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Review

Edinburgh Gin

Distillery

Alex Nicol of The Spencerfield Spirit Company Ltd., Spencerfield Farm, Inverkeithing, Fife, Kirkcaldy, Scotland, UK. Distributed in the USA by Frederick Wildman & Sons Ltd., New York.

Website

The Spencerfield Spirit Co. and Frederick Wildman & Sons.

History

The Spencerfield land has been involved in distilling since the 1700’s. James Anderson was the first but had to stop, when distilling outside of London was prohibited. This led him to immigrate to America where he became farm manager at Mount Vernon, and was instrumental in initiating and producing George Washington’s Whiskey.

Alex Nicol with a corporate background in the drinks industry, including Marketing Director of (the famous Whisky) Glenmorangie, started The Spencerfield Spirits Co. in 2005. Whilst they have concentrated on Whisky production (becoming famous in their own right), in mid 2010 they launched Edinburgh Gin. We’re sure the inspiration for this was: spirit distilled on the Spencerfield land was shipped to London to be made into Gin (before production was banned outside of London).

Production

Using Scottish grown grain the base spirit is made at the Invergordon Distillery. A traditional recipe from the 1700’s is used, from a company in the Port of Leith, which is now defunct. The last distillation, where the classic botanicals are used, is carried out at Langley Distillery near Birmingham, West Midlands. England. This is done in small batches using a 200-year-old Scottish copper pot still known as No.7, but also affectionately called “Jenny”. Finishing touches to the production (including the addition of further botanicals), and bottling, is carried out by Broxburn Bottlers in Edinburgh. The end product has a 1920’s art deco feel, using a simple geometric label design and squat cylindrical bottle.

Category

Distilled Dry Gin.

Alcohol By Volume (ABV)

43% (86 Proof).

Price Range

$$$ - $$$$. Try online retailers: Arlington Wine & Liquor, Merwin Liquors, and K & L Wines.

Botanicals

8 or 9 classic botanicals (including: angelica, coriander, juniper, lemon peel and orris root) are initially used in the last distillation. However, further botanicals are brought to bear in the distillate – we assume by steeping. These Scottish botanicals include heather, juniper berries, milk thistle and pine.

Name

Besides being produced and bottled in Edinburgh, it is the capital city of Scotland, and this firmly establishes its connections with the country – namely made in Scotland, using Scottish grain and the addition of unique Scottish botanicals. Edinburgh also has a long association with the production of Gin. In the 1700’s there were 8 legal distilleries and somewhere in the region of 400 illegal ones, in and around Edinburgh, most producing for the London market.

Tasting Notes

On the nose is juniper and pine with citrus (lemon) notes. On the palate the juniper, pine and citrus trio continues, with light floral notes developing on this medium bodied spirit. The finish is a classic spicy pepper (coriander) with strong pine and ginger notes.

There is complexity here but for our palates the floral tastes are too delicate to aid any tighter definition by us. Interestingly enough, Christopher Null at Drinkhacker.com says, regarding the taste of Edinburgh Gin: “(the pine) does put a damper on the secondary notes, to some extent.” We would never of thought of this and perhaps this explains why we had difficulty defining these floral notes. However, before you even think of denigrating the addition of the pine, please bear in mind it also provides a lot of very worthwhile character.

This smooth offering is very enjoyable in a Gin & Tonic and a Martini, no doubt due to the juniper (and pine), and is a true Gin lover’s choice. We recommend garnishing with a slice of lemon, however Spencerfield suggest lime or grapefruit (so, as ever, it’s a case of your own personal choice!).

The marketing material calls this “a big juniper Gin with a distinctively Scottish twist”, and you won’t find us disagreeing with this description. With a glass of Edinburgh Gin in your hand, close your eyes and imagine walking up a Scottish glen, on the edge of a coniferous forest, and you’ll be right there! Many Scottish Whisky drinkers will understand some of these flavors and feelings only too well – Alex Nicol’s prior industry knowledge and experience is clearly evident in this product. We certainly like this Gin and wish Alex and The Spencerfield Spirits Co. every continued success.

Awards & Accolades

92 Points, Beverage Testing Institute.

90 Points, Wine Enthusiast.

Master Medal, Gin Masters, 2013.

Silver Medal, International Spirits Challenge, 2013.

91%, Ultimate Spirits Challenge, 2012.

Silver Award, International Wine & Spirit Competition, 2011.

Bronze Medal, San Francisco World Spirits Competition, 2011.

2 Gold Stars, Great Taste Award, 2011.

Best Drink Award, Scotland Food & Wine Excellence Awards, 2011.

Gold Medal, Spirits International Prestige Awards, 2010.



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