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Review

Hendrick's Gin

Distillery

Girvan Distillery, William Grant & Sons Group of Companies (WGS Group), Girvan, Nr Ailsa Bay, Ayrshire, Scotland, UK. (William Grant & Sons Ltd., The Glenfiddich Distillery, Dufftown, Banffshire, Scotland, UK).

Website

Hendrick’s Gin – check this out for it’s curious and quirky Monty Python type style – and William Grant & Sons.

History

Started in 1886 and established in 1887 by William Grant with his seven sons and 2 daughters, the company are renowned for whisky production, such as Glenfiddich and Balvenie. They are the second largest privately owned distillery (and the 10th largest) in Scotland.

This Gin was launched in 1999, using a recipe devised by current president Charles Grant Gordon, the great grandson of William Grant (the 5th generation), and finely honed by master distiller Lesley Gracie.

Production

The spirit is distilled four times, in small batches using a London made Bennet Copper still (an original from 1860) and a 1948 vapor infused Carter-Head gin still. Both stills were purchased in 1966 and were restored for usage. Pure soft water sourced from the local Penwhapple Reservoir is used and the botanicals are steeped for 24 hours before distillation.

The two differently produced Gins are carefully blended together and essence of Cucumber and Rose added to make the final product – technically this addition after distillation makes it a distilled dry Gin, rather than a London Dry Gin. Despite this, we categorize it as as a New Western Dry Gin because the Juniper shares center stage with other botanicals. The Gin is presented in a readily identifiable, broad, dark green, apothecary style bottle, with a cork stopper.

Category

Distilled Dry Gin.

Alcohol By Volume (ABV)

44% (88 Proof). In the UK this Gin is produced at 41.4% ABV.

Price Range

$$$ - $$$$.

Botanicals

11 botanicals: angelica root, caraway seeds, coriander, chamomile, cubeb berry, cucumber, elderflower, juniper berries, lemon peel, meadowsweet, orange peel and orris root. In addition, essences of cucumber and rose petals (Bulgaria) are added.

Name

Charles Gordon’s mother suggested it be called Hendrick’s, after the name of their gardener who had tended their roses for over 30 years.

Tasting Notes

On the nose are soft juniper scents (not heavy pine) and citrus with floral notes (rose). Smooth and full-bodied, the palate has juniper pine and citrus with a hint of minty cucumber. One of the best things is the long, pleasant and lingering oily pepper finish. Cucumber is recommended as the standard garnish instead of lemon or lime, as the citrus may hide some of the more subtle flavors. Undoubtedly a well made, excellent and elegant Gin.

The marketing describes this as "A most peculiar gin” and it is unusual in the use of rose petals and cucumber – thus, for some, it may take a little getting used to. It seems to us that most people like this because of its complexity and smoothness, plus its relative quirky, uniqueness. It is easy to drink neat or on the rocks and can go well in a Gin & Tonic or Martini. This being said, the light subtle notes can be lost when mixed, though the Gin is still versatile and tastes good in many drinks. Many traditional Gin drinkers may find the lightness of juniper not to their preferred taste.

Some people suggest the cost of this Gin is too steep, but consider the time and labor intensive production methods used and we believe this is a fair amount to pay. Despite the price, this is well worth trying to see if your personal palate likes it – it just might prove to be your personal best and preferential Gin of choice – there are many ardent followers who attest to this.

Awards & Accolades

95 Points, Beverage Testing Institute

92 Points Wine Enthusiast.

Silver Medal, Gin Masters, 2013.

Bronze Medal, International Spirits Challenge, 2013.

Double Gold Medal, San Francisco World Spirits Competition, 2012.

Gold Medal, International Spirits Competition, 2011.

Best Distilled Gin, International Spirits Competition, 2011.

Silver Medal, San Francisco World Spirits Competition, 2011.

Silver medal, International Wine and Spirit Competition, 2011.

Chairman’s Trophy, Ultimate Spirits Challenge, 2011.

Double Gold Medal, San Francisco World Spirits Competition, 2010.

Silver Medal, International Wine and Spirit Competition, 2010.

Silver Medal, San Francisco World Spirits Competition, 2009.

Bronze Medal, International Spirits Challenge, 2009.

Silver Medal, San Francisco World Spirits Competition, 2008.

Silver Medal, San Francisco World Spirits Competition, 2007.

Gold Medal, San Francisco World Spirits Competition, 2005.

“World’s best Gin” by The Wall Street Journal, 2003.



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