As some of you may know, I love supporting local produce. I exhibit at local festivals, experience local produce, and feature local brands who have entered the market. One such name that I have come across lately is Forest gin. A Macclesfield born spirit by Karl and Lindsay Bond, who undertook this as more a hobby than anything else, has now turned heads with the likes of Harvey Nichols and a variety of Manchester bars, potentially seeing the full-time jobs switching to ‘gin producers’.
But why the hype? Lets take a look.
A 30 litre pot still is all it takes to create one batch of Forest gin, using botanicals from Macclesfield Forest. Sounds easy doesn’t it, but to Karl and Lindsay, trial and error with smaller versions of the pot stills were needed, all whilst their daughter, 7-year-old Harriet, combs the forest for fresh botanicals. The likes of wild bilberries, wild gorse flowers, wild raspberries and local moss are blended with several other fragrant botanicals, within an organic grain spirit that has already been steeped with juniper berries and coriander seeds, both of which are organically certified too.
The hand-craft feel comes into play with the botanicals, as a pestle and mortar are used to break up the various ingredients. Once all combined though, the spirit is distilled through the copper condenser, then brought down to 42% abv using pure local spring water. Bottled in a stoneware vessel, with a printed forest stencil upon (created by Papercut artist Suzy Taylor), Forest gin offers, like Blackwood’s, different batches depending on the seasons in Macclesfield Forest. Currently, batch three is on sale, with batch four on its way. That doesn’t mean the consistency will change too much, but really backs up the sourcing of the botanicals within the forest.
Question is though, how does it fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes –
Forest – 42%
Incredible amount of bold, floral aromas on the nose including raspberry, gooseberry, slight citrus and soft grass and oak notes. A good kick of forest floor with a warming spice developing on the palate. Aromatic, fresh hints of wild berries, nettle and lavender come through too. Long, slightly dry, with a soft and subtle green berry finish.
A cracking spirit to enjoy on its own or over ice. Currently there are no signature serves, but I can imagine a Dry Martini would work wonders with the flavours. As mentioned above, Forest gin has turned heads at one of the UK’s premium department stores in Harvey Nichols, the exclusive stockist to Forest gin for the time being. Grab yourself a bottle though, this is a brand that’s offering the gin world something a little bit different.
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