Gin of the Month: August

August’s Gin of the Month features another beautiful Scottish Gin. Pentland Hills Gin, as the name suggests, is distilled in the shadows of the Pentland Hills, in the Tarbraxus Distillery. It is created by couple Tabitha and Phil under the watchful eye of their dog Panza - who gives the inspiration for the branding for the gin.

Neither Tabitha nor Phil’s background is in distilling: Tabitha is a geologist who used her expertise offshore and Phill is a former RAF serviceman. However both of these careers gave them the skills and passion to try something new. To perfect the recipe, the couple looked into the history of distillation and the technical side as well as visiting many of the fantastic distilleries across the country to get inspiration and support. The recipe took about a year and 20 different incarnations until it was perfected.

The gin has 9 botanicals. The fab four of Juniper, Coriander Seeds, Angelica and Orris Root as well as Cardamom, Pink Peppercorn, Mint, Orange Peel and the most unusual of all is the cocoa which is added to the gin. On the nose the gin has a clean and fresh aroma; a sweetness of mint and heavy liquorice notes. The aroma carries through into the taste plus there’s a bit of a bittersweet note which may well be that cocoa.

The gin is definitely robust; it needs to be pretty dilute before you lose the taste of it. The flavours of the gin hold up in your G&T and can withstand a lot of flavoured tonics too, including a Fentimans Valencian Orange tonic. After some experimenting, our recommended serve is a Rose Lemonade with some pink peppercorns sprinkled in; it was a nice flavour to balance out the powerful flavour of the gin.

The distillers wanted to tell the story of the gin through the bottle and so you can see there are hills on the background and an etching of Panza the dog looking up to the hills. We love the glass etching on the bottle and think it brings a distinctive look to the brand. The bottles are also recyclable - once finished you return the bottle to the distillery in the box it came in and it is refilled for you. We love this commitment to sustainability.

Overall, The gin would work very well in a cocktail; it’s strong flavour would bring a nice flourish to your negroni or even a seasonal gin fizz in the sun. But also would stand up to just a gin and tonic too. It is a gin with a great personality that can be versatile in whatever serve you want to try it with.