Autumn is my favourite season of the year. The deciduous trees make a spectacular display with their stunning displays of yellows, browns and reds as their leaves make their last defiant stand before the ravages of the wind and rain send them hurtling to the ground. It is also the time when our indigenous fruits make their appearance. Locally grown apples and pears are the flavours I particularly associate with that time of year. Rosemullion Harvest Gin is an attempt to create the colours and flavours of an English autumn in a bottle and I had to try it out.
Rosemullion Distillery is run by husband and wife team, Andy and Liz Bradbury, and has been operating since 2018. Between them they have forty years’ experience as industrial chemists and so know a thing or two about the fermentation and distillation process which they decided to put into good use at their distillery which is to be found in Mawnan, just outside Falmouth in Cornwall. To date they have produced four types of gin – I tried and reviewed their Dry Gin a while ago – and five rums, a considerable achievement in the space of less than four years.
The Bradburys’ spirits are very much homemade, with even the base spirit made from scratch, using Cornish rainwater which they collect and molasses. It is no surprise then that the principal ingredients of their Harvest Gin, apple, plum, blackberry, raspberry, and sloe, are harvested from their own orchards. The true essence of a gin, though, is not overlooked, as they also include the holy quintet of juniper, citrus, coriander seeds, orris root, and angelica root. Small copper stills are used to distil the spirit.
There is an element of the mad scientist about the operation. So bitten have they been by the ginaissance bug that the Bradburys are forever experimenting with botanical combinations and flavours with several fermenters and stills on the go. One thing is for certain is that we can expect more spirits which reflect their enterprise and the characteristics of the beautiful area in which they live.
Their bottle is also very distinctive, a very tactile, thin, and rounded clear glass bottle with broad shoulders, a short neck and a very broad black stopper with an artificial cork. There is a very distinctive round label on the front, almost Celtic in feel and style, and the patterning is repeated on the top of the cap. The neck has a tawny brown label with silver lettering. You will not miss it on a shelf, especially as the Harvest Gin has a delightful tawny hue to it.
Aesthetics and authenticity are all very well, but what does it taste like?
On removing the stopper, I felt I had walked into a busy country kitchen with all manner of fruit pies on the stove. The autumnal fruits are there in full force and there is no doubt that if you are a fan of Britain’s autumnal fruits you are going to be in for a treat. However, the more traditional gin elements are detectable, and this is particularly so when the spirit is poured into a glass. I was worried that the fruits would overbalance the gin, but I need not have worried. The traditional gin botanicals were able to make their presence felt and combined with the less subtle flavours of the fruits made for an unusual but definitely moreish drink, with a long, smooth, peppery finish.
It is a drink to savour and appreciate the skill which has gone into producing it, avoiding the mistake that many distillers make of losing touch with the more traditional elements of a gin. Its taste palate succeeds in painting a picture of a British autumn and at 40% ABV the drink is inviting enough to have another glass. If you are looking for a gin that is somewhat out of the ordinary, check this one out.
Until the next time, cheers!