Hamburg may not be the first place you think of for creating gin, but the rules have changed and Gin Sul has made its way to the UK from Hamburg’s only gin distillery!
Masterminded by Stephan Garbe, he was inspired by his time living in Costa Vicentina in south-west Portugal and decided to use the botanicals of the country, including lemons and Rockrose. Unable to create his idea in Portugal itself, he set up in Hamburg to produce a German version of his Portuguese idea, Gin Sul becoming the result.
Produced by hand, fresh lemons are sent over from Portugal, arriving at the distillery on an almost weekly basis. Peeled by hand, the fresh peels are combined with juniper berries, coriander, rosemary, peppers, lavender, cinnamon and gum rockrose (Cistus Ladanifer) amongst others. Small batches of just 100 litres are created each time.
Their distinctive white bottles are made from stoneware, then glazed and screen printed, before being filled by hand. But how does it fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes –
Gin Sul – 43%
Fresh zest of the lemons come through immediately upon the nose, followed by dry pepper and subtle lavender. Very soft upon the palate, offering up a waxy lemon peel, rosemary scent and dry pepper dusting. A lingering finish, with a slight heat on the tongue, and fresh juniper kick.
Very different indeed, and one that could work very well within a Martini or Vesper for sure. A talking point for your drinks cabinet, even if it’s the bottle alone before you crack it open.
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