Review: Strane London Dry GinEdit Post
Contributed by on Apr 03, 2014
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The small Swedish distillery Smögen Whisky, located in Hunnebostrand approximately 130 km north of Gothenburg, was established in 2009 by former lawyer Pär Caldenby together with family members - and the first barrel of whisky was filled in summer 2010. Whisky enthusiasts have followed the progress with anticipation, and Smögen Whisky's first commercially available product, Primör (more about this in a future post) was made available just two weeks ago in Systembolaget's online shop, and according to Expressen 800 of the 1 600 available bottles were sold during the four days of sales.
Anyway, while waiting for the whisky to mature, Smögen Whisky decided to install another, smaller, traditional wood fired pot still and also start producing gin. The first release is Strane London Dry Gin - availabe from two days ago - made by macerating twelve botanicals over night: juniper, coriander, sage, lime and lemon peel, basil, mint, sweet almond, cinnamon, liquorice - and two secret ingredients - into three distillates with different flavour profiles. These are then blended into the final product. This batch resulted in 360 bottles 500 ml at 47,4% "merchant strength" abv. After having read that prior to creating Strane, they tried a great number of high quality gins like Tanqueray Ten, The Botanist, Beefeater 24, Martin Miller's, Williams Chase and Sipsmith and aimed for something even better and more aromatic, it's safe to say that I had really high expectations. A very bold statement indeed...
Nose: Pretty intense with a citrusy freshness to begin with, which evolves into a comforting mix of juniper, coriander, Earl Grey tea and hints of wood. Mouth: This is a full-bodied gin with a pleasant oily mouthfeel and a complex explosion of aromatics - tannic citrus and an almost tingling spiciness from coriander and cinnamon together with a long yet dry, woody finish - all balanced out by the elegant presence of juniper.
Strane London Dry Gin is a perfect example of all the great new products from small craft distilleries that keep opening up for business around the world. Even though Smögen Whisky, as the name suggests, mainly is about whisky, this gin proves that these people certainly know what they're doing. Highly recommended!