October’s Gin Box
Caorunn – Small Batch Scottish Gin
Silver medal London Dry Gin Style International Wine and Spirits Competition.
Bronze London Dry Gin Style @ International Wine and Spirits Competition 2017.
Caorunn (Ka-Roon) is a thoroughly Scottish Gin. It is relatively new and unlike others that have insisted on unusual botanicals and serving suggestions, the folks here have demanded clean crisp slices of Pink Lady Apples in the glass.
We tried this last week and my it is refreshing.
You notice straight away the unusual five sided pentagonal shape of the bottle which carries through to the label as well. It is a nod to the five Scottish botanicals in the gin, rowan berry, heather, dandelion, bog myrtle, and the aforementioned apple. Caorunn is the gaelic name for ‘Rowan’. These botanicals are all from the island of Islay where it is distilled at the Balmenach distillery.
There are of course a total of 11 botanicals in this gin so expect more than the pentagon of flavours! (Compared to Monkey 47 which has 47 botanicals this seems a model of zen like simplicity).
Balmenach distillery is first a whiskey distillery, home to brands such as Speyside, Glenlivet and Knockdu. The gin was inspired by the landscape of the Cairngorms in which the distillery is located. It is batch-distilled by hand using an unusual still a bit like a Carterhead, in that the botanicals infuse into the alcohol vapour rather than coming into contact with the liquid spirit. But where the Carterhead has a botanical basket at the top of a column, the Balmenach still has a unique copper “berry chamber” in which the botanicals are spread out on four horizontal trays, to maximise their exposure to the vapour. The spirit is triple distilled from 100% grain and the gin is diluted to 41.8% ABV using spring water that filters down through the Cromdale Hills behind the distillery.
What to enjoy with a Caorunn but Scotlands oldest tea cakes. Thomas Tunnock was born in 1865 and 5 generations later they are still the most popular tea cakes, loved by Chris Martin of Coldplay and actress Andie McDowell. Amazing Tunnocks facts can be be found at www.tunnock.co.uk
Juniper Seeds, Coriander, Lemon peel, Orange peel, Angelica root and Cassia bark
On the nose, it is floral at first, with notes of heather and citrus blossom. Juniper takes shape as it develops.
On the palate: Orange oil, rosemary and a subtle sweetness of heather honey.
On the finish: Finish: Drying juniper and leafy herbs. A pinch of peppery rye lingers.
THE PERFECT G&T
The Mediterranean Serve. Build a Caorunn glass with lashings of ice. Over it layer several slices of Pink lady apple and to this add one part gin and four parts tonic water. Stir rigourously.