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Review

Professor Cornelius Ampleforth's
Cask Aged Gin

Distillery

Master of Malt, (ATOM Supplies Ltd.) Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England, UK.

Website

Master of Malt

History

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 their Bathtub Gin in the fall of 2011. In 2012, their Bathtub Gin having been aged in a small barrel was released under the suitably revised title of “Cask Aged” Gin.

Production

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 a further time following the infusion period, however this Gin is simply placed in small 50-liter sized barrels (called “Octaves”) and left to relax for 3 to 6 months. These small casks, having previously been used for aging either Sherry or Bourbon, allow a greater surface area for the liquid to interact with he wood, and subsequently impart a greater flavor and yellow color to the Gin.

Once matured these small batches of 30 to 50 bottles are put into apothecary styled bottles, and wrapped in crinkled brown paper (covered with hand-drawn artwork including a picture of 3 casks), to enhance it’s Victoriana presentation. Flax twine is wound around the neck, securing the paper to the bottle, and dipped in black wax to seal it completely.

Category

Compound & Barrel Aged Gin.

Alcohol By Volume (ABV)

43.3% (87 Proof).

Price Range

$$$$$$ - $$$$$$$. Not available in the USA. Try online direct from Master of Malt in the UK but be prepared to pay an additional 50% for shipping.

Botanicals

Made from 6 botanicals including: cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, juniper berries and orange peel.

Name

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! “Cask Aged” refers to the maturation period the Gin spends resting in barrels.

Tasting Notes

On the nose is juniper with woody herbal notes plus hints of vanilla, orange and buttery caramel. On the palate this lightly sweet, creamy smooth and full-bodied oily spirit has clear juniper, spice (cardamom, coriander & cloves) and citrus (lemon & orange) flavors with notes of vanilla and butterscotch toffee. On the close are dry juniper, zesty citrus and warming peppery spice (cardamom) with a creamy orange sweetness in the finish. This is a nicely rounded and intensely complex velvety Gin.

All the characteristics of the original Bathtub Gin are here but they take a backward step for the very smooth and creamy orange, caramel and vanilla notes. This is ideal as a sipping Gin and many may make reference to its whiskey like persona with good cause. This is not really suitable to mix with Tonic and in a Martini it is unusual but not entirely unpleasant. Like most cask aged Gins this is somewhere between a Whisky and a Gin, making it an acquired taste - even if you are a fan of both these spirits. The cask aging has certainly added the caramel and vanilla typically found in a Whisky but the aromatic juniper flavors typically found in a Gin still clearly abound. We think this is something everyone should seek to acquire a taste for, especially with this particular offering from Master of Malt.

Awards & Accolades

Unknown.



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