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Review

Hayman's
Family Reserve Gin

Distillery

Christopher Hayman of Hayman Distillers Ltd. (and Thames Distillery), London, England, UK - although the production and storage is in Witham, Essex.

Website

Hayman Distillers.

History

Haymans have been distilling Gin in London for 150 years and started with James Burroughs (of Beefeater Gin fame) as James Burroughs Ltd. The company was sold in 1987 to Whitbread, although part of the business was retained and renamed Hayman’s. Today Christopher Hayman is supported by his son (James) and daughter (Miranda), the great-great-grandchildren of James Burroughs. This is the longest serving family owned gin distiller in England today.

Before 1861 when The Single Bottle Act was passed (allowing spirits to be sold in bottles) spirits were transported, stored and served in wooden barrels. In the mid 1800’s in London, Gin Palaces were commonplace, and Gin was served from wooden barrels (imparting an additional flavor to the spirit). Hayman’s launched this product in 2011, aiming to replicate the taste and style of Gin from this bygone era.

Production

This Gin is made to a recipe from the 1850s and following distillation is rested in varying barrels (although we believe these are mostly American oak wood Scotch Whisky barrels) for 3-4 weeks. Hayman’s produce their Family Reserve in batches of 5000 bottles with each bottle individually numbered alongside the batch number. The barrel resting can impart a very, very faint yellow straw color to the spirit, as found in some batches – it appears this was found in the earlier batches and seems to be of a traditional clear color in the later batches. This could also be due to the varying barrels used and thus some batches are more yellow in color than others. If anyone can add to this information, please let us know.

Category

Barrel Aged Gin.

Alcohol By Volume (ABV)

40% (80 Proof).

Price Range

$$$. Not available in the USA, try Master of Malt in the UK but be prepared to pay 80% more for the shipping.

Botanicals

9 botanicals are used including: cassia bark, coriander, juniper berries and liquorice.

Name

Named after founder, Christopher Hayman, and uses a family recipe dating back to the 1850’s hence the term "family". The Reserve refers to the barrel aging process it undergoes. This was previously called Hayman's 1850 Reserve Gin.

Tasting Notes

On the nose is piney juniper and spicy citrus (orange). On the palate this full-bodied drink has strong juniper plus citrus and spice notes plus a slightly sweet peppery flavor (liquorice and coriander). Some can detect faint tannin traits, no doubt from the wood, but this eluded us - perhaps a good excuse for us to try some more. It has a creamy soft and mellow mouth feel and this to us was the uniquely defining character of this beauty!

This is fine taken neat and it is good in a Gin & Tonic, Martini and or Martinez. Some care and craft is required to find the best items to mix this with, we haven’t had enough sampling to make any further firm recommendations – let us know what you come up with!

Once again Hayman’s have produced something new in the world of Gin, by revealing the past, for us to enjoy today. We take our hats off to veteran Master Distiller Christopher, Ambassador James and all the team at Hayman’s – you are a continuing credit with your groundbreaking endeavors, one might say, you are the “Spirit of Gin”.

Awards & Accolades

Master Medal, Gin Masters, 2015.



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