When I first started writing about gins a few years ago, I really didn’t expect that years later, I would still be finding interesting and special gins that were still good or interesting enough to be writing about on this blog.
Well how wrong I was! I have found that there are still lots of people that have a real passion for producing the best quality gins, and due to their varied tastes and experiences, some of them are still standing out from the crowd in big ways.
When Chris from Henstone was asked in 2015, what his plans were when returning to the UK from Abu Dhabi, he joked about starting a snail farm and producing gin in his mothers old pressure cooker.
I’m told that the snail farm wasn’t very successful, but that a seed had been sown with respect of the gin!
Working part time at Stonehouse Brewery, owned by their friends Shane and Alison Parr, Chris started to suggest that maybe they could get a small still and start to produce whisky, utilising the wash from the brewery. After a few no’s, they started to think that it wasn’t such a bad idea after all.
Thinking they had missed out on the gin craze, they started to look for a still for their whisky, During a visit to their still manufacturer (a 1000 litre still named Hilda), they realised that gin was still very much on the table.
So despite never converting his mums old pressure cooker, the tale he told a few years previously had actually evolved, and Hilda was installed in 2017.
Since then, Henstone has firmly established itself as a distiller of Gin, Whisky, Vodka and Brandy, with its London Dry and Oak Aged Gins, both being picked as winners in the The Gin Guide Awards 2020 for their categories (These and other winners can be seen here)
Chris from Henstone tells me, that he believes that one of the reasons that his gin has won awards, is the fact that they continually test during liquoring back, only stopping when they feel the product is right, rather than setting an ABV at the start. Whilst this means they can get the best flavour, it did mean that they had to hold back on labels until the product was finished.
I’m told that from the onset, they were determined to make drinks that they enjoyed drinking themselves, drinks they describe as ‘Classic’ and ‘Grown Up’ whilst steering away from trends and pink varieties. Hearing this made me even more interested to try their Rosé Gin.
Like all gins that I try, I start off with a small sample neat. Ive tried some good and bad Rosé Gins in the past, but this one is definitely different in a good way.
Amber in colour from its oak aging, I get a warm and toasty element on the nose, with the juniper is clearly present and it combines well with the gins sweet spicy notes.
On the palette, earthy woody notes really liven up the tastebuds, its smooth with a great full bodied mouth feel and has a mild similarity to whisky, due to the oak ageing of the product.
Perfect served on the rocks, I also tried it with a few mixers.
Good with a light tonic, I find an aromatic version added more complexity and stood up to it better, opening up the smooth vanilla notes.
I then tried pairing with a fever-tree ginger ale and could see why this was their recommended serve.
The warm toasty notes of the ginger ale, compliment those in this gin perfectly and I am already picturing me drinking these on cold winter nights in front of the fire.
If their other spirits are half this good, then they are a must try too!
Only one entry allowed per channel (1 on twitter and another on instagram) – Winner will be picked at random from all entries across the channels on Sunday 13th September.
Entries must be over 18 and resident in the UK. Bottle of Gin will be sent out by Henstone Distillery.
WANT 15% OFF THIER GIN AND VODKA TOO
The full range of Gins are available on their online shop, along with Glassware, Other Spirits and of course hand sanitiser – Chris is also offering a discount code to Manchester Food Tourist readers – simply input code MANCHESTER15 and get 15% off any Gin or Vodka Purchases – what are you waiting for!!