Ludlow gin bring their 5th edition to us via March’s Craft Gin Club, and features Elderflower, Chamomile, and Lemon verbena as the star botanicals.
Price: ~ £40
Named after a town that sits in the Welsh Marches, Ludlow gin is the brainchild of Shaun Ward (Wardington Bear) who saw a gap in the local market and decided to combine his love of gin with the love for his home. Starting with a classic London Dry then a Navy Strength before creating a range of three more contemporary profiles: Triple Citrus & Pomegranate, Spiced, and Hibiscus, Orange & Pink Peppercorn. This latest edition is an exclusive for Craft Gin Club members (for now)
The bottle is a hefty, slightly tapered cylinder shape, with a cork stopper. It has nice clean lines, with pleasantly shaped labels front and back. On the front is the gin’s name and edition, even including the recipe designation, and on the back is a smaller label with the usual info, plus some blurb about the gin and distillery. The labels are a nice quality, with the text in gold. The whole range is set in identical bottles, but with different coloured labels, which all look really good together. It doesn’t stand out, but it’s understated and classy.
On the nose, a lovely warm juniper rises from the glass. It’s a strong aroma so you don’t need to get anywhere near the liquid to enjoy it, which is good as there’s a fair amount of burn lurking below. There are lovely sweet, light citrus aromas that are fresh and crisp. Its a very clean smelling gin, with elements of leafy florals giving it a definite air of Springtime. The chamomile is noticeable, but it’s not at all stewed which is a very good sign, this is the same for the elderflower, though the latter is only a hint. The main players here are the juniper and lemon, which is pleasantly even in tone, being both tangy and mellow.
Neat, the chamomile comes through like it’s late to the party and wants to make an entrance, leaving the rest of the guests somewhat taken aback. That stewed element, which I have found a difficult factor in using Chamomile, is more prominent here and the freshness of the nose is lost a bit. The juniper is there to try to get things back under control, but the impression has been made and unfortunately it’s difficult to forget. There are other flavours here though, certainly. The lemon verbena is present, but doesn’t help much with the stewed element of the taste, though helps lift it a little. Eventually things develop and some more floral elements come through, but the elderflower remains elusive.
Water softens the chamomile and helps bring out some nice leafy, herbal flavours, though they are a touch bitter. The orris is much more noticeable, but I feel as though the lemon is less so. Juniper remains present throughout but the overall sense is that there is still a muddled, leafy flavour, rather than a fresh and crisp one.
Finally, a G&T (3:1 Lamb & Watt light tonic) with dried grapefruit and pink peppercorns to garnish. The result is muted but very pleasant. There’s a lovely sweetness from the gin and all that warmth I was getting on the nose returns to mingle with the grapefruit. It’s fresh and crisp, with a nice little tang and an underlying sweet herbal flavour. While it might not stand out in any particular way, it makes a very enjoyable drink.
Ludlow ECLV promised so much on the nose, but sadly failed to deliver on the taste buds in my opinion, but I would still say it’s a decent gin. There’s plenty of juniper and some pleasant herbal and citrus elements, but unfortunately the chamomile, in my opinion, overshadows a lot of those flavours to the detriment of the whole, resulting in a heavier, more stewed flavour than I would have liked. The G&T however is good, with the grapefruit adding a helpful citrus edge and the drink becoming nice and rounded, so I think this gin will work perfectly well in cocktails etc. With all that said, I’m definitely interested to try some of Ludlow’s other expressions.
Add half a feather if you’re a big chamomile fan
Ludlow ECLB edition is currently available through the Craft Gin Club only
All reviews are of the author’s personal collection, bought and paid for by the author, unless otherwise stated.