Gin of the Month: July
Summer is here and the headlines keep telling us to be prepared for a summer of heatwaves! Well, we’ll believe it when we see it! In the meantime, we have been summer dreaming with this months Gin of the Month, Kintyre Pink Gin, the latest produce of Beinn An Tuirc Distillery. As the name suggests, it is from Kintyre in the west coast of Scotland. Pink gin really took off last year and we are loving seeing so many distilleries jumping onto this one and creating their own twist on pink gin.
The Beinn An Tuirc distillery is situated on the Torrisdale Castle Estate looking over to the Isle of Arran. It’s been in the Macallister-Hall family since the late 1800s. The family, and their team still run the estate head distiller, Su Black, has so far produced, three gins - The Original, The Pink and a delicious sounding Oak Aged Gin. They promote their ecological ethos trying to keep a low footprint using local resources and their own hydro power supply when they can.
The Kintyre Pink Gin has a distinctive earthy and floral smell. This comes from the botanicals which include traditional flavours such as lemon peel, liquorice and orange peel as well as some unusual locally sourced sheep soral, which is a pink wildflower and icelandic moss, which was traditionally used for medicinal purposes. The gin also has cubeb berries, which are like black peppercorns and almonds, which provides nutty notes and brings together the other flavours of the gin.
The gin is distilled with raspberry and oats and the tasting notes suggest it has a delicate flavour such as that of the Scottish dessert, cranachan. On initially tasting we agreed the flavour is not as sweet as other pink gins you may have tasted. For this reason we think it is better to pair it with a sweetened tonic such as a Mediterranean Fever Tree or an original tonic. The flavour is too delicate to be paired with different flavoured tonics, and we felt it was drowned out a bit. Another alternative is to add it to prosecco for an extra summer fizz! The distillers recommend a raspberry tonic with a mint garnish, but we recommend use this tonic sparingly to not drown out the flavours.
Depending on your own preference the Kintyre take on the pink gin may be a good or bad thing. It’s good for those who like gin but don't like the artificial sweetness of pink gin, but we feel for those who love pink gin it may not be ‘pink’ enough. It may however be a good stepping point from pink gin into other types of gin. We are both split on the gin: Steph who prefers sweeter, fruity gin really likes it. Michael on the other hand, prefers citrus or spiced gins and so is still not convinced.