Gin may be my first love, but an element of it’s production that’s often taken for granted is it’s base spirit.
Yes, I’m talking ethanol or, in it’s more common form, vodka.
The effect that the base spirit can have on the finished product varies from gin to gin. There are those who are wholly grain to glass (such as Arbikie, Adnams and Dockyard Gin), those who are not and it merely carries the botanicals, and those who play around a little with that element, as well as the botanicals – think Napue with it’s rye base or Bertha’s Revenge which uses a whey base.
Each brings something else to the table, or, er glass.
A relative newbie to the vodka distillation game is Batch. Whilst they’ve been making their own gin for some time, playing around with it, infusing it (their Whinberry Gin is just a bit delish), they’ve only fairly recently made their own vodka.
Chauffeured by the ever lovely Dave of Fever-Tree, I recently visited their new distillery site. Previously home for Batch was a small terraced house in Burnley. Now, there’s a lot more space.
And I mean a lot.
Still Adrian is sitting comfortably in his own room, alongside the mini stills. Meantime this beautiful cognac barrel has a home of it’s own whilst it slowly ages a limited edition batch of their Whinberry Gin.
This extra space means they have more capacity for one-offs and experiments, and as mentioned, more space for their vodka production.
So of course, armed with my new beautiful Batch Gin glasses, I had to have a sample.
On the nose, it’s softer than you’d expect for a vodka. Hints of sweet grain, a little fruitiness, a whisper of the alcohol itself.
On the palate it’s smooth, creamy. A hint of vanilla, and a little white pepper on the tip of the tongue with a fruity finish. A little citrus, a little grassiness.
In a V&T it’s light, all too easy to drink.
But it absolutely shines in a Martini.
It’s smooth, soft, and whilst a gin Martini is usually my go to, there are now two spirits that may just sway me to the vodka side.
I can’t wait to see what these guys create next.