Lakes Distillery: Explorer Edition Gin | Mashtun and Meow: Sheffield Beer Blog

Sunday, 17 December 2017

Lakes Distillery: Explorer Edition Gin

We've made no secret of our fondness for the Lakes Distillery, having paid them two visits in the three years of their existence (see our post on their opening here). We've been enjoying following their progress since the very beginning (read our review of their first release, The One blended whisky, here) and are keen to find out their next steps, with their inaugural single malt due out in 2018 as their whisky comes of age.

It's not all about the whisky though, as their ever expanding range also contains gin, vodka, and a range of liqueurs including damson and salted caramel. We were recently sent a bottle of their Explorer Edition gin to try, which was originally released as a limited edition, but proved so popular that it's joined their permanently available portfolio. This gin contains fifteen different botanicals, six of which come from within the Lake District National Park, including Cumbrian juniper. Thanks to the name, we thought it a worthy travel companion to take with us on a trip to Robin Hood's Bay, and here's what we made of it:

Neat, the nose absolutely bursts with fresh citrus, lemon notes in particular coming to the fore. To taste, there's a vibrant tropical nature with a hint of earthy spice reminiscent of cardamom, which rounds out as you drink. Alongside this is a gentle tannin flavour, which serves to boost the zestiness and creates a smoothness on the palate. Despite a slightly elevated ABV of 47.1%, it's not at all harsh and lovely to sip and ponder on.

We'd recommend drinking this neat, however adding tonic softens the spice, which some may prefer. Tonic also enhances the refreshing nature of the flavour profile, especially when adding a slice of lemon garnish which further brings out the citrus elements of this gin. The distillery recommend adding pink grapefruit, which we haven't sampled yet but imagine the bitter-sweet balance this brings would indeed work beautifully.

We also tried it mixed with lemon and elderflower Franklin and Sons, which sweetened it up quite nicely, but we weren't sure the floral nature of this mixer worked particularly well as it hid the peppery, herbal nuances which to us is what helps this gin to stand out in what is becoming an increasingly competitive market.

Overall, we'd describe this as being complex without being too challenging, making it a great all-rounder of a gin. It's bold, vibrant, modern and of its locality - and certainly a welcome addition to the Lakes growing selection of quality spirits.

Cheers!