It’s hard to tell these days what the term ‘small batch’ can entail. What’s the limit of bottles to produce before you’re no longer coined with the term? Does it stop when a brand becomes commercially available to the public? I only ask as it becomes increasingly difficult to differentiate, but in the end, surely it’s down the liquid being created, not the terminology it comes under?
Tappers is a great example. Hailing from West Kirby in the Wirral, they produce their gin on site, creating 40 bottles per batch, with the labels and bottling all done by hand. But they also highlight another creative production method named Compounding, which can also irk some gin purists the wrong way.
Again, surely it’s all about the end product?
Compound gin was associated with bootleggers evading the law during Prohibition times, and was generally seen as poor quality. Tappers have used this idea to better effect, using 8 different botanicals to create a recipe that took over a year to prepare. Their Master Compounder develops the botanical recipes with ingredients inspired by Britain and the local coastal area, including red clover, chickweed, sea beet, pepper and spicy black cardamom seeds, juniper, angelica root and orris root.
Infused into a 100% wheat neutral base, the brand is said to reflect the coastal heritage of West Kirby. But how does it fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes –
Tappers Dark Side – 39.6%
Orris with hints of the red clover come through on the nose subtly, with an intense kick of the cardamom once onto the palate. Fresh herbal notes strike through, with a subtle honey and thin angelica profile, leading to a ling finish.
Intense profile, which would work well within its signature serve;
50 ml Tappers Darkside Gin
East Imperial Old World Tonic
Sprig of thyme and wedge of orange to garnish.
A unique gin for the drinks cabinet, and with only 40 bottles made per batch, and their branch out into other styles, it could be one to invest in.
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