It’s not often these days that you try a new gin and are pleasantly surprised. Therefore, as soon as I took that first sniff and the first mouthful of Oxford Dry Gin, I knew I had to share this unique bottling with you! Don’t miss the competition at the end of this post!
What’s so special?
To be able to explain the tasting experience of this gin you have to start from the beginning. The Oxford Artisan Distillery, aka TOAD, has a certain attention to detail. They use ‘ancient heritage grain’, grown within a 50-mile radius of the distillery. This heritage grain (wheat, rye and barley) is organic and genetically diverse. Compared to modern-day crops, this type of grain is stronger and more adaptable to environmental changes. These crops survive without any need for chemicals, and they create their own eco-systems. The delicious flavours coming from these heritage crops are easily detectable in TOAD spirits.
Then there are the stills. A very unique set created with a steampunk vibe in mind. Crafted by South Devon Railway Engineering, these stills are inspired by Victorian times, old diving helmets and Jules Verne (the stills are named Nautilus and Nemo). And because that’s not random enough, their five-metre distillation columns are square!
So, what does the Gin taste like?
It’s a classic juniper-forward gin. As the base spirit, TOAD vodka, strongly influences the flavour profile, the botanicals are kept simple, without any need for unique combinations. Oxford Dry Gin botanicals include juniper, angelica root and seeds, orris, meadowsweet, coriander, lemon peel, liquorice, cubeb pepper, nutmeg and both sweet and bitter orange peel. Most of these botanicals come from Oxford University’s Botanic Garden.
The grain influence is evident on both the nose and the palate, bringing a sweet aroma of caramel, chocolate and perhaps a little coconut. The juniper is fresh and strong with warming nutmeg. With tonic, the citrus comes through better and the caramel takes a back seat, allowing room for the botanicals to shine. I’ve never tasted a gin like this one.
You can simply enjoy Oxford Dry Gin neat or on the rocks to fully savour the flavours. I’ve been drinking mine with some tonic water and lime and ginger garnish, although you really don’t need to add garnish with this one.
WIN a bottle of Oxford Dry Gin
As I mentioned before, I had to share this spirit with you. It’s not often you come across distilleries with such a detailed approach and proper grain-to-glass focus.
Simply follow The Spirit of TOAD and On the Sauce Again on Twitter and retweet this post. If you aren’t on Twitter you can still enter by sharing this blog post on your chosen social media platform and leaving a comment in the section below. Good luck!
The winner will be selected on the 16th September. Please note the competition is open to UK entries only.
Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by The Oxford Artisan Distillery, but, as always, all words and opinions are my own.