That Boutique-y Gin Company

Atom Brands do not beat about the juniper bush. “We make and select liquids that are the best they can possibly be, and package them in a way that is awesome” is their bold claim. The Tonbridge-based company, whose stable includes the rather clunkily named That Boutique-y Gin Company brand, have certainly set about adding some pizzazz into the gin drinker’s world, if their Retro Gin Fridge Tin is anything to go by.  

The presentational pack is quirky and eye-catching, consisting of a turquoise-coloured tin, shaped like a retro fridge that you may remember from the 1950s, nestling inside of which are eight 50ml miniature bottles, each containing a different gin from the company’s range, all with an ABV of 46%. It makes for an attractive gift for the gin lover in your life as well as offering a low-risk way to explore the company’s wares.    

The first bottle that my rheumy fingers prised from the secure packaging was a London Dry styled Yuzu Gin. The bell-shaped bottle pictures a pile of juniper berries with a yuzu atop, a citrus fruit from East Asia, particularly favoured in Japanese style gins, such as Nikka Coffey, Roku and Jinzu. Shaped like a small grapefruit with a knobbly, uneven skin, it is tart and fragrant, a blend of grapefruit and mandarin orange.

I was expecting a citrus-led gin and I was not disappointed. On removing the small black cap, the welcome aroma of juniper was permeated with that of the citrus notes, not overpowering but confidently stating their presence. In the glass, the spirit was surprisingly creamy in texture and the citric elements were prominent and sharp with depth provided by the spiciness of the juniper. This rather impressive gin signed off with a lingering aftertaste bringing in ginger and the earthiness of the spices to temper the sweet and sour of the other botanicals.

A gin that is out of this world, literally and metaphorically, is Moonshot Gin, a vacuum-distilled London Dry Gin. Its particular claim to fame is that all the botanicals used in the mix have all been sent into the stratosphere at an altitude of at least 20 kilometres where they were exposed to extremely low pressures to preserve their particular flavours. There may seem to be a certain randomness, if not eccentricity, for this criterion for botanical selection, but, fortunately, the cast list includes all the firm favourites you would expect to find in a classic London Gin; juniper, coriander, cubeb pepper, fresh lemon peel, chamomile flowers, cardamom, dried bitter orange peel, cinnamon, liquorice root, angelica, and, to bring an outer space element to the experience, a bit of rock from a lunar meteorite.

On the nose the juniper is prominent along with the citrus peels while in the mouth the spirit has a curiously sherbet-like texture to it with a sweetness generated by the citrus elements. The tarter, spicier, pepperier elements do a fine job in bringing the balance back on to a more even keel as the spirit orbits around your mouth before producing a long, lingering aftertaste of citrus and spice as its contrail marks its progress down into your stomach.

I had concerns that this gin might be overly gimmicky, but I found it well-balanced with a quite distinctive taste and one that I would be more than happy to try again.

I will explore three more gins from the tin next time. Until then, cheers!

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