Llanllyr Source is one of the new names in craft tonic waters to burst onto the scene. The brand’s story is that their water comes from the “organic fields of Llanllyr, Wales for over 800 years.” The story says that these natural springs have been known since at least 1180 when Rhys ap Gruffydd arrived in Llanllyr.
The spring’s natural qualities were elaborated on by Michael Mascha in his 2006 book Fine Waters: A Connoisseur’s Guide to the World’s Most Distinctive Bottled Waters. “The water is extracted from Llandovery shale, a fine gravel left behind by glaciers retreating from the valley.” Mascha describes it character as “low mineral content, a low nitrate level, and an acidic pH.” [source]
Llanllyr Source’s tonic water has a slight golden hue to it and features sugar as a sweetener, as well as the addition of Sicilian Lemon as a natural flavor.
Llanllyr Source Tonic Water has an effusive fizzy character, which nicely adheres to both the sides and the bottom of the glass after pouring. It seems to have a good stickiness and retains its carbonation well.
On the nose, Llanllyr Tonic Water has a slight lemon-lime soda sort of nose, reminiscent of 7up.
The taste is somewhat bright, with a gentle and surprising floral note reminiscent of jasmine or magnolia. Only a gentle bitterness is present in Llanllyr Source Tonic Water, with that floral, gentle lemon character leading through to the finish. It’s really quite nice.
Chapter One Gin and Llanllyr Source Tonic Water
I mixed Llanllyr Tonic Water with Temple Distilling’s Chapter One Gin. Beautiful notes of juniper come out; pine blossom on the finish marries nicely with a gentle floral and citrus lift. It’s a delicious gin and tonic to be sure.
I’d suggest when pairing it with gin, look for a good juniper-forward gin. Secondly, don’t add fresh citrus, either as a garnish of as an addition. If you do, you’ll lose Llanllyr Tonic Water’s floral/citrus lift at the end, which in my opinion, is the reason why you would buy this tonic water over the other options out there.
If I had to offer one mild critique of Llanllyr tonic water, it might be that there’s almost too little bitterness. But that being said, I think it has the perfect mild sweetness, an intriguing citrus note, and a really nicely done carbonation. Llanllyr Source Tonic Water is a welcome addition to the tonic water scene, especially those looking for a bit of natural citrus flavor.