Half Hitch is a bold, contemporary gin that seeks to restore Camden Lock’s legacy as London’s heart of gin distilling.
Price: ~ £42
There are a lot of ingredients and processes that go into this gin. The key botanicals of tea and bergamot join with another uncommon pair: hay and english wood, and the end result is a mixture of copper pot and vacuum distilled spirit, with hand-crafted tinctures. It is this final aspect that gives the gin its distinctive hue.
The bottle is a neat, squared affair with cut off corners and a long neck. There’s very little else about it other than the relatively small front label which features the half hitch knot and a design representing Camden Lock where it is distilled. The back label contains the usual info. It’s simple and nothing to shout about, and doesn’t reflect the price in my opinion.
Half Hitch gin has a lovely sweet smell to it that backs on to a robust set of rich, bitter-sweet and slightly earthy notes. The liquorice, cassia, and citrus all rise out of the glass in a lovely sweet, spicy blend that has a fresh citrus tone. The longer you spend with it, the more the lemon comes through, with a final hint of pepper. It smells so good I almost started sipping it without even realising!
Neat, the black tea and bergamot leap over the tastebuds, quickly followed by a waxy lemon flavour at the front of the mouth, and the cracked black pepper at the back. The sweetness from the liquorice and cassia hold things up from becoming tart and bitter as undulations of citrus and spice flow over the tongue. In all honesty I’ve no idea what to expect from the hay and the wood, but the real flavours are in the tea and bergamot, which is understandable as really this is the main selling point of the gin.
A drop of water brings out those spicy, bitter tones from the pepper, and the coriander make a charge for attention too. It’s very different, not as sweet but still very interesting. There’s more pungency with earthy, almost grassy notes in the dilution.
Finally, I tried it in one of their signature serves, a Half Hitch Buck, which is basically a G&T with a 1/2 measure of Kamm & Sons (a bitter-sweet spirit aperitif made from 45 botanicals, most notably ginseng, which I might review at some point!), but I also tried a little on its own with tonic and I can say with confidence that this gin goes incredibly well with it. The tea and bergamot create a blend that’s really delicious and the tonic expands all the good points of the gin while subduing the harsher ones.
With the Kamm & Sons all those bitter-sweet citrus fruits, herbs, and roots come together to make a truly wonderful blend. If you’re a fan of a negroni, you will like this a lot.
As you can see from the image, I’m nearing the end of this bottle (especially after this review!), but it’s here I must make a confession. It’s nearly empty because I’ve had it for a long time and I just wasn’t that fussed by it, so would use it as a base for lots of drinks just to use it up. I am here to tell you now that I was a fool. This is a great gin.
However. It’s also very expensive in my view and much as I like it, I can’t think of anything about it to justify the price it demands, so I can also say that unless I see it significantly reduced, I doubt I’ll buy another bottle (and I bought it on sale to begin with). Fot that, I feel I have to deduct half a mark.
Remove up to 1 feather if you are not a fan of contemporary gins, particularly with tea!
Half Hitch is available online
All reviews are of the author’s personal collection, bought and paid for by the author, unless otherwise stated.