Distilling gin in-house has been notched up a gear at the East London Liquor Company.
The trendy East End drinks spot, which already produces batches of London Dry Gin as well as a Batch 2 version, has taken things one step further and launched its own Barrel-Aged Gin Programme.
The team has whipped up its first bottles of the new spirit, combining the signature London Dry Gin which has then been aged in an oak cask.
The brains behind the bar’s creative cocktail, Mike Pendergast, says the new spirit is “one crazy gateway between different schools of drinking.”
Meanwhile, those who favour whisky can still get their fix by plumping for their own cask which will be ready to drink in 2018.
We give you the top five facts about this snazzy spirit
1. ELLC’s signature London Dry Gin is the secret behind the spirit
Fans of the bar’s first clear gin, which sizzles with notes of cardamom and fruity tang, won’t be disappointed when they encounter this version.
The 40%ABV liquor has been distilled with 100% British wheat spirit infused with lemon and grapefruit peel, coriander, angelica root, juniper berries, cubeb berries and cardamom, before being locked away in a French Oak 30litre cask.
This means the flavours and colours found in bourbon also shine through, giving a warming, tasty boost to the spirit.
It also impacts the final ABV, which rises by 15%.
2. The process has been inspired by historic methods of production
The spark of inspiration to create an experimental spirit came from the 18th Century heritage of barrel-aging white spirits.
Oak was traditionally used to transport the liquids because glass and other breakable materials were thought to be too expensive.
As the gin aged during its journey, it picked up the sweet, spiced vanilla qualities of the oak casks, and ELLC founders said they were eager to take on the role of cheerleader and bring age-old distilling techniques back to the East End.
3. You’ll have to be quick to taste the same tipple twice
More than four different experimental bottles of Barrel-Aged Gin will be rolled out throughout the year.
That’s good news for drinkers who feel they’re in a bit of a cocktail-related rut or others who’ve made a promise to venture into uncharted tipple territory during 2016.
For the first offering, 36 bottles were made and staff say they’re already down to the final few.
The next version has been ageing since October.
For that extra-special touch, the bottles will all have handwritten labels, too.
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4. It’s all about innovation
ELLC founder Alex Wolpert said: “In the 18 months since we opened, we have worked continuously to produce honest-priced, innovative spirits for UK, and the Barrel-Aged Gin Programme is no different.
“We are excited to launch this experimental range and look forward to releasing the results.”
Meanwhile, head distiller Tom Hills said: “It’s all about experimentation and innovation.
“Sometimes things might not turn out right but if you don’t try it you never know.”
5. It’s a taste worth travelling east for
The first Barrel-Aged Gin has the super-smooth silkiness of ELLC’s London Dry Gin but takes the taste adventure that little bit further.
The woody, botanical flavours pack a punch as you sip the spirit straight with no mixer but then comes the influence of the woody cask as the liquid trickles down your throat.
It’s warming, with a soothing sweep of vanilla and creaminess, and instantly offers a warm, fuzzy feeling.
The golden glow is that appealing it seems a shame to mix the spirit with anything other than a few cubes of ice.
It’s an ideal digestive after a carb-heavy meal or, if you fancy a cocktail option, it’s perfect in a Negroni.