Better be quick, Gin Lovers

… for this gem that I heard on the wireless the other day may not be available for much longer on the Listen Again facility:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/player/b03t3jns

We’re talking botanicals here, and specifically the various small-batch gin stills that have cropped up in Scotland’s distilleries of late, and the exceptionally good gins that are now available to us.

So listen and, and learn about the differences that apple or cucumber, basil or grapefruit might make.  There’s very few name checks on offer; in fact the presenters go out of their way not to tell us what it is they’re sampling on our behalf.  But I can name some and am keen to explore others.

We do hear, several times, of the big brands that we all know, the ones in the green bottle and big square light blue one.  But not the local gins, apart from Hendrick’s which I guess is now as well established as the others and probably was largely responsible opening our taste buds.

In fact as I open that cupboard in the kitchen I see that we have more gins on the go right now than whiskies.  I’m not sure if that means the dram doesn’t last as long, or if we just drink less gin.  Possibly both.

I recall mentioning before the delights of Caorunn – that’s the one that a slice of apple will enhance – and there should still be a link to the website on the sidebar.  Blackwoods too, from Shetland is good stuff, with mint and angelica; and there’s an Edinburgh Gin now a present of which would be gratefully received, for I have yet to have that particular pleasure.  Just to sample you understand, to see what different botanicals do and to identify what best brings out the flavour.  It’s becoming a bit of a hobby, but not quite with the range and variation of the single malt hobby.

There’s another Bombay in the cupboard too, same bottle as the Sapphire one, but this is Bombay East.  Different botanicals, lemongrass and black peppercorns, and plenty of drool.

And we learn too about jenever, and I’m left wondering why I didn’t explore that market during our pootling around in North Brabant and Limbourg in recent years.  It might just be that age, tents and alcohol are not a great mix, nocturnal needs and all that.  But from Bruges some years ago we returned with a grand bottle of Pol, which caused some fun round the Boxing Day table for a few years.  Sadly, perhaps, we won’t get the chance to taste-test the jenever this year.

But the Penderyn and the Best Black will be fine substitutes.  Meantime, and for a few days only, whet your appetite for the variations in the gin world.  Cracking wee programme, and not what you might expect when the weekly Kitchen Café slot airs.

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