Reviewed by Nina Chester
Bathtub Gin, two words that you don’t really expect to see together. I can almost hear comic, Peter Kay “Garlic Bread” “it’s the future.” Well as a lover of gin, a little less of the bathtub more a shower girl myself, I did wonder how it got its strange name and unique appearance and with a little reading I found that the term relates to the production of spirits in prohibition America and refers to alcohol produced in an amateurish way. I can assure you that there is nothing amateurish at all about this gin. Bottle wrapped in brown paper, good old-fashioned twine with the cork firmly waxed in place; I went on a quick hunt on the internet and found Ableforth’s website. It will tell you all you need to know about the process of gin making, it will give you an insight into the botanicals used (coriander, Juniper, cinnamon, orange peel, cloves and cardamom) and the fact the company was founded in Kent, England in 2011. I liked the fact that the bottle wrapping takes eight minutes and is done by hand, but; what no website can tell you, is how much you will enjoy it.
That’s my job.
So firstly, this is an overstrength gin at 43.3% Vol. You will notice it has a very slight straw coloured hue, I guess that is the orange peel. And that it coats the inside of the glass in a satisfying way this is a spirit and not water. However, it’s the smell that evoked so many childhood memories for me. My Dad was a gin lover, I think maybe these days us ladies have caught on to how amazing gin is, but in my childhood, Dad was drinking gin and Mum was having port and lemon. This Bathtub Gin has the aroma that leaves the glass and finds it way to your nose as you gently swirl the glass. Bliss.
There is a current trend for flavoured gins. Ableforth’s Bathtub Gin is gin flavoured, no horrible chemical concoctions or unnecessary additions. Lemon, Unicorn Rainbow Cake, Pineapple Plaza. This is my sort of gin; it tastes of gin and it’s as smooth as a baby’s bottom (a baby without nappy rash, as many mums will know not always the best metaphor). It has no harsh aftertaste and was sublime just with ice and a sparkling tonic water. I refrained from a slice of lemon as the Ableforth’s Bathtub Gin has all the flavour that I needed.
This is a quality drink and not the sort of bottle that you drink without thinking about. It’s a special occasion. It is to gin what champagne is to wine. A real treat, a special gift, but don’t expect it to gather dust in the back of the cupboard, this is a drink to be savoured and enjoyed, buy a bottle for yourself, for someone special in your life, and with Mother’s Day around the corner, if ever there was a good excuse to treat your Mum, this is it.
RRP: £31 (70cl)