This special edition Tarquin’s gin was exclusively created for Craft Gin Club’s December 2018 box.
This time last year, members of the Craft Gin Club were sipping on a very special, exclusive edition from Tarquin’s. Using their amazing gin as a base, a healthy dose of festive spices were thrown in and the result bottled and shipped out. Sadly, if you don’t already have a bottle from CGC, you won’t be able to get hold of one, but I’m reviewing it anyway, as it’s Christmas!
It’s the standard design from Tarquin’s, but with a gold wax top, which is a nice touch. The bottle is a frosted pale blue, embossed with waves around the base, and the emblem of Tarquin’s, the puffin! Wrapped around is a lovely textured label (as standard) giving details of the gin and distillery, with a second label providing information on the distiller, character and batch. It’s a nice bottle that make a lovely addition to any collection, and their ever increasing range adds a variety of coloured liquids to the plain frosted bottle.
Despite the name, and that large list of festive spices amongst the botanicals, this is still very much a classic gin. A mellow, creamy juniper wafts out of the glass, followed by a warm flush of aromatic spice, sweet and soft. The tonka bean is evident in its fleshy tones, mixed in with the citrus zests that help cut through everything, making sure the aroma stays fresh. It covers a lot of bases, which the botanical list shows, but everything blends together very nicely. It makes you want to start sipping right away.
Neat, it pulls no punches. There is a lot going on right off the bat. Citrus runs through from sweet to sharp, along with some of the more bitter flavours. The ginger and spices have a lot more of a punch to them on the tongue too, and sour notes come through much more strongly. There’s a freshness from the juniper, a crisp element from the citrus, and warmth from the cinnamon and nutmeg, but I think the bitter/sour notes dominate.
Water brings out the citrus more, but also allows a bit more space for the aromatic spices to develop. From there though, I think the flavours are starting to become a little confused. There are some slightly stewed elements, even some floral tones, and while things like the cloves and anise cut through nicely, I’m getting a bit of a sense of overload.
Finally, a G&T (2:1 Lamb & Watt original) with a wedge of orange and a little cinnamon. The result is pleasant and flavoursome, but if I’m honest, a little disappointing. While it’s nice and sweet, and works well with the orange, it feels a little one dimensional, which given the overall content is surprising.
This is a little difficult to call. I feel like it’s got a lot going for it, but in a way that’s also what I’m having trouble with. I feel like it’s gone a little overboard with the botanicals, and the result can’t quite decide which way to go. Almost like a gin by committee, with a brief that simply says ‘Christmas’. In covering all the bases, it falls short of fulfilling any. I think some will love it, but for me, it’s too much hard work, if that makes sense!
Tarquin’s Cornish Christmas is not available anywhere
All reviews are of the author’s personal collection, bought and paid for by the author, unless otherwise stated.