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Review

Stretton's Gin

Distillery

Glendale Distillery (Edward Snell and Co. Ltd.), Durban, Natal, South Africa. Imported to the USA by BerNiko, Miami, Forida and Nyati Beverages, Santa Barbara, California.

Website

Edward Snell & Co. and BerNiko & Nyati Beverages.

History

Traveling to the Argentines, a ship came under distress and had to dock in Cape Town, South Africa. Passenger Edward Snell was on board and seeing the potential commercial opportunities available decided to stay and set up an import/export business. This was established in Durban in 1848 and later, included alcoholic products. By 1859, the business had grown and he brought his nephew Edward Hooper from England into the company. Snell finally retired in 1885 and Hooper’s son, Vernon ended up owning the business by 1906.

Today David Hooper is Chairman and Iain Hooper is Managing Director, the 3rd and 4th generations of the family, and the company is the largest family owned wine & spirit merchant in South Africa. Stretton’s brand is owned by Edward Snell & Co. and is produced at Glendale Distillery on the Umgeni River, by Master Distiller Derrick Stretton, a skill he learnt from his father (a renowned Gin distiller from England).

In 2008 this Gin was relaunched with a redesign: the clear bottle taller and slimmer, with a new label - colored yellow with red writing.

Production

Made with neutral cane spirit and pot distilled.

Category

Tropical Gin  & London Dry Gin.

Alcohol By Volume (ABV)

43% (86 Proof).

Price Range

$ - $$. Not widely available in the USA, try Little Brothers Beverage Outlet online.

Botanicals

Uses 5 botanicals including: angelica root, cassia bark, coriander seeds, juniper berries and orange peel.

Name

Named after the Stretton family who have been producing this Gin for several generations.

Tasting Notes

On the nose is citrus and evergreen (juniper) with some herbal notes. On the palate this smooth medium bodied, semi sweet (but mellow) spirit has medium juniper and citrus flavors (with certain bitterness aspects being displayed). At the end is a sweet peppery and lemon fresh finish. There is a very pleasant albeit faint undercurrent of simple complexity throughout.

Although this is technically a London Dry Gin, the semi sweet palate to us, plants it firmly in the Tropical Gin category. Many Tropical Gins can be poor cousins to a London Dry Gin but this is clearly not the case here. Whilst this may be more at home to new or low-level juniper Gin drinkers, we were surprised how it turned out in a Martini and a Dry Martini – the sweet citrus seems to balance well with the dry juniper and other bitter aromatics. It is certainly worth a try, especially at this low price point. The same was true for a Gin and Tonic, making it a worthy party Gin, especially if making many G&T’s. Whilst different in flavor and taste profile, it could give Beefeater a run for its money, if the party crowd were not forward juniper Gin drinkers.

Awards & Accolades

80 - 84 Points, Wine Enthusiast.

Double Gold Medal, San Francisco World Spirits Competition, 2007.

Silver Medal, San Francisco World Spirits Competition, 2006.

Best Gin, Liquor Snob, 2005.

Gold Medal, International Wine and Spirits Awards, 2000.



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