There has been a yet another year of new gins hitting the market in 2020, with many of them being new varieties of some already popular brands.
Amongst them seems to be an ever increasing number of navy strength gins, which I am a big supporter of.
Navy strength gin is a gin that is bottled above 57% proof, which used to be called 100% UK proof spirit.
Before modern technology, there was no way of telling the exact proof of a spirit, but it is said that the British Royal Navy worked out a simple test to check if a spirit had enough alcohol in it. They mixed a small amount of the spirit with gunpowder to form a paste and tried to light it, if it would light, then the spirit was strong enough and therefore 100% UK Proof (Now known to be 57% ABV)
Spirits distilled to a higher strength can also have a more intense flavour and are great in cocktails or as a more intense G&T.
When a surprise package dropped through my door from Thunderflower, I was filled with excitement.
I am a massive fan of Thunderflower gin, with its spicy notes of Green Cardamon, Coriander Seed, Liqourice and Cassia, blended with the citrus notes of Lemon and Lemon Grass, the herbaceous Sage plus floral from Elderflower and Heather. It’s a beautiful gin all round and so couldn’t wait to try this new surprise package.
Their Navy Strength is names FIRE SHIP, a name given to a ship that was purposely set a light in battle and sailed towards the enemy as used by Francis Drake against the Spanish Armada and who himself was from Devon, just like Thunderflower.
The name is fitting as when I open the bottle I am hit by a surprise explosion, however this one is very welcome.
The familiar aroma of Cardamon blended with juniper arrives first, its warm and welcoming. A pour a small sample and try neat.
The mouth feel is stunning, full bodied and bursting with flavours. Some of the botanicals are the same as the original London Dry including the sweet spice of Cassia and Liquorice, which really adds to the long finish.
Cubebs adds to that spicy feel yet also gives an element of sweetness, not a sugar sweetness, but that of sweet Christmas spice. Grain of Paradise compliments these other spices well with adding to their intensity in addition to Calamus Root, another of the sweet spice botanicals. These wonder ingredients are combined well with lemon and orange peel for the touch of citrus, the list starts to look like ingredients for a very special Christmas cake, minus the fruit.
Mixing with some light tonic water, Fire Ship holds its flavours, each of them combining with the other to give a well rounded and integrated flavours of spice, sweet and bitterness with a long and delightful finish.
Being 58% ABV you may wish to use a little less than normal, however I find standard measures work perfectly for me.
As mentioned recently on the blog here – Thunderflower are raffling bottle one of batch one to raise money for Hospitality Action – you get an entry into the raffle for each £5 donated on their just giving page here, its a great cause and I’ve already donated – and what an amazing prize – fingers crossed.
Name: FireShip 58
Price: £49 (700ml)
Proof: 58% ABV
Buy from – Thunderflower Website