Gin O’Clock – Part Forty One

The fortunes of social media platforms seem to wax and wane with astonishing rapidity. Who remembers Friends Reunited? Facebook has lost its appeal for many and LinkedIn with pretentions to be the medium of choice for professionals to stay in contact with each other or to rediscover long-lost colleagues is on a downwards slope. But occasionally, they have their uses and you can unearth someone you have lost track of and who is now doing something exciting and interesting. Bear in mind, my contextual framework is insurance and the financial services sector!

Take Tim Boast. I used to work with him in London about ten years ago. I knew he had gone back down-under and had assumed he was beavering away in some financial institution over there. But no. His name came up on one of those irritating prompts that plague social media sites, bringing attention to people with whom you share mutual connections.

What intrigued me about Tim was that he is now the head distiller at Never Never Distilling Company in South Australia. Indeed, he is described on their website as the Fermentalist. Mind you, he has a pedigree in this line; his great, great, great-grandfather was Alfred Gilbey, who founded along with his brothers Gilbey’s of wine, spirits and, of course, gin fame.

At the moment, Never Never produce three gins, which, I understand, are heavily juniper-orientated but with balance restored by a careful selection of botanicals. Sounds my type of gin. I have not tasted any of their wares but Tim told me via e-mail, as he was running off another batch – social media does have its uses – that they are expanding rapidly, have their sights on the Asian market but with no current plans to tap into the English ginaissance. If that changes, I’m sure he will let me know.

In the meantime, more power to his elbow.

Another welcome entrant to the ever-growing field of gins is Berry’s London Dry Gin, which is as you would expect from London’s oldest wine merchants, Berry Brothers and Rudd, definitely a gin of the old school. Relaunched this year (2018) it is based on what was previously known as Berry’s Best. Only one bottle of the original gin remained, dating from the 1950s, and from this the distillers, rather like scientists recreating an extinct animal from DNA samples, have produced a spirit which they believe matches the original.

The bottle is a rather stubby wine bottle with an artificial stopper. My bottle was marked 2018/002, presumably meaning it was from the second batch that they made commercially. The label is black and white with the firm’s two royal warrants proudly printed in gold and bears an illustration of their wine merchant shop at No3, St James’s Street in London in days of yore.

Was the effort worth it?

It is a relatively simple blend of juniper berries, coriander seeds, angelica root and winter savory, a cure, amongst other things, for flatulence, which might be helpful. On opening the bottle, the primary sensation was of juniper – always a good start in my book – with a sweeter, more floral smell coming through. Crystal clear in the mouth it was smooth, very moreish and with a slightly sweet aftertaste. Competitively priced, weighing in at 40.6% ABV and not to be confused with their already well established no 3 gin, this is a welcome addition to the traditional, juniper led gin stable.

Off to Cornwall to fill my boot and boots with gin. Until the next time, cheers!

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