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Review

Foxdenton Blackjack Gin

Distillery

Foxdenton Estate Company Ltd., Winslow, Buckinghamshire (made by Thames Distillers Ltd., Clapham, London), England, UK.

Website

Foxdenton Estate.

History

Estate of Foxdenton based in Lancashire, which had been in the family since 1367. In 1923 the Foxdenton Estate was leased to the local council who permitted public access to the grounds. In 1960 the house itself was sold to the local council and is now a tourist attraction. The business was taken over by his son Alexander Radclyffe and in 2001 his son the present owner, Nicholas Radclyffe, inherited the family business.

With a love of shooting and drinking, Nick thought the fruit liqueurs too sweet whilst at shooting events and wondered if he could produce his own. Making them at home he turned up at shooting days with his and found people really liked them. This spurred him on and he set up a small-scale production of these fruit liqueurs, using Gin as the base spirit, all made to traditional English recipes. Today they even have their own Gin, Foxdenton 48, sold by it self but also used as the base for their fruit liqueurs. Their Blackjack was the third fruit flavored Gin they made, and it almost didn’t make it – what they thought was a failure initially matured into this wonderful drink!

Their Gins are made by Thames Distillers, run by Charles Maxwell who is the 8th generation of the family (founders of the Finsbury Distillery) who have been producing Gin since 1700 – making them the oldest unbroken lineage in Gin distillation.

Production

The “Ben Hope” Blackcurrant strain is sourced from Pixley Berries, run by Edward Thompson in Herefordshire. This fruit is steeped in Foxdenton Gin, with a little sugar, for 6-8 weeks before being filtered and bottled. Small quantities are produced seasonally and thus it may not always be readily available.

Foxdenton introduced a new look for their spirits in early 2013. The old traditional style whisky bottles were replaced with clear squat cylindrical bottles, the same as used for Hayman’s Family Reserve Gin. The label is a large white one with black and burgundy colored writing and line images, including their logo (a bull and crown) and Foxdenton Hall. The Gin has a very deep red maroon color, and like some Claret can almost look black, it appears to have a violet color around the edges.

Category

Flavored Gin – Blackcurrant.

Alcohol By Volume (ABV)

20% (40 Proof).

Price Range

$$$ - $$$$. Not available in the USA. Try Master of Malt in the UK and expect to pay an additional 65% for shipping.

Botanicals

7 organic botanicals are used including: angelica root, blackcurrants, coriander seeds, juniper berries, lemon peel, lime flower oil and orris root.

Name

Named after the family’s ancestral home, the Foxdenton Estate, and the key botanical flavor – although in this case they have used a pun on words and called it “Blackjack”.

Tasting Notes

On the nose is juniper and blackcurrant with hints of peppery spice. On the palate this astringent dry spirit (with a little sweetness) has a strong dark fruit (blackcurrant) flavor with noticeable juniper (Gin) plus earthy peppery spice notes. The fruit continues into the close with a long dry tart finish. A nicely robust and intensely flavored Gin with good balance between sugar and acidity.

This is clearly made with less sugar than most comparable fruit flavored Gins and is consequently much drier. It is often drunk neat as a winter warmer but can easily be made into a refreshingly cool long drink with soda water, tonic water, lemonade and sparkling wine. This has a clear comparison with crème de cassis (but not as sweet) and as such is excellent for making a Kir (with a dry wine), or with Champagne to make a Kir Royale - in our view this is infinitely preferable due to its dryness. This is our number one choice when it comes to blackcurrant flavored Gin; we can’t give a higher recommendation than this. Nick prefers it neat and whilst we like it neat too, the Kir Royale just has that extra edge for us – what’s your favorite?

Awards & Accolades

Unknown.



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