Name: Brecon Special Reserve Gin (40% ABV)
Distilled: Penderyn distilleries in the Brecon Beacons, South Wales. They primarily make whisky there, but have a nice side line in gin and vodka.
Encountered: Caernarfon, North Wales. I asked for a nice gin at the bar of the Black Boy Inn and they introduced me to this, as a 'lovely local gin that we're very proud of'. Then I bought a miniature bottle from the gift shop next to that station on Anglesey with the reallllly long name. I brought it home to drink later. Now I wish I'd bought a bigger bottle.
Flavours According To Me: Warm and spicy. I can't do better than this yet, I'm still learning about tasting stuff. After a few more mouthfuls and some thoughtful lip smacking I am pretty sure I can taste Christmas, but then I realise that this is because of the spice. I could imagine drinking this with a mince pie, in front of an open fire. I can smell citrus, but I cannot pick it out when tasting.
Actual Flavours: Leaving aside the juniper, which is a given as this is the primary botanical in all gins, the Penderyn Distillery website tells me that Brecon Special Reserve contains coriander, cinnamon and nutmeg (there's the Christmassy taste!) as well as lemon and orange peel, liquorice and angelica. A closer inspection of my miniature bottle reveals that the bottle also lists the botanicals.
Extra Good Stuff: Brecon gin uses water from the Brecon Beacons National Park - so it really is actual Brecon gin through and through.
Trivia: There were no distilleries at all in Wales between 1910 and 1990. The Penderyn Distillery began distilling gin in 2000 and for a while, this was the ONLY Welsh gin. Nowadays, there are a handful of others to keep it company.
You Can't Judge a Bottle by It's Cover: The Brecon Gin bottle is tall and slender with a simple black and white label. The full sized bottles have small pictures of the botanicals dancing in a line down the front. It's pretty sophisticated and looks like it should be behind the bar in a fancy jazz club.
Did I Like It?: I did - but I had a glass of this gin with tonic on a warm, summers day at home. While I was doing the ironing, incidentally. So I was pretty hot. As this particular gin is so warming, I think I'll wait until winter to find that open fire and have another glass. I also put a lemon slice in the glass, to compliment the citrus present in the gin.
Can You Buy It?: You can - from the Penderyn website, and at £22.38 it's not too dear. There's also a Brecon Botanicals Gin which is slightly more expensive at £27.61.
Gin For Tea Rating: A solid 8 out of 10 teacups. I might be a little biased because of being part Welsh etc. I'm definitely going to have to get a bigger bottle.
Christina, 32, London. Likes gin.