Gin of the Month – Tappers Darkside Gin

This months Gin of the Month brings us a little bit closer to home after trying out a Serbian Gin in the last post.

Tappers is based on the wirral and they produce an interesting selection of different gins.

Unlike many of the gins that I have featured over the last couple of years, Tappers produce a compound gin. This can sometimes be seen as an inferior product to a distilled or london dry, however this is definitely not the case.

Over the years, Compound gin has had a bad name. It uses the original process of steeping the botanicals in the base spirit to produce the flavours and is sometimes referred to as a ‘bathtub’ gin due to people producing it in their home bathtubs.

Although a simple method in principle, it’s actually one that requires a great deal of skill to get right, and when done so can produce some amazing gins.

Tappers main gin, and the one I reviewed, is named the Darkside. The name derives from the word used to describe the wirral by day tripper from ‘The other side’ – Liverpool. The bottle is stunning and takes you back to an Edwardian era of compound gins.

The Darkside certainly lives up to its name in appearance, being a compound gin, the liquid has a dark amber hue, more like a whisky that has been aged in barrels, however this hue is produced from taking on the colouring of some of the botanicals during the steeping process.

On the nose it packs a punch, Juniper leads the procession with an edge of saltiness. It contains Sea-beet which I’m sure adds to the juniper aroma while adding this salty/musty scent that transports you to the seashore.

Freshness is also present, with freshly picked flowers and greenery coming through from the Chickweed and Red Clover, the later also said to have a whole host of health benefits.

On the palette I am hit by a sweetness and zesty hit, it is full bodied in the mouth and has hints of a citrus tea.

The finish is long and pronounced as well as being very enjoyable.

I then add a splash of Mediterranean Tonic as recommended, it opens the aromas and even more saltiness is apparent along with the freshness of pine. On tasting, the sweetness has been dulled down somewhat and a pleasant bitterness comes through.

I’ve tasted a few compound gins before and I have to say that I haven’t been overly impressed, that is until now.

This gin packs a punch and is full bodied, but remains well balanced and rounded with a huge depth of character.

If this is Tappers standard gin, I am intrigued by all their ‘specials’ that they launch throughout the year. Their passion really does shine through in this gin and I would urge anyone to go give it a try.

You can order your very own Darkside, or others of their range, from Tappers here.


Darkside Gin was sent to me to try and review by Tappers. The review and all within it are my own honest opinions.


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