I have recently commented on the growth of gin distilleries in British Columbia, particularly in Vancouver. Pleasurable as it would have been, time precluded me from visiting more than the couple I did but there is always the airport duty free shop. It is getting increasingly more difficult to find new gins, mainly because they seem to be majoring in on one of the more regrettable fads spawned by the ginaissance, flavoured gins. Still, tucked away in relative obscurity I managed to find a bottle of Tempo Renovo Dry Gin.
An elegant bottle it was, too, rectangular in shape, leading up to a longish neck and a brown, artificial cork stopper. The labelling is modest and elegant with a beige background, what looks to be the sun embossed at the top and lettering in brown, blue and silver. It doesn’t exactly shout out at you and can easily get lost amongst its more vulgar and brash competitors but if the design means anything, it suggests something that is sophisticated and confident of its own merits.
Tempo Renovo is distilled by Goodridge and Williams Distilling who were established by Stephen Goodridge in 2013. They started out making vodka, using grain from the Peace River Valley in British Columbia which was mashed and fermented at their distillery in Delta. Their take on vodka having been well received, it was a natural progression to use the spirit as a base for a gin. And so Tempo Renovo was born. The name, so the rear label informs me, means time to revive or refresh. I will drink to that.
The rear label goes on to describe the product as “a modern expression of contemporary dry gin for our times; smoothly refreshing, it delivers the perfect balance”. Frustratingly, though, there is no indication what has gone into the mix. It is becoming a bit of a hobby horse of mine but a little more information beyond marketing-spin would be appreciated.
Of course, the only way to find out what it tastes like and what may have been added to the grain spirit is to try it. On removing the stopper, I could detect the juniper but the presence of liquorice was equally apparent as were hints of some citrus elements. In the glass it is clear and in the mouth it has a creamy consistency to it. The juniper is discernible but it has a fight on its hands with the liquorice to make its presence felt. Then the spices came in to play with a hint of lemon at the end. The aftertaste was slightly peppery.
I found that the addition of ice and a decent tonic pepped the gin up, after all it was designed with those elements in mind, but, overall, I was a bit disappointed with the drink. I like my gins firmly juniper-led and Tempo Renovo would certainly not fill that requirement. With an ABV of 40% it seemed a bit muted to me, trying to steer a steady path between the inherent flavours of the botanicals. Perhaps I got the wrong message from the labelling. In reality, it was a pleasant enough drink but a bit understated.
Until the next time, cheers!