New product day is always a good day, and today is no exception as we announce the release of Professor Cornelius Ampleforth’s Bathtub Gin. Like anyone named Cornelius, Professor Ampleforth would never put his fine name to a gin unless it was really very good. So, as could be expected, Bathtub Gin is a truly marvellous recreation of the gins of yore, produced in a very traditional, entirely small-batch and, dare I say it, artisan manner. Every little detail, from the beautiful packaging, to the superb liquid inside the bottle has had as much attention paid to it as you’d give to a talking dog wearing a top hat and monocle, or as you’d give Morgan Freeman if he gave you advice on anything.
The gin is made in “ultra-small” batches of only 30 to 60 bottles at a time, using a process that involves taking a very fine copper pot still spirit, which is infused with a superb array of botanicals including Juniper, Orange Peel, Coriander, Cinnamon, Cloves and Cardamom. The result is one of the only cold-compounded gins currently available, and the infusion process even gives the finished spirit a slight tint, making any gin martini look all the more dapper.
When it comes to packaging, it doesn’t get much better than this either. In fact, the packaging was very much inspired by the fact the gin was so traditionally-made. The bottles are wrapped in brown paper, and feature a print of a beautiful hand-drawing, conjuring up images of the Victorian apothecaries of old. The bottle necks are wrapped with flax twine, which is made using 19th century methods, and each bottle is individually hand-dipped in black sealing wax.
The most important thing, naturally, is the taste, so here are our thoughts…
Nose: An initially Juniper-rich bouquet is backed up with a solid backbone of rich grain spirit. Topnotes of Cardamom and Orange blossom are evident with just a suggestion of Cinnamon.
Palate: The initial Focus is Juniper, but the earthier botanicals make themselves known in the initial palate too. Mouthfeel is exceptionally viscous and creamy – this is good spirit, and it makes itself known.
Finish: The juniper subsides and gives way to the Cardamom and Cinnamon, with a late resurgence from Orange Peel.
Overall: A most unusual, but quite entrancing Gin.
This is the sort of gin that you can really see yourself enjoying neat over ice, or in a G&T, but for true drinking nirvana, make a dry martini with a large measure of Bathtub Gin and the tiniest amount of Noilly Prat. Garnish with a thin, freshly-sliced strip of lemon peel, and enjoy!
You can buy Bathtub Gin for £31.95.
– The Chaps at Master of Malt –