Lakeland Moon Snowfell gin is a special edition from Pennington’s Spirits & Liqueurs for Craft Gin Club’s January offering.
Price: ~ £ (34)
England’s Lake District is home to some truly stunning landscapes, and it is here, in the town of Kendal, that Lakeland Moon gin is made. Mike Pennington and his partner Annie, along with her son Tim are the team behind Lakeland Moon, but as is sometimes the case with Craft Gin Club gins, this is a special edition, named ‘Snowfell’ and is inspired by long walks on snowy fells promising to deliver warmth on a crisp winter’s day. Not only that, but the gin actually features Cumbrian juniper, harvested under the light of a full moon.
Kendal is also known for its mint cake, and it was from behind his own bar at Burgundy’s that Mike created one of his first drinks: Kendal Mint Cake Liqueur. So popular was this drink that Mike and Annie began to sell it at markets and to local businesses, and eventually Pennington’s Spirits and Liqueurs was born. Fast forward to 2016 the team set their sights on creating a gin, and as Mike knew local spots to gather juniper, it made sense to harvest it themselves as well as use water from the Lake District National Park, to capture the essence of Cumbria in the spirit. Soon enough their recipe was finished: a simple blend that would allow the local juniper to shine, and Lakeland Moon gin was released into the wild.
Skip ahead once more and enter Craft Gin Club, who approached Mike and asked if he could create a special edition for their members. With his expertise and knowledge, Mike chose to take their flagship gin and adjust the balance to introduce earthier and more herbaceous flavours. He wanted something to transport the drinker to the snowy fells of the lakes, and the suitably named Snowfell edition is the result.
The bottle is a fairly tall, straight sided cylinder with rounded shoulder and a mid-length neck, topped by a silver screw-top. The front label is a beautifully designed fading landscape with a giant silver moon dipping below the horizon. The name is printed in the same silver, giving it a nice shine against the subtle matt landscape. Around the neck is a similar narrow label with the logo of the brand, and a statement that the liquid is crafted in the English Lake District. On the back is a tall and narrow label with a description of the gin and the usual info. It’s very pretty and goes perfectly with our bedroom walls!
Fresh citrus greets the senses, bolstered by a delightfully sweet, almost creamy hint of spice. Juniper is clear and bright, mingling gently with the grapefruit, and there’s a soft powdery aroma that I wonder is the almond. There are still classic notes of coriander, angelica, and orris to enjoy, which to me provide the canvas on which the other aromas can mix and flow. Finally, floating gently on the periphery, the fennel seed provides a lovely herbal tone. It’s at once bold and subtle, with plenty to explore beyond the initial citrus, and I’m looking forward to tasting it!
Neat, a gorgeously smooth, full-bodied pine quickly gives way to bold citrus flavours that have depth and longevity. The flavour positively fills the mouth, firing off taste buds and giving me a sense of warmth and freshness from the citrus and spice that works beautifully. The flavours work really well together and I think they’re incredibly well balanced, with what I feel must be the almond bringing a softness that adds to the flavour and overall smoothness. Finally the fennel seeds add a touch of herbal flavour, again right on the edges, creating a nice, rounded profile.
With water I get a few bitter notes coming through, with the coriander and cassia making themselves known. The overall flavour is toned down quite drastically, and I must admit I’m not sure it’s doing the gin any favours. While I find that water can sometimes help expand some flavours and bring out others, I’m not really finding that the case here and, unfortunately, it really does just taste like a watered down version.
Finally, a G&T (3:1 Fitch & Leedes Indian Tonic with dried lemon and cardamom to garnish). The result is a wonderfully soft and bright drink, full of rich flavours. I find it refreshing, but still with a pleasant warming element, bursting with citrus but also a gentle pine and subtle aromatic spice. For me, it has a flavour that is beyond the sum of its parts, and one which I find very inviting, as though the citrus has developed a slight candied note wit the tonic. Like a lemonade with the most subtle hint of vanilla. I really like it.
Lakeland Moon Snowfell edition is a lovely gin. It has a relatively classic profile, but manages to maintain a sense of individuality, and plenty of flavour. The bold citrus notes come with subtle extras that help enrich the overall taste of the gin without ever pushing beyond their means, created a really well rounded drink that for me is a good sipper and great in a G&T. I’m very interested to give the original a try, and should the Snowfell edition ever go on sale, I would definitely recommend it.
Lakeland Mood is available online, but at the time of writing the Snowfell edition is exclusive to Craft Gin Club members
All reviews are of the author’s personal collection, bought and paid for by the author, unless otherwise stated.