A Spirited Version of the famous Terry’s Chocolate Orange
This latest expression from Sipsmith, launched in April this year, is their original London Dry recipe distilled with “dialled up” juniper (50% more than the original recipe) and cacao, then “rested” on fresh orange zest. In ordinary terms, this means that this gin is infused with orange zest post-distillation. As a result, it has a light, pleasing tangerine colour.
With the twin delights of chocolate and orange, this gin promises a spirited version of the famous Terry’s of York chocolate orange and is a remake of their Chocolate Orange Gin released last October to the Sipsmith Sipping Society and now to the general public.
The bottle is the usual Sipsmith shape, nothing exciting, with a now familiar swan’s head and curving neck on the label to depict the swan-neck of their original pot still, Prudence. The label is obviously orange, the bottle is sealed with orange wax and the contents are pale orange. There must be orange inside!
Juniper, orange, cacao nibs, black cardamom, liquorice, vanilla, orange blossom.
The nose is most definitely gin with juniper making itself known right up front. There is also a sweetness but little orange. I think I was expecting a little more chocolate orange aroma of the famed confectionery.
On the palate the juniper is well-balanced. This is a lightweight gin very fruity and zesty. Smooth and clean the orange does dominate the cacao though. Naturally sweetened with liquorice there is however a lingering boiled sweet mouthfeel and the gin, despite being 40% ABV, is bordering on the feel of a liqueur due to the sugariness.
I feel a little disappointed by this gin. I would have liked something drier, a bit more complex with more cacao. York Gin do a good Cocoa Gin (read review here) in collaboration with York Cocoa Works, dry and chocolately, which when combined with a Seville orange tonic produces that classic Terry’s chocolate orange flavour.
But this is a crowd pleaser gin and joins the ever-growing catalogue of contemporary fruity gins. It will go down well with people who are not sure if they like gin.
The recommended serve is to sip over ice. I could only do this once due to its sweetness.
The slight bitterness of plain tonic dampens downs the sweet orange and draws out the cacao in a classic G&T which is a great way to enjoy it.
But it comes more into its own in a Breakfast Martini where the cacao is somewhat lost but the orange really doesn’t care as the citrus flavour is ramped up, with marmalade and triple sec, and the three going skipping off into a mandarin sunset.