Brentingby Pink adds Rooibos & Rosehip, before being steeped with Hibiscus to give it a pink hue.
Price: ~ £34
In the summer of 2018, founder Bruce Midgely and his copper bottle took the gin world by storm. Nestled in the Leicestershire countryside within Melton Mowbray sits a little place called Brentingby, and as you may have guessed, it’s in this spot that the gin is made, and gets its name! The brand is uncompromising in its mission to stay true to the definition of gin, and the quality of the liquid they produce. This is expressed in the form of Ayanda (which means ‘proliferation’ or ‘augment’ in isiZulu), the copper still Bruce designed himself, and in their commitment to sustainability, with power coming from a turbine in the farm next door to the distillery.
Developed with help from master distiller Tom Nichol, Brentingby original quickly became a favourite amongst gin fans. Fast forward a little and two more editions are relased, one of which is a lovely pink colour. But it’s not a pink gin as some would know it (the definition of which has been abused and discarded by even the most long standing brands). Brentingby pink is still very much a classic gin, just with a couple of added botanicals (namely Rooibos and Baobab) and the additional step of steeping the hibiscus to give it some colour and added flavour.
I met Bruce at Junipalooza last year and had a great time chatting to him, drinking every kind of gin he had, and purchasing multiple bottles from him! He’s as enthusiastic about what he does as anyone you could meet, and justifiably proud of what he has worked so hard to create. I actually had to be dragged away from his stand by Mrs Raven!
The bottle cylindrical and is frosted glass to allow the pink liquid to show through. On the front, the Brentingby branding is printed in black, with the delicately illustrated hibiscus flower surrounded by swirling lines which, on either side, form the shape of a bird. The name is then printed in flowing script, above a more standard font giving a description of the liquid inside, ABV and vol. On the back is the usual info, including the little mantra ‘Life is full of gin’. It’s the standard Brentingby bottle shape, but the design is nice and the colour definitely makes it stand out. I like it.
Sweet and fruity juniper rises out of the glass, crisp and clear. It’s lovely and fresh, but also a little warming which is really nice. It’s a very classic gin aroma, but there are some subtle florals to be enjoyed too. The rosehip coes through nicely for me with the coriander, and around the edges are hints of citrus. Nothing stands out massively, but I don’t think it’s meant to, instead the aroma is that of intense, quality gin.
Neat, the juniper comes through strong, and slightly waxy. It’s by far the dominant flavour, despite the label including the work ‘pink’. Beyond that, the liquorice provides a pleasant sweet base on which the citrus grows. It’s sharp, clean, a little bitter, and full of flavour. The hibiscus is subtle, even though it’s a prominent feature in the production, and there’s a lovely sweet, woody aftertaste. Very nice indeed.
With water, the more earthy notes come through but with a lovely clean, zingy sweetness from the liquorice and citrus. It’s a familiar flavour to me, and one I’m not usually as fond of, but here it works wonderfully, providing a very different aspect of the gin, but one that is no less enjoyable. The juniper is still prominent, but a little more woody. The flavour has greater depth, fewer light notes, and works really well.
Finally, a G&T (3:1 Franklin & Sons Indian Tonic, with hibiscus petals to garnish). The result is absolutely delicious. It has a wonderfully sweet, floral, but umami flavour. Plenty of juniper still, but with the tonic there’s also lots of citrus for me, and a little berry fruit. In the same way that the profile of the gin is ‘classic but with a twist’, so too is the G&T. There are a lot of flavours here, and while it does feel a little indecisive at times, it’s also very interesting and, most importantly, enjoyable. Proably more of a summer sipper, as for me it’s a lovely fruity floral drink.
Brentingby Pink is an excellent gin, and a good example of what you can achieve when you take a good base and tease it in a different direction. In the very confused world of ‘pink’ gins, this is one well worth checking out, because most importantly it is still absolutely a proper gin at heart. The quality of the liquid is exceptional, and if you’re into fruity floral notes, this is a great pick.
Brentingby Pink is available online
All reviews are of the author’s personal collection, bought and paid for by the author, unless otherwise stated.