Master of Malt, (ATOM Supplies Ltd.) Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England, UK.
ATOM Supplies Ltd. trading as Master of
Malt, is one of the UK’s leading online liquor retailers. Established in 1985
they originally concentrated on Whisky but this soon grew to encompass a full
range of spirits. Since the 2010’s they have undertaken joint projects to
produce individual spirits, supported primarily by Ben Ellefsen, their Sales
Director. Under his guidance, the success of Master of Malt own offerings have
expanded to include a range of “Origin” Gins and the “Professor Cornelius
Ampleforth” range of spirits.
Professor Cornelius Ampleforth, A.K.A Ben Ellefsen, launched his Bathtub Gin in the fall of 2011. Despite the name, it is not made in a Bathtub but is reminiscent of Gin made in this fashion during Prohibition.
The base spirit is made from a high quality
copper pot distillation to which the botanicals are added and left to infuse
for around 24 hours. Normally, most Gins would be distilled another time
following the infusion period. However this Gin is simply filtered and bottled
straight from this cold compounding method, and is produced in small batches of
30 to 60 bottles at a time.
This very lightly straw colored Gin, has very small botanical particles suspended in the spirit creating a very artisanal image. The apothecary styled bottling, being wrapped in crinkled brown paper (covered with hand-drawn artwork), further enhances this Victoriana presentation. Flax twine is wound around the neck, securing the paper to the bottle, and dipped in black wax to seal it completely.
43.3% (87 Proof).
$$$$$ - $$$$$$. Not available in the USA.
Try online direct from Master of Malt but be prepared to pay an additional 50%
Made from 6 botanicals including: cardamom,
cinnamon, cloves, coriander, juniper berries and orange peel.
Professor Cornelius Ampleforth is a
fictional character, played by Ben Ellefsen. The “Bathtub” reference is used to
refer back to a time when Gin would be made in one. In theory, the production
methodology could use a bathtub to make the Gin but, we are pleased to say, it doesn’t!
On the nose is clear juniper and citrus
(orange) with hints of peppery spice (cardamom) and light cinnamon plus herbal
and floral aspects. On the palate this slightly sweet, creamy and oily viscous
spirit has juniper, citrus (lemon & orange) and spice plus earthy botanical
flavors with light pervading herbal and floral notes. On the long close is a
gentle warm peppery spice (cardamom) and sweet citrus (orange), with a
developing dryness showing aspects of cinnamon and slight anise (cloves?) in
the finish. A rare, good quality, complex and flavorful compound Gin with just
a hint of roughness (not necessarily a bad thing!).
This is a lovely drink, made all the more alluring by the fact it is a compound Gin. Compound Gins were quite common in the past and unfortunately gained a disreputable image due to the poor quality base spirits used and overall “cheapness”. This only goes to show what can be achieved, when quality ingredients are used with this method of production. We can recommend this as a nice sipping Gin and found the addition of ice beneficial. In a Gin and Tonic the rich flavors of juniper and orange citrus power through, underlining the quality of this spirit, with hints of herbal and floral aspects in the background. A citrus garnish (lime or lemon) adds to this drink by harnessing the spice notes. It makes a classic style Martini, but is improved further in a Dry Martini, where more of the Gins characteristics come through. We liked an olive garnish best, however both this and a lemon twist managed to bring out different aspects of the Gin, so we recommend trying each to find which your palate prefers. This proved to be a fairly versatile spirit for Gin based mixed drinks, making a good Gimlet, Negroni, Martinez, Pink Gin and Tom Collins. For drinkers of lighter cocktails, this Gin might overpower them, but this is not necessarily a bad thing if you are an ardent Gin lover.
Ben Ellefsen and Master of Malt continue to add success after success with their unique Gins, possessing undeniable value for Gin connoisseurs everywhere. If you love your Gin this, along with all their others, is a must try because your education is not complete without it. Thank you to everyone at Master of Malt for making it, and making it available to all.
Master Medal, Gin Masters, 2015.
Gold Medal, World Gin Awards, 2014.
Gold Medal, International Wine and Spirit Competition, 2013.
Chairman’s Trophy & Double Gold Medal, International Spirits Challenge, 2013.
Gold Medal, International Wine and Spirit Competition, 2012.