Manly Gin is a handcrafted, small batch gin all the way from Sydney, Australia, boasting locally foraged botanicals.
Price: ~ £39
For several months, this gin has been making waves (yes, I went there) and came to my attention via numerous folk on social media drooling over the bottle and, for those lucky enough to taste it, the contents. I had firmly penned it into my ‘to try’ list and actually saw it exhibiting at the Leeds Gin & Rum Festival back in May. For reasons beyond me, I told myself I would wait until Junipalooza to try it. Then the great day came and… suffice it to say I ran out of time and didn’t get to see them! Whoops! The good news is that my friends did, and they loved it… and when we saw them next they presented me with a bottle as a belated birthday gift! Amazing!
Not only that, but this is actually August’s gin of the month from Craft Gin Club, so I’ve got myself a second bottle! There were mixed feelings I must confess. Disappointment that it wasn’t something new (could have been their citrus expression!), but elation that it was a gin I knew I liked. A lot. And so…
Well, as you can see, it’s a very pretty bottle. The blue is no doubt chosen to reflect the crystal clear waters in which the folks at Manly Spirits go swimming when they’re not busy making gin! There’s a lovely embossed pattern around the bottom, which I understand to represent the Fibonacci sequence, surrounding the distillery emblem: the Eastern Blue Devil Fish. The main label highlights some of the marine botanicals as images either side of the name, along with a little blurb about the company. Below that is another thin blue label giving info on the batch, botanicals and production. The stopper is big and bold with the pebbled pattern around the edge and the same fish on top. It’s quite a busy bottle all in all, but I think it captures the fresh, marine nature of the gin wonderfully.
On the nose, Manly gin is truly captivating. It’s bursting with aroma, positively spilling out of the glass with a very natural gin profile up front. It’s light and bright, with a zesty spice coming from the orange, followed up by some more fragrant herbal tones. An absolute beauty.
Neat, there’s plenty to take in, with lots of fresh, salty, herbal flavours crashing over the tongue. It’s sweet, but tangy, with a touch of bitter spice towards the end. It feels almost alive with flavour. There are some beautiful green notes, bursting through the citrus and spice, washing over sweet, earthy undertones. It’s amazing.
With a dash of water, those sweeter, salty herbs (which I can only assume are all the marine boatnicals) blossom further into flavours I’ve genuinely never experienced in a gin before. In honesty I’m struggling to find the words to describe exactly what I’m tasting. It’s like they’ve tried to find a new, sixth taste and have come pretty close! The cardamom starts to show a little more, along with the other traditional botanicals, but on top of it all are some remarkable flavours I’m just not able to do justice.
Finally, I served it up in a G&T (3:1 Schweppes 1783 Indian Tonic) with a slice of orange. I also made one for Mrs Raven and her first reaction was thus: ‘It’s more like a cocktail than a G&T’
And that pretty much sums up how much flavour is in this gin. The G&T is just ridiculous. There’s so much flavour going on and absolutely nothing has been lost through the dilution of the tonic. Absolutely wonderful.
This gin is simply incredible. It somehow retains the flavour profile of a classic gin, whilst simultaneously exploding in new directions of flavour. I am at a loss as to see how anyone could not love this, and though it is expensive, in my view it is worth every penny.
I can’t recommend it enough.
Manly Austrailian dry gin is available online
All reviews are of the author’s personal collection, bought and paid for by the author, unless otherwise stated.