Wild Burrow is an Irish gin made by West Cork Distillers for Lidl.
Price: ~ £16
There is very little information to be found about this gin, sadly, but then that’s often the case with fairly limited products made for shops like Lidl. Made by West Cork Distillers, it’s won a few awards, including Bronze at the IWSC. But more much more than that is a mystery! The basis of the gin is Rabbit Island, off the west coast of Co. Cork, which is also the origin of the gin’s defining ingredients.
The bottle is a fairly standard cylinder with a straight angled shoulder, topped with wooden stopper. The glass is a pale, transparent blue that nicely sets it apart, and the labels are nicely designed. On the front, covering most of the bottle, the name of the gin and its provenance sit bold and in a pleasant font. In the centre is an illustration of Rabbit Island over which clouds and leaves float on the sea breeze, and on either side sit the longitude and latitude of the island. There are a couple of award stamps, and a nice metallic blue stamp. On the back is another large label, providing information on the story of the gin, a list of botanicals and the usual info. It’s a nice, unassuming but pretty design overall and I like it.
The aroma is lovely and soft, though not without presence, with a pleasant leafy note followed up by citrus and come earthy bitterness. Having looked up furze, I learn it is another name for gorse, which explains that familiar, nutty floral tone I get. There’s a mild herbal element there, and a definite ‘wildflower’ note bringing the dandelion to mind particularly. Thankfully I don’t get any garlic, which I think would be a turn-off, though every now and then there’s a suggestion of that feeling you get when it’s nearby and you haven’t quite caught the smell of it yet! Overall the juniper and pine element is there, but its not bold for me, instead it’s the green fields of wild flowers that speak loudest. At the end though, right on the fringes, the citrus comes through with a nice sherbet note that lifts things nicely.
Neat, the juniper comes through nicely if a little flat. The citrus is present, with the lemon and orange both coming through together, blending nicely and really making me think of sweet, tangy sherbet. Alongside that comes a nice bitterness with some earthy tones, giving it a little depth, and for me the blackberry leaves play quite a big role, giving a fleshy green tang to the taste. It’s got a good flavour, but I do find it quite flat overall and lacking dimension. While different flavours come and go they all feel on the same level, which sounds like an odd way to describe it, but while this has earthy bitterness and tangy citrus, I am tasting them the same way, rather than one lifting me up and the other pulling me down. I do like it though and it’s easy to drink for sure.
Water brings out the grass, wildflower, and herbs much more for me, and the first instant of it hitting the tongue is very leafy green. I do feel like the flavours are given more room, and overall the depth is a little greater, but at the same time some of the sweeter citrus notes are lessened, which is a shame. The overall juniper flavour is improved though, so it’s a win/lose for me and I would have to say overall I enjoy it less.
Finally, a G&T (3:1 Ridge Valley Indian Tonic with a lemon wheel to garnish). The result is a touch lacking, so I’ve added another glug of gin. Now we have a pleasant, slightly savoury G&T. The leafy green tones flourish here, for better or worse, but after a while the citrus comes through nicely. It’s a nice G&T, definitely, with good juniper notes, good citrus and pleasant green, earthy notes, and I’d have to say a nice touch of sweetness. The problem is the word that keeps coming back to me: ‘flat’. It’s nice, but it’s a little flat.
Wild Burrow is a good gin for sure, it has elements that aren’t all that common in gins; pleasant, leafy green, wildflower and herbal tones. It’s easy to drink, and it tastes nice neat and in a G&T. But it is a little flat. It doesn’t provide that experience I’ve had with so many other gins where I’m lifted up to bright citrus heights, or pulled down into warm, earthy depths. Instead it’s all quite one-dimensional, and while that dimension is tasty and well balanced, it does not really inspire. That said, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it, and for the price I think it’s a good gin, if you can get hold of it!
Wild Burrow is available at Lidl in Ireland
All reviews are of the author’s personal collection, bought and paid for by the author, unless otherwise stated.