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Review

Little Bird Gin

Distillery

Tim Bryan Moore of Analogue Spirits Ltd., Peckham Rye (made by Thames Distillers, Clapham), London, England, UK.

Website

Little Bird Gin.

History

Tim Moore, founder of Analogue Spirits, began creating this spirit back in 2011. He organized a blind tasting of 50 different Gin recipes using a group of 50 people comprised of enthusiasts, professionals and friends. It became clear the preference was for a modern citrus-led, lightly juniper flavored style of Gin and Little Bird was hatched. The fledgling version was finally launched at the beginning of 2012.

Production

Produced in small batches of just over 1,000 bottles, from pure wheat grain spirit.

The Gin is presented in a clear squat rectangular bottle with a large white label. “Little Bird” and “London Dry Gin” are clearly written in black at the top and bottom of the label respectively. Dominating the centre of the label is a hand drawn colored picture of a ginger haired poster girl with a tattoo of a sparrow on her arm. Affectionately called “Ginger” she is the work of Brighton (South East England) based illustrator and animator Jules Langran. This has been inspired by the work of artist Alberto Vargas who in the 1940s began painting pin-up girls for Esquire Magazine in the USA known as “Varga Girls”. Perhaps better remembered, this work was imitated by airmen during World War II who decorated the nose and sides of airplanes, with colorful (and frequently sexy) paintings, referred to as nose art. These were painted to inspire and motivate, whilst bringing good luck, the same reasons for using it on this Gin.

Category

London Dry Gin.

Alcohol By Volume (ABV)

41.6% (83 Proof).

Price Range

$$$$$. Not available in the USA and was initially concentrated for the on-trade so, is not widely available elsewhere. Although we have not identified an international shipper, it can be purchased online within the UK from Gerry’s Wines & Spirits and Drink Finder

Botanicals

10 botanicals including: almonds, coriander, ginger (Ivory Coast), grapefruit, juniper berries and orange peel (sweet). The other 4 are kept a closely guarded secret.

Name

Unknown, although initially it was called Sparrow Gin.

Tasting Notes

On the nose is citrus (grapefruit) and pine (juniper) with faint hints of nutty almond. On the palate this smooth spirit has dominant citrus (grapefruit and sweet orange) and juniper flavors, with hints of spice (coriander) and ginger. On the close these flavors continue with more of the ginger and spice creating a peppery taste in the finish. A nicely rounded Gin.

Unlike most London Dry Gins, this is reasonably heavy on citrus and light on spice. In a Gin & Tonic it stands its ground, with the spice more noticeable, tasting closer to a traditional London Dry Gin. They recommend a grapefruit twist as garnish, rather than the usual slice of lime or lemon, although we believe it has enough citrus flavor to forego the garnish completely. Strangely enough, we found Schweppes a good choice for the Tonic, even in preference to Fentimans or Fever Tree. It makes a nice Martini and an even better Dry Martini, with the grapefruit twist garnish better placed here. Although not tried by us yet, we hear this makes a very good Negroni – check out their website for a Rhubarb Negroni recipe. Little Bird also makes a very good Red Snapper (a Bloody Mary with the Vodka replaced with Gin instead).

This is a nice Gin and whilst not truly at home for most traditionalists, many people will enjoy it immensely. We often refer to Gins as suitable for a specific season, either Summer or Winter however, for us this is a Fall Gin – for when its neither too hot nor too cold.

Awards & Accolades

Unknown.



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