Boyle’s is a small batch gin from the Blackwater distillery, and won Best Irish Gin 2016.
Price: ~ £20
Named after alchemist Robert Boyle, the father of modern chemistry who was born in Lismore Castle, this gin was born of the idea to design a gin using local botanicals. Beyond that though, there’s not much else to learn about this mysterious gin. An exclusive offering from Aldi, I’m not even sure it’s available any more, and there’s not a lot of information about it for that reason! Oddly though, you can get a ‘raspberry blush’ version.
The bottle is a pleasing shape in the ‘apothecary’ style, fairly typical of gin now. The label is designed to look like parchment, with the name of the gin written in faintly embossed script, beneath a foil image of an alchemists still. On one side is the usual information, and on the other a little bit about the gin and the man behind its name. One other little feature is that the label is also back printed with images and words in script about Boyle’s mathematical formula. A nice touch.
On the nose, Boyle’s is both fruity and creamy with a lovely buttermint aroma. Hints of apple and berry dance around along with faint juniper notes, followed up with a touch of floral, but the overall sensation is that of a sweet creaminess that’s really enticing. With my untrained olfactory, I would say it’s a fair bet angelica root and orris are both in there, perhaps with some liquorice also. I think it smells fantastic.
Neat, juniper is definitely there, but it quickly dissipates and is replaced with more fruity flavours from the apples and blackcurrants. It’s definitely harsher than it smells and actually not nearly as viscous as I’d expected. There’s a slight tang of bitter spice in there too so perhaps some pepper of some kind. It’s not a terribly long flavour journey and things fall away quite quickly.
Adding a drop of water certainly opens things up and coriander seed comes through, along with a touch of sourness. The berry notes take on a slightly more bitter tone, but there’s also a nice development of flavour there, adding depth. It’s fruity and peppery with a delicate pine right at the back.
Finally, I tried it in a G&T (2:1 Franklin & Sons Elderflower Tonic) with a slice of apple (Pink Lady for anyone wanting that much detail!). Delicious. The blackcurrant comes through nicely and those slightly more sour/bitter notes I was getting with the water really work well with the tonic. The apple too really works in this drink, adding flavour but also cutting through any sweetness I had expected from the tonic. This is a lovely G&T with plenty of flavour (though I’m aware I’m using a flavoured tonic!).
Boyle’s is not what I remember it to be. My memory of when I first got it and tried it was very much what you get from the nose: creamy buttermint. In actual fact it’s much more fruity and peppered than that. However the flavour is fleeting and I think I’d like to taste more of the elderflower. It’s a tricky one. If you can get a bottle for the price I’ve listed, I think it’s worth trying (and good luck!) and I’d be interested to hear if you’ve tried the raspberry blush version!
Boyle’s Gin is available at Aldi in Ireland (I think!)
All reviews are of the author’s personal collection, bought and paid for by the author, unless otherwise stated.