Harrington is the quintessential gin from Warner’s and is named after the village in Northamptonshire for which the distillery is home.
Price: ~ £30
As this is the second gin I’ve posted on from Warner’s, I’ll refer you to my review of their Lemon Balm gin if you want to get further acquainted with the brand.
Harrington Dry is is made with spring water from the farm and Warner’s claim it is the most distinctive and bold of their range, which is helped by the fact it’s also their strongest at 44%
This particular batch was distilled by Lois in 2018.
Warner’s have a great brand and a lot of different gins, each with the same bottle but in a different colour, and with subtle differences in the screen printed illustrations surrounding the labels. The Harrington Dry bottle is a lovely, deep blue which looks great with the white screen print.
The nose is lovely and fresh, full of juniper, citrus, pepper, cardamom, and nutmeg. It really does all come through wonderfully and focusing on any one botanical makes it easy to pick out. This is a gin that makes it abundantly clear what’s in it based on the aromas alone, and every bit of it smells vibrant and full. Clarity is the key word for me. There are no fuzzy edges to the aromas on display, but they all blend together beautifully. What a great smelling gin.
Neat, the cardamom packs a hefty punch along with an oily juniper. The pepper gives it a little kick, and the citrus floats around the edges providing a pleasant sweetness, with the other spices present but not overly prominent. It’s absolutely bursting with flavour overall, but I have to say that for me the cardamom is taking up a little too much space, much as I am a fan of this botanical. The freshness is impressive though, and in the background are some really great flavours.
Water softens the harsher notes of the cardamom, but does little to diminish its overall domination and for me it takes out some of the sweetness which actually helped counterbalance it. To my tastes it’s not improved with water at all, and allows the cardamom to start to spoil the overall experience.
Finally, a G&T (3:1 Ridge Valley Indian tonic with a fresh lemon wheel to garnish). The result is very tasty indeed. There’s a lovely dry sherbet taste to the drink, and the cardamom is sufficiently diffused as to become enjoyable again. This allows some of the other flavours to bounce back, with hints of cinnamon and nutmeg, and a welcome return of fresh black pepper. It’s a very nice, fresh, crisp and dry G&T that would be very welcome on a hot day (though as I’m writing in Feb 2022, chance would be a fine thing!).
From the nose, I was expecting to fall in love with this gin, but drinking it neat (which I often enjoy doing) I found the cardamom totally overpowered everything else. It was definitely saved by the tonic though and made a wonderfully dry and crisp G&T. So improved was it that I have gone from worrying what to do with it after tasting it neat, to being excited to try it in other drinks (and thus have increased its score pretty much by an entire feather). This is a gin for mixing and, so long as you like cardamom, it’ll mix well. I can’t wait to try this in a Martini and Negroni.
Add half a feather if you love cardamom. Remove up to one whole feather if not.
Harrington Dry is available online and in some shops
All reviews are of the author’s personal collection, bought and paid for by the author, unless otherwise stated.