Name: Brooklyn Gin (40% ABV)
Distilled: New York (the clue's in the name!)
Encountered: I was looking for a bottle of gin I hadn't come across before to buy with a gift voucher for M&S. It's not often I get to be so posh as to shop in the Marks and Spencer food hall. On that day I wanted an impressive looking gin bottle to display on my gin shelf. Brooklyn Gin was it. Look at it! Look how gorgeous it is!
Flavours According To Me: I'm no expert yet (I'm working on it) but it doesn't taste of much. It tastes really...stripped back. There's the juniper flavour coming through really strongly. So strongly in fact that it makes me wince. And then...nothing. That's it, that's all I got. It's a harsh flavour, sweetened with nothing whatsoever, as far as I can tell. A brave move.
Actual Flavours: Juniper and citrus peel - that's all the bottle is giving away, that's all the web site is giving away and that's all I can find on various review sites. So I was right, it's a stripped back flavour. The big selling point appears to be that the juniper berries are hand cracked and the citrus is hand peeled. I think that's probably true of a lot of small batch gins though. The citrus presumeably exists in the mix to sweeten the juniper flavour but it doesn't work. I couldn't taste the citrus at all. I tried, I really did.
Extra Good Stuff: The Brooklyn Gin web site explains that the berries are hand cracked and the citrus fruit hand cut to create a more vibrant flavour than if the fruit had been frozen or dried. And that does work well - if I'm wincing as I'm sipping, it's because there's a BIG, sharp taste going on there. And gin should be sharp.
Trivia: The web site gives you nine cocktail recipes that you can make with Brooklyn gin. I like the look of the Parchment Fizz, which contains absinthe and pear brandy. I can imagine sitting in a New York speakeasy in the twenties, drinking any of these cocktails. The prohibition era of the 1920's in America was full of poor quality, homemade spirits that killed people. This is where the term 'bathtub gin' came from. Luckily, this stuff is much better quality!
You Can't Judge a Bottle by It's Cover: So by this point you might have gathered that Brooklyn Gin is not an immediate winner with me, where taste is concered. But oh my, just LOOK at that bottle. Angular shape, exquiste blue glass and a copper inlay for the label. It looks decadent. It looks very 1920's. I am in love with it.
Did I Like It?: I'm hoping it's a grower. I mean, it's won multiple awards in America so obviously it's a great tasting gin. But for my particular pallette it just felt too harsh, with not enough to soften it or make it truly interesting.
Can You Buy It?: You can buy it on Amazon for about £40 or in branches of M&S for £37. It's an expensive one for sure, but if you're a collector of rare or small batch gins, especially those in fantastic bottles, it's worth having.
Gin For Tea Rating: Out of ten teacups, I give it a 6. With some of the gin slopped out of the teacups. But the teacups are bone china and are being drunk by ladies in flapper dresses. Most of this score is for the bottle. The taste, as I say, may be one that grows on me. Time will tell.
Christina, 32, London. Likes gin.