King Of Soho Tasting Notes

The King of Soho

Everyone loves a good story behind a spirit brand. Whether its gone through hard times, travelled the world with its production, or simply named after a man who was coined as ‘The King of Soho’.

‘The King of Soho’ I hear you cry?

Yup, Paul Raymond himself has a gin that tips the hat at his Soho status, with his son Howard behind this new tipple that celebrates the late Paul turning Soho from a hunting ground to an area rich in creativity, music, art and modern culture. The bottle itself is said to capture Soho life with the velvet suited man reflecting the hedonistic fashion of the area, while the fox’s tail is said to symbolise Soho’s place as a royal hunting ground of Henry VIII. The fox’s more recent urban reputation as a creature of the night could also be referenced as it nods towards the smart, urban and somewhat secretive nature of Soho. The trumpet tips its hat to Soho’s rich jazz history and the fact that the character is reading a book is a tribute to Soho’s long association with creative industries such as publishing and media.

The gin itself? As you could imagine, it’s distilled in London at the Thames Distillery using traditional methods of distillation within two pot stills. It’s twelve botanicals include juniper, coriander, grapefruit peel, angelica root and cassia.

So how does this new gin fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes –

The King of Soho – 42%

Subtle juniper on the nose with an Autumn pine scent coming through. A small hint of citrus follows. Rather smooth on the palate, with the grapefruit coming through mostly as it warms. A tingle near the finish as it stays for a long ending. Mini fresh bursts of warm coriander appear.

A rather cracking gin to be enjoyed, but if you see it in your favourite bar, maybe try one of these too –

Soho Sling
Soho Sling

Soho Sling

Glass – 

Highball

Ingredients –

50 ml King of Soho Gin
15 ml Lime Juice
35 ml Pressed Apple Juice
50 ml Ginger Beer

Method – 

Build in a highball glass filled with cubed ice and garnish with a slice of apple.

A gin that is better than I think you will realise, especially on its own or over ice. It’s new, but I wouldn’t be surprised if bars started to pick this up with a hurry before Christmas. As should you for your own collection.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Fifty Pounds Tasting Notes

Fifty Pounds

To name a brand, you think of something quirky, unique, a name that will stand out. Or how about a simple, every day words name that nods back to a pivotal time in the gin history? That’s what Fifty Pounds has done, and bring to light how important this time was in the production of not just Fifty Pounds, but all gin brands.

When William of Orange prohibited the importing of alcohol to England in the early Eighteenth Century, many gin lovers began the production and consumption of domestic English gin,the majority being of dubious quality. Its popularity was such, especially amongst the poor, that gin was distilled and sold in one fifth of all London homes. This excessive and uncontrolled consumption provoked a rapid degradation of society, a period given the name the Gin Craze. In trying to curb this so-called ‘social evil’, the 1736 Gin Act was introduced during the reign of George II, whereby an annual levy of £50 was imposed on those wishing to produce and sell gin. After six years, just two distilleries had agreed to pay this tax.

Shortly after the Gin Act 1736, a family of independent London Distillers came up with an original gin recipe, known ironically amongst themselves as ‘Fifty Pounds’ in honour of the Gin Act levy. The recipe remained hidden for generations, until the descendants of those pioneering master distillers rescued it from oblivion. The specialist traditional methods employed in the creation of the gin means that production is limited, obtaining approximately one thousand bottles from each batch.

Each bottle of Fifty Pounds Gin is presented in an exclusive bottle, with a design inspired by the first gin bottles, known as case gin. Each bottle bears the individual distillation batch number, together with the year that it was distilled.

So what makes Fifty Pounds different to others?

Fifty Pounds Gin is produced in a small distillery named Thames Distillery, located in the south-east of London. The method is carried out in a still manufactured by the legendary John Dore & Co Limited, in which a secret combination of botanicals including juniper berries, coriander seed, grains of paradise, savory, orange & lemon peel, liquorice and angelica root, together with grain spirit (a neutral alcohol, previously distilled four times) is distilled. The resulting distillate is left to settle for no less than three weeks, thus allowing the botanicals’ essentials oils to blend perfectly with the grain spirit. The distiller, Master of the Worshipful Company of Distillers, has made use of the process used centuries ago, known as Batch Process Distillation, which is the  most efficient way of obtaining ‘the finest gin spirit’.

So how does Fifty Pounds fare then? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes –

Fifty Pounds – 43.5%

Clean and fresh on the nose with hints of citrus and juniper. Rather smooth on the palate and develops into a herbal mixture of botanicals near the end. Slightly warming.

A delicate gin to sip straight, and one to go with the simplest of cocktails –

Pink Craze
Pink Craze

Pink Craze

Glass –

Highball

Ingredients –

60 ml Fifty Pounds Gin
150 ml Fever Tree tonic
3 mashed raspberries

Method –

Combine all the ingredients with ice in a glass and stir.

A versatile gin with an interesting back story. One to watch out for in a bar, and don’t worry, it won’t break the bank if you want one for your own collection!

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.