The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands)
Carol Brown samples the delights of Aberdeen’s Gin School and Distillery
menu wine columnist, Carol Brown, samples the delights of Aberdeen’s Gin School and Distillery
At the end of last year, I bumped into a couple of friends at a wine tasting.
They said that they had a secret to share with me, and when pressed told me that they were about to open a gin distillery and gin school in Aberdeen.
Oh, and would I like to come along and make my own gin!
Obviously, I had to think about that for at least a second...
When the City of Aberdeen Distillery and Aberdeen Gin School opened its archway doors at Arch 10, on Palmerston Road to the public on December 14, it became the first distillery in the city in more than 75 years.
It’s cosy and atmospheric, trains rumble quietly overhead.
At the heart is the hand-crafted horseshoe-shaped experience bench which is home to 20 Alembic copper mini stills – this is where gin school attendees over the course of a threehour experience become distillers under the attentive eye and guidance of distillers Alan Milne and Dan Barnett.
The demi-john bench is home to very small-batch limited-edition gins which can be tasted and then bought in various bottle sizes.
I like “no.38 Rhubarb” on its own or with tonic and “no.39 Rhubarb” with ginger ale.
Fresh’ Gin is just that – smooth, crisp and precise.
Then there is the all-important botanical table which gives would-be distillers more than 100 options to use in their gin creation.
Some will be familiar to gin drinkers, others sound like they would be equally at home in a Hogwarts potions class.
I’m always drawn to citrus gins on gin menus so decided to go down that route.
Including the standards of juniper, coriander, orris root and angelica, I ended up with 13 botanicals including lemon verbena, Kaffir lime leaf (not too much as it can dominate), pomegranate peel, grapefruit peel and cubeb peppers.
There is currently only one (now half full) bottle of my unique creation “GinTuition-the Citrus Blend” but I do have a copy of the recipe to recreate it.
It’s fragrant, citrus forward with grapefruit, Kaffir, pomegranate, spice touches and floral notes (that would be the hibiscus).
I like to serve it in a large gin glass with lots of ice, light tonic and a slice of pink grapefruit.
The Gin School is a fantastic experience and I came away, not just with my unique gin, but with future recipe ideas in my mind.
The City of Aberdeen Distillery has developed several recipes for its signature gin which will initially be available in demi-john.
The final one will be decided on by the people of Aberdeen and released early this year.
You can book the Gin School Experience through the website, or pop in and chat to the guys – they’re passionate about what they do.
Check out the latest demijohn creation at https://cityof aberdeendistillery.co.uk/