Gin 1689 is a Dutch Dry Gin based on and named after recipe XXXIII of ‘The distiller of London’ from the same year.
Price: ~ £40
Made as an homage to Dutch King William III (or William of Orange as he is better known) and based on an original recipe, the folks behind this gin were unable to decipher the code in which the precise details of it had been written. Armed only with the list of ingredients and knowledge of distillery partner Herman Jansen, the replica recipe was born.
Gin 1689 is the latest offering from the Craft Gin Club, and arrived through my door a few days ago. Let’s get quaffing!
The bottle is a beautiful, frosted electric blue which might not immediately be what springs to mind when you consider the provenance of the gin, but thanks to the gold cap and script labelling, it works really well. It’s nice and minimal, with the boring legal text kept to a thin vertical strip on the side. The best part though is that on the back, again in gold, is the recipe on which the gin is based, printed as it appears in its original format.
Fruit, heady and rich, rises from the glass along with sweet spices. It’s almost like a dessert, with the apples and quince mixing to give a beautiful, full bodied, tangy aroma. It’s incredibly inviting. I can get the juniper if I try, it’s there for the first split second, along with the aniseed, but there’s a lot more fruit and spice to battle with. It has a real warmth to it, like apple crumble just out of the oven.
Neat the juniper is most definitely there, but it’s given a more nutty flavour. The aniseed is also much more notable on the tongue and thankfully there’s not nearly as much fruit and spice as the aroma might imply. There’s still a nice tangy, stewed apple flavour, but it’s definitely the juniper that remains strong on the palate. That said, there’s also a nice pudding-y, bready flavour in there too.
Water brings out those heavier, nutty, bread-like flavours and to me it’s nice albeit a touch odd. The juniper is still there, held back a little by the aniseed and nutmeg. I’m surprised I’m not getting more citrus, with the peel flavours existing only at the very edges of the experience. It’s quite a savoury taste for me, but distinct and interesting all the same.
Finally a G&T (3:1 Double Dutch Cranberry & Ginger Tonic) with dried orange and cloves to garnish (as per the CGC perfect serve). The result is not your standard G&T by ny means, but it is delicious! The garnish is a great choice, helping to add an element of orange, and the cloves cutting through the sweetness beautifully. It’s sweet and spicy, but not sickly. Interestingly as the drink develops, I’m almost getting bubblegum, which I would put down to the developing orange and spice flavours.
Gin 1689 is a very interesting gin. We’ll never know how close this is to the true recipe (though I would imagine even if it were very close, the difference in production would probably separate them quite significantly anyway) but the folks behind it have created something that definitely feels ‘olde worldy’. At the same time, I’m not sure how much london dry fans would love it. I’ll be very keen to try this gin in other drinks as I think it could be great in some! Definitely worth trying though!
Remove up to 1 feather if you’re not big on fruity gin
Gin 1689 is available online
All reviews are of the author’s personal collection, bought and paid for by the author, unless otherwise stated.