Imbibe – The Gin Edition

Imbibe EntranceOK, It’s a few days weeks later and hopefully everyone who attended Imbibe is now fully alive. A friend asked me whether it was like any other trade show. In essence yes, except amongst the corridors of stands in an exhibition hall there was a plethora of drinks on offer.

Being a ‘Gin Blog‘ we certainly worked hard at giving the different brands a tasting, it was nice to be able to meet the people behind the brands and also to have a chat about their plans, and how they perceive the Gin market. Of course we also tasted a lot of other things, including some Rums, Cognac, Vodka, Tequila, Beer and Wine [oh and a Jagerbomb].

This is a very short summary of the Gins, and in reality I’d like to taste these both at room temperature and cold, over a few days rather than a few hours. Then I’d have some proper tasting notes. Towards the end, I can’t say I have the best recollection. Though I’m quite sure that these are all the Gins I tried. [I'm awaiting to be told I've missed one!]

This is a new Gin from Berry Bros, which is keeping to the London Dry traditions with just six botanicals (Juniper, Orange Peel, Angelica, Coriander, Grapefruit Peel, Cardoman). To me this was a really nice Gin, it would be great in a Martini. The flavour of the Juniper really comes to the fore alongside the refreshing Cardoman notes. It’s distilled in holland in small batch stills, involving a 24 hour steep of the botanicals.

Represented by Bibendum Spirits, I tasted both the Citadelle and Citadelle Reserve. This is a french brand, steeped in history and currently made in the Cognac region in small batches. What impressed me here was the Reserve, this is a yellow gin that has been aged in Cognac barrels with a limited run (apparently 10,000 bottles were made in 2009). It’s very botanical heavy, around 19 different botanicals have gone into it.

This was rather outstanding, both on the way it’s presented (it’s certainly a rather ‘feminine’ bottle and from the pedegree. Made by Greenalls, master distiller Joanne Moore came up with the mix of botanicals (which include Honeysuckle, Pomelo and Chamomile) back in 2007 but it has only been released more recently.

The UKs largest Gin distiller, yet more well known outside of the UK for it’s premixed drinks (cans), a long history of distilling since 1761.

A claim to fame, when launched they were the first Copper pot still in London for 189 years. The base is a barley spirit (which is part of their Vodka range), combined with 10 botanicals. Their second claim to fame is that HRH The Prince of Wales made mention that he liked their Gin when trying it out at a Polo match. Apparently a letter to his private secretary later, they have been invited to provide him with some Gin!

Gin from Apples. Correct, not cider. Chase are known for their Potato vodka, and rather than using that as the starting point for the Gin (apparently it was too creamy), they use Apples from their orchard. It gives the Gin an interesting flavour, other botanicals going into the mix include elderflowers and hops. It’s a refreshing change. I must also say, their Marmalade Vodka is a thing of beauty. If you see it, try it!

Most people are familiar with copper-pot stills, though Sacred (started in 2009) are using Glassware to produce their Gin. It’s akin to being back at school playing with producing fractions from liquid. Though I’m sure it’s a little bit more complex! What makes this brand unique is the fact that you can buy separate small bottles of botanicals, such as Juniper, Coriander. Just the spirit and the one botanical, and mix them together in your own proportions to make your own Gin! This can then be upscaled within the glassware (though remembering that then the botanicals may start to interact with each other on a chemical level).

From the outset, you can certainly guess one of the botanicals that will be present within this Gin. My notes are lacking on this particular Gin, though it is distilled near me in Langley

[No Notes]

Blue Gin
[No Notes]

Whitley O’Neill
[No Notes]

Juniper Green
[No Notes]


  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Neil, Neil, YetAnotherGin, History of Drinking, YetAnotherGin and others. YetAnotherGin said: When we went to @imbibe /@imbibeuk we tried a few Gins – our 'notes' – (incl @SipsmithSam @ChaseVodka @BLOOMGin ) [...]

  2. [...] a lovely Gin distillery that I have known of for a while (and got to taste their Gin & Vodka at Imbibe), who seem to be doing lovely [...]

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