As the tulips start to bloom, we enter my favorite time of the year. A time when evenings are lighter and there is nothing better than after finishing a day at work, sitting in the garden admiring nature with a gin and tonic in hand.
My gin shelf is varied and continues to grow, however its getting harder to choose which gins deserve a place on display and which stay in the cupboard.
With my gins, just like wine and food, I like to mix it up and rarely do I pour the same gin 2 days in a row. Quite often its a spice heavy gin, sometimes fruit, sometimes floral, sometime citrus and sometimes herbal, hence the gin shelf is so varied.
One element that is constant within my favorite gins is a complexity. I want something that dances on the tongue and brings and has me guessing about all the elements that it contains. This however doesn’t mean that it needs to be over complicated, just well thought out.
This takes me to my latest gin review named Big 7, from C&M Distilling Ltd.
The two friends actually started the company at a very memorable time, just as I was taking my last trip abroad and the first lockdown was about to happen back in March 2020, so with times being tough, they have managed to still get their gin to market.
The two friends had worked in the industry for some time however and its how they first met, so when they set about planning a gin for themselves, they knew it needed to impress on a number of levels.
Settling on no less than 7 botanicals, the gin is true to its roots, with juniper being at its forefront, however upon opening you cant help but notice a real savoury element to its aroma, which comes from a more unusual botanical, bay!
The bottle is big and bold with a eye catching copper foil 7, representing the botanicals and the copper column still that its used to produce it.
I pour my first sample and swirling around the glass brings about aromas of Juniper which then open up to the citrus elements from the grapefruit.
First tasting the gin neat, and after the juniper hit which is balanced with a sharp citrus hit, it is quickly followed up by herby notes that shine most for me with an earthy savouriness possibly from the bay, before finishing with a comforting hit of chamomile that lingers on and on.
Next I mix with a light tonic and the lemongrass and grapefruit peel is released more giving a light and refreshing taste with the bay adding to the freshness.
Just as neat, its the chamomile that lingers the longest giving a floral but savoury finish which is very long and satisfying.
Next up, instead of using a garnish, I decided to use another product which I am currently testing out. A tonic enhancer from Brewer and Butler, which you can check out here.
In place of a garnish, it adds an extra something to the drink, which compliments the botanicals within. I chose the Orange, Thyme and Lemongrass version, all of which would be a perfect garnish for this gin.
It was a wise choice and it took the drink to another level. If you’re interested in finding out more about the tonic enhancers then keep your eyes peeled as I shall be posting more on them soon.
Back to the gin and no matter if its neat, with a G&T or as a Martini, this is a great gin with complexity and good juniper levels balanced with citrus, herby and floral notes.
Name:- Big 7 Gin (Charles and Mike Distlilling)
Price:- £35.99 (70cl)
Proof:- 40% abv
Buy from:- Charles and Mike Distilling Website
Disclaimer – Big 7 Gin was sent to me as a PR sample, the review and all thoughts are the sole and honest thoughts of Manchester Food Tourist