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Review

Brecon Special Reserve Gin

Distillery


Welsh Whisky Co Ltd., Penderyn (Gwalia) Distillery, Penderyn, Rhondda Cynon Taff, Brecon Beacons, Wales, UK.

Website

Welsh Whisky Co. Ltd.

History


Established in 2000 (the first Welsh distillers since 1889), it’s first product was a Welsh single malt whisky, launched on St David’s Day (the patron saint of Wales) 1st March 2004. A visitor’s center opened in 2008 for tours, sampling and purchases.

In 2007, their range of products expanded to include this Gin, the first ever produced in Wales. Currently about 50,000 bottles are produced each year and sold in the UK and Spanish markets, roughly in a 50/50 split.

Production

A third party neutral grain distillate produced via column still is used for the base spirit. This is blended with malted Regina barley spirit, hydrated with Brecon spring water, and infused with the botanicals in a copper pot still (apparently using a 100-year-old recipe). The still is designed by Dr. David Faraday, constructed by MacMillans, and is a hybrid, which incorporates a column still. The Gin is presented in a tall, clear, cylindrical bottle with simple stylistic monochrome labeling.

Category

Distilled Dry Gin.

Alcohol By Volume (ABV)

40% (80 Proof).

Price Range

$$ - $$$. Not widely available in the USA (if at all). Try Master of Malt in the UK but be prepared to pay 80% more for shipping.

Botanicals

10 botanicals are used: angelica root (France), cassia bark (China), cinnamon bark (Madagascar), coriander seeds (Russia), juniper berries (Macedonia), liquorice root (Sri Lanka), lemon peel (Spain), nutmeg (India), orange peel (Spain) and orris root (Italy).

Name

The distillery is in the heart of the Neath Valley known as Waterfall Country (only a short distance from Scwd-Yr-Eira (Snow waterfall) which falls 50 feet), at the foothills of Brecon Beacons National Park. The name is taken from this beautifully rugged mountain countryside.

Tasting Notes

On the nose is juniper and spice (coriander). On the palate this slightly sweet and smooth spirit, has strong juniper, with citrus and spice notes (coriander and cinnamon). The finish is medium-long with some peppery juniper and sweet spice notes.

This displays all the classic signs of a London Dry Gin (without actually being one) with nice levels of juniper and spice. This works well in a Martini and is very good in a Gin & Tonic – for some reason the fresh and bright characteristics of the citrus (lemon and orange) shine through. We tried this in a few other Gin based mixed drinks and there were similar results, the classic style Gin permeates through nicely. Providing this is available to you, it makes for a very agreeable drink for Gin lovers – the price point is the icing on the cake!

"Llongyfarchiadau" to all at the Welsh Whisky Co. (hopefully, this translates as "Congratulations" in Welsh).

Awards & Accolades

Silver Medal, International Wine and Spirit Competition, 2012.

Gold Medal, International Wine and Spirit Competition, 2011.

Silver Medal, International Spirits Challenge, 2011.

Bronze Medal, International Wine and Spirit Competition, 2008.

Silver Medal, International Wine and Spirit Competition, 2007.



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