What’s in a name?
Origin: Dundee, Scotland
You might be forgiven for thinking that Verdant Dry Gin is named after a gin distiller’s homage to the emergent greenery heralding spring. And in one sense it is. Andrew Mackenzie, the founder of Verdant Spirits is an emergent talent in the world of gin distilling, while at the same time naming his firstborn as a nod to Dundee’s textile heritage.
The true origin of the name Verdant lies in the jute and weaving industry that was once the source of Dundee’s wealth. Verdant Works is the last surviving working jute mill in Scotland. Built in 1833 it is now houses Scotland’s Jute Museum, celebrating the city’s jute and weaving heritage.
Verdant Spirits is the first distillery for 200 years in the city, finding its home in the former engine room of another jute mill: Edward Street Mill, built in 1895 and one of Dundee’s old mills.
The gin, however, is made in a thoroughly modern 500L iStill. Given the founder’s background in Formula1 and Dundee’s industrial past, this doesn’t seem so surprising. It won an award too, Gin of the Year in the Scottish Gin Awards in 2017, the year of its launch.
The nose is like a soft juniper punch with a fragrant greenness in keeping with its name.
The mouthfeel is light and crisp with top notes of bright green citrus. The juniper is medium and the finish lingers just long enough for its 43% ABV.
This is a classic gin, unassuming and modest and I think the name Verdant is very apt for a gin that embodies the freshness of a spring breeze.
There is a lightness of touch in the balance of the botanicals. This is a craft gin without the brash bold flavours that are unfortunately becoming synonymous with craft gin. Restoring the word craft to its more fitting tradition, that of making well.
Verdant makes a classic sundowner gin and tonic if you want something light, fresh and relaxing at the end of the day. Try adding lime zest and a slice of cucumber to accentuate the greenness.
2019 marks the first International Scottish Gin Day #isgd2019 on August 3rd. Look out for an event near you celebrating Scotland’s finest.