 years old, and was handed down to Angela, the great-granddaughter of William Palmer (the man behind the company name). Discovering the distillery on the Langley site, meant that the family, never one to miss an opportunity, turned their hands from chemicals to distilling. I suspect that Angela may have had a fair amount to do with their move to making gin, as she was rather a fan herself.
However, the new Palmers Gin is a little different. Master Distiller Rob Dorsett was asked to go ‘off piste’ when presented with the bottle design. So he did.
There are seven botanicals in Palmers Gin, which is made, appropriately in their still Angela: juniper, coriander, cassia, liquorice, angelica, orris and grapefruit. They’re added to the still and left to macerate overnight, before the still is warmed up, and the gin is created using their ‘concentrate’ method, before being bottled at 44% ABV.
On the nose, juniper takes centre stage, with a good amount of soft citrus sweetness from the coriander and orris. On the palate, despite the citrus peel used being grapefruit, there’s actually a lot of lime and limeflower present, a little earthiness, and a good amount of juniper. For all that, it’s not a juniper heavy gin, and it’s rather smooth, which makes it perfect for sipping and a Martini or two. The finish is lightly dry, and citrussy.
In a G&T, I stuck with a light tonic – the lighter citrus notes would be overwhelmed with something too strong, and there are a number of tonics that don’t use artificial sweeteners, merely lower the sugar content.
On the nose, it’s fresh and citrussy – the juniper sits further back, as evident on the palate too. It would work well as an introductory gin for those new to G&Ts as it’s not pine heavy, just a good clean G&T.
My personal preference would be neat, or in a Martini, as I love those limey notes that come through, and as there’s no harshness, despite the relatively high ABV. But I can also recommend trying it as Distiller Rob himself would drink it – with just a splash of soda water.