Gin

Boatyard Winter Solstice Gin


The Facts

  • Origin: County Fermanagh Region, N. Ireland
  • Type: New Western
  • ABV: 41 %
  • Bottling: 700 ml
Boatyard Winter Solstice Gin
Boatyard Winter Solstice Gin

Nosing

  • Yes, Christmas is over but that’s definitely Christmas in a bottle
  • Juniper, okay. But this has spices and winter-y feels all over it
  • Smells like ginger bread, but not overly sweet. Rather a fruity sweetness, in my opinion
  • Oranges or tangerines might be in here, and definitely some Christmas spices (however one would define them)

Neat Sip

  • Is this even a gin? Very slight juniper notes, which certainly do not dominte (and they didn’t do so when nosing this gin, either)
  • It reminds me a bit of grape-based gins I’ve tried in the past. But this time very round, soft and not too sweet
  • It has some spicy and very flavorful (almost savory) taste to it which I could not get a hold of, so I read it on the label: Christmas pudding! Damn, those British traditions should find its way to continental Europe – I absolutely love this!
  • Do yourselves a favor and google “Christmas pudding” if you are – just like myself – not familiar with this typical British and Irish dish. Reading how it’s made alone got me a feeling of where the complexity of this dram stems from… overwhelming!

Adding Ice

  • I don’t think ice is necessary to enjoy this very special gin, but here we go…
  • The “gin taste” (define it as you wish) flattens out a bit
  • You’re left with even more pudding and – at least I think so – the sweetness of grapes and winter spices such as to be found in ginger bread or spiced biscuits
  • Nope, I liked it a lot better without ice

… And Tonic

  • First up: Fever-Tree Indian Tonic
    • Well, this actually isn’t too bad. The gin itself has very little to no citrus notes to it and the Indian tonic adds a few of these
    • Not that this Winter Solstice needed them, but they are somehow working well in here
    • None the less, this mix does not (yet) convince me of not sipping the entire bottle neat…
  • Second: Fever-Tree Mediterranean
    • Ok now that’s actually very good
    • I unwillingly poured much more than the usual 0.5 cl into my little tasting glass and I don’t regret it
    • The gin is smooth and warm. Winter-y, indeed. And the herbal notes of the Mediterranean tonic really do this gin a favor by further supporting this flavor profile without overpowering on the spices and herbs
    • What a lucky (long) pour!

Summary and Overall Impression

  • I’ve had just a few of such proclaimed “winter gins” or “Christmas gins”
  • None really disappointed me, while most distillers worked with a Sloe Gin version of their own
  • This one, right here, is a true stunner. I’m not sure if I’d enjoy it equally in summer, but I certainly have an (additional) reason now to be looking forward to next Christmas
  • I highly recommend sipping this neat or in a stirred, spirit-forward cocktail with not too many other (and maybe distracting) ingredients
  • The Boatyard Winter Solstice will surely work its magic in Martinez- or Negroni-style drinks

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