Whenever on the look out for a new gin to explore, I always try and discover something that will be of interest to my followers and that fulfils the requirement of being special in its own right.
I want a gin that tells a story, that has been developed with a passion for the gin itself and my latest discovery does just that.
Based in Norfolk, the Walnut Tree Distillery is part of a rural family farm with botanicals hand picked from the farm itself, as well as the water coming from their own spring.
The family’s relationship with gin actually started there generations ago, when their great grandmother would produce a homemade sloe gin. The production of that gin has remained the same as it was all those years ago, with the sloes picked from the same trees and bushes and made in the farmhouse.
Graham and Emma have however branched out within the gin world and have converted the old dairy building into a distillery. Within this, custom built milk churns, each named after some of the cows that used to be milked there, are used for the distillation.
Their range now incorporates 5 different gins, which all utilise the farms walnuts that give their gin its name. I recently gave them all a try via some samples.
Being the original, I wanted to try their sloe gin first. At 25% vol, this is an easy sipping liquor, as all Sloe gin should be. Made with local Norfolk Sloes, the flavour is sweet and fruity and its clear that care has gone into its production. For me this is best enjoyed neat, however some may like it with a touch of lemonade for a longer refreshing summers drink. The sloes come through beautifully and its a great example of this old british classic.
Next I moved onto the ‘Dry’, A Juniper rich gin which is incredibly creamy on the nose. The lavender comes through on both the nose and the palette.
It has a great mouth feel, which I can only assume comes from the walnuts used in the distillation, its actually unlike any gin I’ve tried before and at 40% vol has surprisingly little in the way of alcohol burn.
The finish is long yet subtle, with the walnut and lavender elements both noticeable.
After trying neat, I add some light tonic and the floral undertones open up, the flavours are soft but well rounded and it creates a very laid back and comfortable G&T
Taking their original dry gin, raspberries are added during the distillation botanicals, to create their ‘Pink Gin’. Subtle in colour, this one has an added element of fruitiness. The fruit addition does not take away from the gin flavours however, which remains juniper rich. This went very well with an elderflower tonic.
Next up is a ‘Rose Gin’. This uses the same dry gin, but this time it is soaked with edible rose petals. Using this compound method, the gin becomes darker in colour.
On the nose the rose is hardly noticeable, however on the palette it really shines through, especially in the finish which is long and sumptuous. Again the added sweetness of this version make it pair really well with an elderflower tonic, however is also great with a light tonic which carries the rose element further.
This was probably the one I was most excited about and on opening the bottle I was met by the scent of Christmas. Sweet Nutmeg and Cinnamon are pronounced with a hint of Ginger. The image of mulled wine comes into my mind as I taste it neat. Warming and smooth on the tongue, it follows up with a spicy finish of mild chilli. This one is fantastic option with a ginger ale or even a cola, or like me, just enjoy it neat over ice.
For me its clear to see that passion and thought have gone into the production of these small batch gins, that vary greatly in flavour. There is bound to be a favourite gin for many people amongst them.
You can finds out more about these gins and how to buy them from visiting their site here.
The Walnut Tree Distillery Gins were sent to me as a sample to try and to gibe my honest feedback. Everything within this post is the sole opinion and feedback of Manchester Food Tourist,