A ‘Pan Meditteranean’ Gin
42.7% abv ~ Spain
Produced in a long-standing distillery in the small fishing village of Vilanova, outside Barcelona, Gin Mare is typical of the Spanish bravery in pushing the boundaries as to gin flavours. Styled as ‘pan Meditteranean’, Gin Mare gathers its key botanicals from across the sea. Quite aptly as the name ‘mar’ means the sea and interestingly also ‘maternal’.
Basil from Italy, Thyme from Greece, Rosemary from Turkey and Arbequina olives are the key four botanicals that give Gin Mare its unusual savoury flavour. It also uses sweet orange from Seville, bitter orange from Valencia, lemons from Lleida and of course, juniper (grown on the distillery land) and coriander.
Each botanical is distilled separately in a barley base spirit, with the citrus in particular macerated for an extraordinarily long time. For a full account of the history of the distillery and the production process read Difford’s Guide.
The bottle is a thing of beauty with a sensual shape and delicate blue tinge with white olive leaf relief design. Although I have to say, it is awkward to pick up and is a bit hefty. When pouring I have one hand round the bottle neck and the other supporting the rest of the bottle. All this is forgiven though when it sits in serene maternal splendour on the shelf of my gin cabinet.
A heavenly fragrance, sweetly herbal with a lacing of juicy oranges greets you warmly like a stroll in a Spanish orange grove.
Full-bodied and savoury with a warm rounding of orange. Juniper is there. The rosemary is not dominant; something I was afraid it might be. In fact, I was expecting from the botanicals a gin that was strong, savoury, herby and dare I say it, a tad unpleasant with bitterness from the olives.
Savoury and herby, yes. But strong and bitter, no. The balance of savoury and sweet is yummy. The finish is medium with again that hint of orange groves.
For me, Fevertree’s Mediterranean tonic is the natural pairing with a big fat juicy blood orange wheel. I have tried it with rosemary too. If I am feeling in a particularly savoury mood then I will sprinkle cracked black pepper over the ice before pouring. Trust me it is delicious.
I can see this gin being paired with a pudding. Perhaps something meltingly citrus. Maybe oranges. Have I mentioned oranges enough?
For further information on this delicious gin dive into the Gin Mare website.