Lighthouse gin hails all the way from New Zealand. Made in Martinborough, near Cape Palliser in the North Island, the inspiration for the gin came from the lighthouse there.
Price: ~ £42 (if available)
Yen Ben Lemon Zest
Another gin from the Craft Gin Club!
Neil Catherall, the founder, spent several years researching and experimenting with a variety of native botanicals to create Lighthouse gin, which is distilled from sugar cane. He designed the 200l still himself in which the gin is made and had it built by local craftsmen! Once the final product was on the market and demand began to grow, distiller Rachel Hall joined and became master distiller in 2014. It’s not terribly easy to get hold of as I think the batches are still quite small and it has a long way to come to get to the UK! I’m not sure how much delivery would be direct from the distillery
The bottle is a standard spirit bottle of clear glass, with a screw cap lid, so far so standard. The wraparound label is nicely designed to imitate the classic red and white stripes of a lighthouse, for which the gin is named. It has a nice font with little bits of information dotted about, as well as a story of the inspiration behind the gin. On the neck is the batch number and signature of the founder, Neil.
Bright notes of juniper rise out of the glass along with some lovely sweet, earthy, citrus notes. There’s a touch of butteryness to it that slides into a sweet grass where it settles on an ever-so-slight bitter herb fragrance. For a gin that smells very much as you would expect a gin should, there’s still plenty of fluidity in the nose. It’s bright and crisp, edging toward pungency at the end. Very interesting.
Neat, Lighthouse gin has a glorious herbal pine flavour to it and sweetens on the tongue. Theres a good level of citrus at the back too. It has a distinct zing on the tongue, followed by those more earthy, slightly spiced tones and ending with a rich warmth from the liquorice that lingers nicely.
Add a little water and there’s a much deeper, earthy, and bitter taste to it. Not unpleasant, but not as sweet and fresh as before. I think the coriander comes out a bit here, taking the flavour from citrus to a more pungent earthiness.
Served with tonic and a slice of lemon and I’m really surprised at how sweet it is even hints of cinnamon are coming through! This gin makes an absolutely delightful G&T! The citrus is by no means too forward, in fact there’s less there than when it was neat. The tonic seems to bring out those roots and spices, and everything seems to come together beautifully. This is actually one of the best G&Ts I’ve had for a while!
I think Lighthouse is a very good, ginny gin (which you may have gleaned by now is not my personal favourite type of gin). There’s plenty of juniper, but it’s on the sweet, citrus end of the spectrum. There’s nothing for me that makes it really stand out, though it does make an exceptional G&T (which is what a lot of people look for). It’s also quite expensive (unless you’re in NZ probably) so good as it is I can’t help think there’re gins cheaper and easier to get hold of that are as good.
One feather deducted for price and being difficult to get hold of!
Lighthouse gin is available from the distiller, or online if you can find it!
All reviews are of the author’s personal collection, bought and payed for by the author, unless otherwise stated.