Caspyn is a Cornish dry gin that was conceived in a London pub cellar and is now made in Penzance, West Penwith.
Price: ~ £35
As usual for me I managed to find this bottle for a bargain price and when I looked into it I was really drawn by the list of botanicals, especially the gorse and hibiscus, so I was sold, and here we are!
The bottle is plain and very standard in shape, so nothing much going on there. As for the labelling, it’s got an interesting vibe to it which I like. The front label is full of information on batch numbers, distillation dates and locations etc. It’s a bit industrial which I like but the seemingly random image of a basking shark is a bit out of place for me. The back label has a little about the distillery as well as the usual info. On top there’s a nice tamper-proof label with a crest sitting on the stopper. It’s nothing snazzy, but it does stand out.
On the nose, Caspyn is unlike probably any other gin I’ve come across! It doesn’t smell like a gin to me, but it does smell great! There’s something about it that’s really fresh, though sour and perhaps even salty. It really is a bit like taking a breath of coastal air! I personally can’t put a word to the actual scent so I couldn’t tell you which of the botanicals leaps out of the glass, though I’m tempted to say it’s the gorse and hibiscus as there are definite floral tones. The sourness could perhaps come from the tea, unless they’re hiding some more botanicals somewhere!
Neat, there’s a definite sourness but it’s earthy and floral. At the front of the tongue, I get those floral tones and some of the citrus, but at the back it’s a different story, I get big notes of green tea going right the way to the back of the throat. There’s a lot going on and I’m surprised I don’t get more lemony citrus given the list of botanicals. There’s almost a seaweed taste, but I think that might be a hint of stewed tea.
With water, not a lot changes. The sourness remains and for me the tea commands the stage which I think is a bit of a shame as I’d like to taste more of those citrus flavours. The rustic floral tones are still there, but I must admit I’ve not tasted any juniper yet! It’s nice, if a little odd.
Finally, I served it with indian tonic and a slice of lime (orange is the suggested garnish but I don’t have any unfortunately!). A lot of that stewed, salty, sourness dissipates with the tonic which is an improvement and I do feel like the citrus tones get a lift, with the floral notes even sweetening slightly. The tea is still there but it’s much improved. It makes a nice, albeit very different, G&T.
I qute like Caspyn but not as much as I’d hoped given the botanicals. That fresh sea breeze sense it somehow emotes is a real wonder, but to my taste the tea is a little too much along with the sourness. Perhaps it would be good in a sweeter cocktail, but which one I’m not sure! I do think it would go down well in warmer weather though, and if you happen to be looking out to sea at the time it would probably taste even better! But there’s no doubt this is a contemporary gin that risks putting off the die-hards.
Remove up to 1 feather if you insist on your gin tasting of juniper
Caspyn Cornish Dry Gin is available online
All reviews are of the author’s personal collection, bought and paid for by the author, unless otherwise stated.