Well, April was supposed to be a healthy month after the birthday indulgences of March but, between the school holidays and some exciting new gin releases, things didn’t exactly go to plan! Read all about it below.
The month began with the devastating news of a massive fire at Masons Gin Distillery in Yorkshire on 2nd April. Reportedly caused by an exploding still, six fire crews were called in to bring the blaze under control. Sadly everything was lost in the fire but thankfully, and more importantly, no staff were injured. Having set up temporary offices in Bedale Hall, Masons reported they were, rather impressively, back to bottling and labelling in-house on 23rd April and Head Distiller, Luke, is also distilling at different sites while awaiting delivery of their new still, Big Steve, which was fortuitously on order before the fire.
There have been setbacks of a different type for Firebox’s Unicorn Tears Gin Liqueur, who have been forced to rebrand after The Portman Group’s Independent Complaints Panel upheld a complaint that their illustration, and sparkly contents, would appeal to children. While I don’t wish to rub salt into the wounds, it does feel like a long time coming and I’m only surprised the Portman Group chose not to uphold similar complaints about their other products, Pixie Tears Gin and Flamingo Tears Gin.
New Gin Alerts
It’s been a busy month for gin alerts! Sipsmith have released Orange & Cacao Gin (more about that below), as well as a handsome Gin and Tonic in a tin. Puddingstone Distillery have introduced an Old Tom to their Campfire Gin range, which, if it’s as good as their others, is certain to be very good indeed! Then there’s Bombay Sapphire’s Limited Edition English Estate Gin, Warner’s (note they’ve dropped the Edwards!) Raspberry Gin, Hayman’s Hopped Gin and the intriguingly named Monkey Tea Party Gin, made by That Boutiquey Gin Company in collaboration with Gin Monkey and FEW Spirits, and featuring pink peppercorns, grapefruit and Oolong Tea!
My Month in Gin
The kids have been on holiday this month, so I’ve been off work with plenty of excuses to indulge in Mothers’ Ruin. We enjoyed a wonderful sunny Easter with the in-laws on the Dorset coast and obviously spent the bank holiday weekend in the local, Lulworth’s Castle Inn, which also just happens to be Fever-Tree’s Gin and Tonic Garden of the Year 2018!
I also enjoyed my first proper visit to Forest Hill’s Subplot 57 (ie during opening hours!) for the Hyke Gin Martini night. The lovely James of Foxhole Spirits introduced us to both Foxhole and Hyke Gin, with neat tastings and marvellous martinis. I also enjoyed a Hyke Spritz with sparkling rosé and rhubarb and ginger cordial, but the Hyke Martini was the knock-out drink of the night for me (in more ways than one!), with Crème de Cacao Blanc and Amontillado Sherry! Subplot 57 is hosting Bloody Bens and Tarquin’s tastings next month, and also opens to the public every other Saturday if you fancy checking out their extensive gin menu!
Welcome to My Collection
Catching Up and Looking Forward
I’m afraid I got distracted from finishing my Turncoat Bold St. Chai Gin review this month when Sipmith’s stunning Orange & Cacao Gin landed on my doorstep. But I did at least manage to review the Sipsmith and come up with a rather delicious Cacao Negroni recipe too!