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Review

Blackwood's Vintage Limited Edition 60 Gin

Distillery

Blackwood Distillery (Blavod Wines & Spirits Plc), Lerwick, Shetland Isles, Scotland, UK.

Website

Blackwood and Blavod.

History

The Shetland Isles have a rich history and their viking heritage is reflected in the company and drinks branding. The company was originally founded as Blackwood Distillers Holdings Plc in 2002 and this Gin was launched in 2005. Unfortunately they went into financial administration in 2008 and Blavod, bought the white spirits side, including the Blackwood brand name.

Production

The recipe is a local Nordic one and some of the ingredients are from the Island (being sustainably hand picked by Islanders) and this local approach is strongly reflected in the ethics of the company. This Limited Edition is made from the first flush of botanicals on the Isles and only 22,000 bottles are produced and individually numbered. 22,000 are the approximate population number of people on the Shetland Isles.

The Gin is made on mainland Scotland, at an unknown location, from a barley grain base. It is triple distilled using a small copper pot still where the botanicals are vapor infused. It is presented in clear cylindrical squat bottles, with a black and silver label depicting a viking longship. The Gin although clear has a very faint sea green coloration from the botanicals used.

Category

New Western Dry Gin.

Alcohol By Volume (ABV)

60% (120 Proof).

Price Range

$$$$$. Not readily available in the USA, however, we have identified one supplier online: Hops & Grapes.

Botanicals

13 botanicals are used (5 from the Shetlands*) and include: angelica root*, cinnamon bark, juniper berries*, lemon peel, liqorice root, meadowsweet*, nutmeg (ground), orange peel, orris root, sea pink flowers*, turmeric, violet flowers and wild water mint*.

Name

Unknown although the “60” is not just the ABV, it is also the latitude of the Isles: 60 degrees North.

Tasting Notes

We found it difficult to tell the difference between this and the 40% ABV Blackwood’s Vintage, although there were some minor variations:

On the nose are a very light aroma of juniper, citrus (lemon) and a hint of aromatic herbal notes. On the palate this slightly sweet and light bodied dry spirit displays strong citrus (lemon and lime) and a mild tart juniper flavor with floral, herbal and spice notes. The close has a lingering sweet citrus (lemon) and herbal and faint peppery finish. There is complexity here but it is hard to pick out the delicate flavors.

This is such a light, soft and subtle spirit it easy to sip neat and over ice. In a Gin & Tonic one would expect the delicate subtitles of the Gin to be lost however, if anything, it lifts the Gin; we could identify fresh elements of the salty seaside! This makes a soft and easy Martini with subtle complexities. Care must be taken when using this in other Gin based mixed drinks so as not to over power the flavors.

Awards & Accolades

Bronze Medal, San Francisco World Spirits Competition, 2013.

Bronze Medal, San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2009.

Bronze Medal, International Wine and Spirits Competition, 2009.

Gold Medal, World Spirits Festival, 2006.

Double Gold Medal, World Spirits Festival, 2005.



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