If there was ever a gin with a love story; this is it. I was pointed towards @mcleansgin by the very lovely Claire and after a little bit of googles I found a story about a couple who started making gin in a cupboard under their stairs that had gone on to be nominated for some of the most prestigious awards. Colin and his wife Jess then offered to send me a bottle of Something Blue which they originally created for their wedding and sold a small batch through limited edition. So many people loved it they’ve officially added it to their collection.
They took 50 botanicals and worked through them all individually trying to understand what works and then combined both of their favourites (the Tonka Beans and Buchu Leaves). Colin told me the process was like cooking up a nice dinner and you have to just work through what works, what might work and what’s an absolute no go – but on trial 3 (only 3 – I was impressed!) they decided that was the one! To get the blue taste they used blue-pea flower petals. To keep with the traditions of marriage the premise of the gin is as follows:
Something Old – the use of Tonka Beans and Buchu Leaves have been documented for centuries; maybe even a millennium.
Something New – they’re very uncommon culinary ingredients, so we think we’re the first to ever have combined them in such a way.
Something Borrowed – they come from Central America (Panama, specifically) and South Africa respectively, not native to our own homeland so we’ve had to “borrow” them!
I got so excited by this gin and I really wanted to like it, no I wanted to love it… As soon as the bottle arrived I pulled out the cork and gave it a big whiff… I got nothing, I tried again… Still nothing and then I started to panic a little… I was told not to make the serve fussy, it contains 7 botanicals in total and they wanted to make a really unusually taste so you should give it the opportunity to do that. I was told it wouldn’t be spicy or citrussy and it was true to the taste…
The good news is when I poured it over ice the smell instantly hit me It has a very soothing smell and took me a while to place it, it’s very floral and the marzipan shines through to the nose and for me in the taste. If you asked me if I liked marzipan or floral gins I’d tell you no. If you asked me if I’ve ever tasted a gin like it before I’d also tell you no. But this, well it works. The taste is so distinctive it’s a pleasure to drink and not comparable to anything else I’ve tried on the market to date. Its £40 a bottle and now available to buy from Craft 46 online. It makes an amazing wedding gift but more if you’re serious about gin you need to put this to the top of your list to try.