TŌSH Gin

TŌSH Gin

Price: ~ £26
ABV: 40%
Known Botanicals:
Angelica root
Cardamom
Cassia
Coriander
Cubeb
Dried lemon peel
Lemon
Lemon balm leaf
Lime
Makrut lime leaf
Nutmeg
Orange
Orris
Poppyseed
Rosehip
Sweet rowan berry

Husband-and-wife Jiri Omelka and Barbara Omelkova are the team behind TŌSH gin, with the Moravian family distillery, found within the village of Těšetice, being the oldest whisky producer in the former Czechoslovakia, where distilling has flourished since 1582.

The gin features a mix of Serbian, Macedonian and Italian juniper berries, as well as Moroccan and Syrian coriander, but the two star botanicals; poppyseeds and rosehips, are both Moravian. It’s produced using a combination of maceration for the hardier botanicals, and vapour infusion for the more delicate ones.

Note: This is the bottle that came from Craft Gin Club, which has been bottled at 40%, rather than the standard 45%.

Design

The bottle is antique green in colour (very dark and brown-ish) with a curved shoulder and base. There’s a nice wooden stopper, and most of the bottle is covered by the labels, which are the same size front and back. The labels are an off yellow colour with the letters G, N, and X in orange randomly dotted about. On the front, next to the name of the gin in bold green lettering designed to look as through it’s been spraypainted on, sits a stylised illustration of a bear (named “Hector”) in a shirt covered in green plants and holding a poppy in his mouth. Hector is there to represent the ‘strength of TŌSH Gin’, while the poppy is meant to represents not only a key botanical, but the abundant Moravian landscape as a whole. On the back is a blurb about the gin as well as the usual info. While I like Hector (bears are one of my favourite animals), and it does stand out well, it’s not one of my favourite designs.

Nose

A bright, fresh citrus pine flows up gently from the glass, but with plenty of weight behind it. There’s a lovely depth to the aroma, and the citrus fruits come through together, full-bodied, juicy and with a deliciously subtle, spiced backdrop. I get a lovely, fruity hit of pepper, with touches of tangy aromatics that bring me to a slightly grassy, herbal profile. It’s all very well rounded, bringing me back from the spices to the citrus, and at the very end I get a pleasantly sweet, slightly caramel note. It’s a lovely aroma, and very enticing.

Taste

Neat there’s a heavy juniper flavour, backed up by some bitter citrus and earthy but semi-sweet tones. It’s not as citrus forward as the nose suggested for me, though there is still plenty there along with a hit of pepper. I also get a little fruity, aromatic sourness. For me the flavours feel quite heavy, with richness but a lot of bitter notes too, though there are hints of brighter, sweeter tones which add an extra level to the profile. Overall I think some of the lighter, sweeter and more aromatic botanicals aren’t as present as I think I’d like them to be, but the flavour that’s there is plentiful albeit slightly more bitter than for my tastes.

Water brings out a flash of lovely herbal notes, along with some sweet spice. I feel like I can taste the cassia and nutmeg a little now, which is nice and adds a welcome layer of sweetness. The hints of caramel I was getting on the nose are there now too, but there’s still plenty of the original bitter citrus present. For me, it’s much improved by the dilution, and it’s definitely rare for me to find the addition of water leading to a sweeter flavour. I feel like there’s a lot more to explore here, and the whole experience feels lighter and more balanced.

Finally, a G&T (3:1 with Twelve Below tonic and a dried grapefruit wheel to garnish). The result is fairly underwhelming, but I think that’s in part due to the tonic being quite weak tasting and watery to me. There’s a mild peppery flavour and some fairly clear and crisp bitter notes of juniper and citrus. Having added a glug more of gin, there’s an improvement, with some nice earthy and green, herbal tones coming through. It’s just not got any real depth of body to it. Again though I’m inclined to blame the tonic for that as much as the gin. It’s crisp and refreshing, so perhaps more suited to a summer sipper.

Overall

TŌSH is a tricky gin for me. I can see a lot of positives in it, but not all of them are to my personal tastes. Where it’s bold, for me it’s also too bitter, and where it’s sweet and spicy, I’m left wanting. I think this is probably a good choice for folks who are fans of bitter gins, but in a G&T I’d suggest picking your tonic carefully. I can however also say that I have enjoyed it with ginger ale, moreso than this G&T I’m nursing, so that’s another little thing in its favour as not many gins hold up to ginger ale well. As I’ve said though, a tricky one for me so while not to my tastes so much, I can still speak to its quality and flavour.

3 / 5 Feathers

Add or remove half a feather depending on your predilection to bitter gins

TŌSH gin is available via the distillery

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All reviews are of the author’s personal collection, bought and paid for by the author, unless otherwise stated.


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