Gin of the month: February
Happy February, the month of love, and let us say - we fell in love at first smell of The Gael - Scottish Gin. Named after the Scottish fiddle tune, The Gael, written by Dougie Maclean, which was originally commissioned for the Loch Ness Monster Exhibition and subsequently featured in the film "Last of the Mohicans". It was also featured at the Edinburgh Tattoo in 2000. If you are at all musically minded - you can find the sheet music on the inside label of the bottle, shimmering through the gin. We love this touch! It makes it really stand out on the shelf.
Back to the smell - it is a sweet, spiced smell. It reminds us of a warming Hot Toddy from a Christmas Market. It is a comforting yet complex smell. This can be attributed to the distinguishing ingredient in the gin - the malted barley. The spirit is distilled five times and paired with traditional botanicals such as juniper and citrus peels with the warming spice from a kick of cardamom. The Scottish heather adds a lovely smooth and floral depth to the flavour of the gin. This essentially means - it is Scotland in a gin bottle.
We cannot help but compare it to a whisky - it has the warming smell of a whisky however it is so much more palatable. It is a perfect sipping gin, and would not be out of place as a post dinner drink over ice by a roaring fire. It works equally well with tonic for your classic G&T; we tried it initially with a light tonic and pink grapefruit garnish. This gave quite a crisp flavour as the citrus notes were picked up. We then tried it with a suggestion from the crafters: an aromatic tonic and slither of orange peel, which we believe to be the perfect serve. The sweet orange mixed with the bitter of the tonic works astoundingly well and it is such a smooth drink. We are not normally fans of the aromatic tonic, because it can be quite overpowering, tending to drown out the subtle flavours. In this case, it’s a great match-up and The Gael’s bold flavours can break through this to round it all off nicely.
Overall, The Gael is a winner in our house. It is distinctive, classy and unique. It has the ‘gallus’ personality of a true Scotsman on a windy day. Whisky better watch out, as its crown as the spirit of Scotland may soon be toppled by such a fine gin.