If you haven’t noticed this already about That Boutique-y Gin Company’s line of gins, its certainly that the gins in this series dabble in botanicals rarely seen in gins. These experiments and one-offs push the expectations of just what a gin can be. Greensand Batch 1, from the Greensand Ridge Distillery features a cobnuts.
What’s a cobnut you may ask? If you’re not from the UK, it’s probable you’ve never heard the term which refers to a type of filbert or hazelnut which was grown widely in Kent and the UK in the 19th and early 20th century. Imported nuts rapidly displaced the “Cob” during the latter half of the century reducing the once widespread crops to a shadow of their former glory. Though if you do manage to find a cobnut tree, you must be careful. Squirrels love those nuts, and will devour them before ripe.
But feat not, Greensand Batch 1 features plenty of them, for your limited-edition-gin enjoyment.
The nose is quite green and vegetal at first whiff. I get notes of cucumber, celery leaf and a touch of mint. Underneath it lies a faint note of raspberry jam, but it seems suggestive as I was definitely looking for it. A hint of juniper on the nose as well, but that cucumber/vegetal note predominates.
The palate bursts forth with considerable complexity and a bit more traditional gin character. On the tip of the palate, there’s a hint of celery, anise, pine-forward juniper, lots of coriander, and lemon zest. Towards the finish, a spicy, slightly jammy fruit-forward note with a heavy mint-tinged warmth. The finish is quite long with a pleasant warm spice, kissed by a touch of anise and fennel, that recedes slowly and gentle over the edges of the tongue.
As mentioned above, the raspberry adds a pleasant background fruitiness to Greensand Batch 1; however, it’d hardly the dominant note. The spice notes, in particular the menthol hues, coriander, and anise-like notes add the most color.
With some of those vegetal notes, I find that a little bit of fresh lime and a crisp tonic like Fever Tree really elevate it in a Gin and Tonic. Other than that I spent a lot of time dissecting the fairly complex botanical signature by sipping it neat— so although I’m a little light on cocktail advice, I think it has a lot of potential for home drinkers and bartenders alike.
It’s less fruit and nut-forward than I might have expected; however, it’s more of a tribute to the complex balance at work here rather than a shortcoming. Fans of contemporary style gins will enjoy the spice and vegetal notes, which combine nicely with the juniper, citrus, and coriander of the traditional gin accord. Fans of classic styles may find it to be— like many others in That Boutique-y Gin Company’s portfolio— a bit outside the box. But I think that’s what is being celebrated here. Greensand Batch 1 is about creativity and a playfulness, which I think they’ve successfully achieved here. Adventurers welcome.
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