In Kerry, Ireland the world’s oldest cow— Bertha— sadly passed in 1993 at the ripe old age of 48 years old. She even birthed 39 calves. Justin Green, who spent his childhood on dairy farms, and Anthony Jackson, who had a degree in Agricultural business management pay tribute to this bovine Methuselah by making her the name sake of their Bertha’s Revenge Gin.
It begins from a base spirit distilled from whey. They then add a wide array of botanicals— some locally foraged—for a maceration period before being distilled in small batches in their 125 liter copper pot still.
We’re reviewing Batch 752 of Bertha’s Revenge Gin.
Bertha’s Revenge Gin has an intense spice forward nose. Cumin seed, paprika, and hints of citrus and juniper are present. Cumin is absolutely dominant. Bertha’s Revenge Gin has a nose that suggests to me taco seasoning at first aroma.
Heavy spice notes are again prominent on the palate. Cumin continues to be dominant; however, Bertha’s Revenge has hints of clove, cinnamon and coriander. While Bertha’s Revenge Gin continues to suggest to me savory cooking, to the palate it reminds me more of a Cuban picadillo.
There are moments where you can pick out floral elderflower and tart, slightly sweet lime zest— but it all comes back to the spices.
The whey base spirit of Bertha’s Revenge Gin is certainly worthy of note. It’s a tad sour with a pliable texture that gives it a unique and pleasant viscousness and noteworthy mouthfeel.
The unusual and savory spiciness of Bertha’s Revenge Gin doesn’t lend itself readily to mixing. Bartenders should almost treat it as if a Kummel— it’s unusual and so spice-forward that it doesn’t really do its best work in traditional gin cocktails. It’s worth trying in a savory Gibson or Martini garnished with olive. The savory spices though are an excellent elevation for the brunch staple— the Red Snapper.
Overall, Bertha’s Revenge Gin
Bertha’s Revenge Gin experiments boldly with a base spirit that is rarely seen in gin, in addition to a wide array of intense botanicals.
Ultimately, despite the novelty, Bertha’s Revenge Gin come sup short as a gin. The strong cumin note overwhelms in nearly all mixing. It doesn’t pair well with floral, citrus, or sweet cocktail ingredients.
The base spirit is novel. The story is good. The fact that they actually list all of the ingredients on the back is awesome. But I’m not sure the end result is successful as a product. Unusual and quirky, Bertha’s Revenge Gin is an intriguing novelty, but hard to recommend to those looking for a gin.