Reviewed by Amanda Hayes
Gin has become really popular in recent years, with many small distilleries popping up across the Country and being a big gin fan myself, I love trying all the different varieties with their unique tastes. Being so in favour with all ages, and all genders, gin is just the perfect Valentines gift, especially if you love your presents to be made in the United Kingdom. I’m certainly keen to reduce air miles wherever I can, so I was more than happy to be able to review the small batch gin from Scotland, Caorunn.
As I hadn’t heard of Caorunn before, I thought id do a little research before it arrived and found out lots of interesting facts from its informative website. Unusually it is made in Speyside, Scottish Highlands, somewhere I have always thought of as a whisky making region, and that’s just one thing that sets it apart from the rest. Caorunn Gin has been handcrafted in small batches at the Balmenach Distillery since 2009, so fairly recent, but well established. The name I thought sounded either Celtic or Gaelic, and I was proved right when I found that Caorunn is the Gaelic word for rowan berry, one of the botanicals used in the gin. Four other Celtic botanicals within the gin are all foraged within ten minutes’ walk of the distillery, so you can’t get much more local than that.
Caorunn Gin is the only gin in the world to be distilled in a working Copper Berry Chamber, using a process from 1920’s USA, and if like me, you are interested in learning more there is a fabulous illustration on the website showing the exact process it goes through.
Now to the gin itself, arriving in a very simply styled bottle, white label, black writing, and a red star like symbol, it looked plain but stylish. At 41.8% proof, it’s a strong, pure gin but it almost has a floral smell to it, like a classy perfume, its definitely not one of those spirits that makes your eyes water when you inhale! I normally like to try my first taste of a gin, with an unflavoured light tonic water, to taste the full flavour of the gin and this Caorunn tasting was no exception. The pure flavour, with the hint of floral, came through clearly and had a fantastic clean and dry taste which was extremely enjoyable. Straight forward G & T tested, it was time to hit the cocktails, and there is a great selection on their website. One that caught my eye was the Pink Lady Spritz, Caorunn gin mixed with pretty much equal parts of either Pink Lady cordial/cloudy apple juice and lime juice and topped up with soda water. As I don’t like my drinks sweet, this was a perfect combination of sweet fruit juice, sharp lime and dry gin and soda water, absolutely scrumptious and one I will be trying again soon.
If you are heading up to Scotland any time soon you can book a distillery tour and see the process and taste their gin for yourself. As well as the traditional gin I tried they also make a raspberry version, Scottish Raspberry, and Highland Strength, a strong 54% proof version, all distilled in small batches. If you travel frequently you might also see their version made exclusively for travel retail, Caorunn Masters Cut.
One of these versions will surely make a perfect Valentines gift for your loved one, I highly recommend it and would certainly be happy if someone brought me a bottle!
Rating: Highly recommended 5 out of 5
RRP: £29.00 70cl bottle (Highland Strength £40.00 70cl bottle)
This product can be purchased from Caorunn Gin here.