A Striking Small Batch Gin
41.5% abv ~ Scotland
Scottish gins seem to be the thing these days and with a centuries-old distilling history its no surprise that they are leading the charge in the latest gin boom. Boe Gin is right up there at the front and their second expression is no (excuse the pun) shrinking violet but a gin to be reckoned with.
The name Boe is taken from Professor Franz de la Boe, also known as Dr Sylvius, who interestingly Boe claim ‘invented’ gin in 1658 and is their inspiration. While I would beg to differ, I thought the whole Dr Sylvius myth had been blown out of the water, it does make for a nice diversion.
More prosaically their gin is made on an industrial estate in Throsk, Stirling. And there is nothing wrong with that. I do wish more gin distillers were upfront about their distilling processes rather than trying to obfuscate with a veil of romantic, in this case, Scottish mist. Distilling a good gin is quite a skill, as well as an art form.
Whatever the where and the how they are made the Boe gins are quality gins with pedigree, the Scottish Gin winning a silver at the World Gin Awards in 2014. So far in their ‘family’, there is the original Scottish Gin, the Violet and a couple of liqueurs: Peach & Hibiscus and Bramble. And I’m sure these four won’t be their last.
Their Scottish Gin with 12 botanicals is the base for the Violet. Juniper, coriander, angelica, cardamom, ginger, almonds, orris root, cassia bark, liquorice root, cubeb and orange and lemon crowd this gin with their flavoursome complexity. Violets are infused post-distillation to add flavour.
The colour of Boe Violet Gin is quite striking and very appealing if your favourite colour is purple. Nowhere can I find any detail about the colour of the gin. An infusion of violets would not give such a definite hue to any spirit. When it pours it comes out a vibrant lilac.
The white design on the bottle is elegant and rather lovely. The overall feel of the shape makes it good to pour.
Parma violets and surprisingly more than a hint of juniper.
Unlike gin liqueurs which often masquerade as gin while being a sneaky 20% abv or thereabouts, Boe Violet is a respectable 41.5% abv. And it tastes like it too. This is a grown-up violet gin. I don’t feel like I’m a 6-year-old in a sweet shop when drinking it.
As you would expect the dominant flavour is parma violet but not cloyingly. Juniper gets a look in. There is also a hint of citrus and spice there to take this gin out of the two-dimensional box it could so easily find itself in. The finish is dry and medium with parma violet hanging on in there.
There isn’t really any great scope for lots of different serves with this gin. The flavour of the violet while not over-dominant would knock out any of the more delicate tonics and fight with the more unusual.
With a light premium tonic, it makes a very decent G&T.
Not a Tip: I did try adding crushed parma violets to the glass on the suggestion of a gin-loving friend. But they just made a grainy mess at the bottom and didn’t really do anything to enhance the flavour. And what’s more, I wasted some of my guilty-secret sweets!
The Boe website offers a suggestion of an Amethyst Aviation which sounds rather yum.