Copperfield – A Christmas Carol

Copperfield gin have released a special Christmas themed gin, full of festive spices.

Price: ~ £42
ABV: 42%
Known Botanicals:
Angelica
Cinnamon
Cloves
Coriander
Lemon peel
Liquorice
Orange 
Orris root
Rosemary
Sage
Star anise
Wormwood

So here it is, Craft Gin Club’s December/Christmas offering! This is a limited edition, and at this point I don’t know whether it will be released for general sale.

First off… full disclosure: I hold a certain level of resentment towards the folks at Copperfield gin, for the simple reason that ‘Copperfield’ was my dream name for my own gin (I am a huge Dickens fan, and David Copperfield is my all time favourite book) but as they seem to be doing it justice I, in my magnanimity, have decided to forgive them and move on! 😉

Now that’s out of the way, I can say that I actually know very little about the distillery, nor the gin, but a quick bit of research soon reveals an impressive level of expertise behind the product as the founders Chris and Katherine Smart have PhD’s in Biochemistry and Brewing & Distilling between them! The distillery also houses a spirit lab where new products are developed, including a vermouth!

The standard gin actually uses several different botanicals, and of course doesn’t feature the numerous festive spices featured here.

Design

The bottle is a standard square edged flask, and it is adorned with one of the most beautiful labels I’ve seen.
The front is covered with illustrated plants and leaves, depicting a number of botanicals such as angelica and iris. This is enhanced by the metallic effect of the outlines which shine in the light. Front and centre is the name of the gin, displayed in the style of an old book cover.
One the right side is a lovely amount of information about the gin, with tasting notes and the list of botanicals, as well as the usual information.
The left hand side is my favourite part though. It’s the spine of a book! Displaying the distillery name and logo, and the gin. I LOVE IT.

Nose

On the nose there’s a heady mix of warm, sour-ish spice. The anise comes through with fervour, along with liquorice, angelica and wormwood, giving the whole aroma a distinctly musky, antique feel. Citrus swims around in the background along with some herbaceous notes in particular from the sage, helping to enrich the spices and give things more body. It’s very distinct, though not hugely juniper-present, but as it’s supposed to be a Christmas inspired gin, that’s to be expected, and what’s there holds an air of sophistication.

Taste

Neat there’s a huge hit of liquorice at the fore, but more of a black liquorice taste than the more subtle warmth of the woody root. The flavour is more dry than all those musky spices suggest, which is nice as I think there would be a risk of them fogging together otherwise. So too does the citrus cut through, adding a welcome freshness which carries through to what I think is the wormwood, which extends long into the finish with the anise. There’s quite a journey here.

With a drop of water, my initial reaction was that it does not really do this gin any favours, but moments later I have very much changed my mind! The sour notes are definitely brought out more, but given a moment, they develop further into a wonderful mix of herbal and citrus notes with are propped up by bitter spice. It then re-balances into everything I was getting when tasting neat but better. I’m still not really tasting juniper, but I’m loving this.

Finally, a G&T (2:1 Lamb & Watt Hibiscus tonic) with dried orange and cranberries to garnish. OK so of course this is also a Christmas themed G&T so with that in mind: jinkies this is good! Oh my goodness! It’s far from your standard G&T of course, and it’s sweet for sure, but it’s absolutely delicious! All those flavours that sat on the edges when tasted neat, all those thoughts I had that it was almost too musky, or almost too far into the realm of those earthy spices and anise flavours, every aspect of the gin that sits on the peripheral comes into play here. This is just an amazing drink.

Overall

For what it is (a Christmas inspired gin) this is a wonderful, wonderful drink. Is it a classic London Dry? No. It’s got far too much going on that takes it well beyond the realm of juniper flavoured spirit for that. I realise that might sound harsh, and to rein things in a little I’ll say that it’s certainly as much a gin as many other contemporary gins I’ve had and have reviewed, so there’s no issue there as far as I’m concerned. So, I have to say that I love this. It’s odd on the nose, and to an extent on the tongue when tasted neat, but that oddness is what makes it remarkable. It fits with the brand perfectly in that it kind of makes me think of antiques and dusty Christmas recipe books. The G&T was what sealed the deal for me. It was so good I’m likely to have another the moment I hit ‘publish’ on this blog. I’m going to have to familiarise myself with the standard Copperfield gin at this rate!

4.5 / 5 Feathers

Remove up to one feather if you insist on your gin being a classic juniper-forward flavoured spirit.

Copperfield gin is available online, but this edition may not be!

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All reviews are of the author’s personal collection, bought and payed for by the author, unless otherwise stated.


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