"One of the very few gins to be made with the distillery's own base spirit: ours is made with our own sugar beet vodka. Dr. J believes firmly that the simple pleasures are often the most orgasmic, which is why a minimal selection of botanicals have been chosen. An ensemble of juniper, coriander, macadamia nut and citrus zests come together to produce an emergent taste experience.
Serve one to one with tonic, crushed ice and a couple of salted capers."
DR J'S GIN
A rare sip indeed: a true distilled gin.
WHAT MAKES THIS GIN SO SPECIAL?
In a market positively saturated with gins (there are now over six hundred gins just made in the UK - and counting!) it’s becoming increasingly difficult to stand out from the crowd. Rather than using ever more interesting and exotic botanical combinations to make our gin stand out, we’ve opted for the unusual route of making a gin with a very simple selection of botanicals, made exceptional by tweaking all the other elements that are usually forgotten when it comes to distilling a fine spirit.
Only four botanicals are used: an uncommonly small selection nowadays: but the result is a perfectly balanced flavour profile where each ingredient stands out brightly and nothing is lost.
This is one of the extremely rare gins to be made with the distillery’s own base spirit. Our single-distilled sugar beet vodka base provides a glorious smoothness and mouthfeel to the spirit: which makes it nice enough to be drunk neat (without wincing).
Dr J’s Gin was launched in 2011, at the beginning of the gin boom: which means we’ve had more practice than most in fine tuning this tasty spirit. There have been many varieties & subvarieties of gin made since then; from reinvented classics to some quite extraordinary concoctions; indeed, we distil a wide range of gins, with varying base spirits and many different flavour profiles, for our customers. But as for our own English Spirit collection, Dr J’s Gin remains our signature gin; a constant over the years that has been enjoyed by many.
In short: we think it's so good that the Doctor put his name on it.
Single distilled sugar beet vodka; juniper berries; coriander seeds; citrus zests (orange and lemon), macadamia nut.
Note: Dr J’s Gin is free of nut allergens, as these molecules are too heavy to volatilise during the distillation process.
"I do think that too many botanicals can be an issue; and there are some gins that appear to have been made by throwing the whole of the Amazon in the pot. I prefer to use fewer botanicals. My tack reflects what most people find when they cook: use herbs and spices sparingly. The right combination will produce a very satisfying emergent delight.
That’s what we set out to achieve."
- Dr John Walters,
'The Drinker's Guide to Distilling, Part 1'
HOW IS IT MADE?
This is a London Dry Gin, pot distilled in genuinely small batches: no more than 200 litres at a time. This is the same for all of our spirits, but worth mentioning again here as 200 litres is uncommonly small batch; as opposed to other small batch distillers who use up to 1,000 litre stills. The reason we obsess over 200 litre stills is because this is an ideal size for having control over the distilled spirit that comes out: namely, being able to make precise cuts to the spirit to remove the heads and tails that we don’t want, and keep the heart of the spirit, which we do want. It’s very difficult to tell where to make this cut at the best of times; hence the art and experience required for good distilling.
We use our own water to cut the spirit down from approximately 80% ABV off the stills, down to 45% ABV bottling strength. The water is filtered by reverse osmosis (RO) to an exceptionally pure standard: over three times purer than Evian water.
The 45% ABV has been chosen for a reason. This is the exact alcohol balance where the flavours balanced best: above 45% and the citrus becomes too strong, and below 45% the juniper/coriander balance goes out of kilter. At 45% Dr John has been able to best combine a selection of bright and vivid flavours that all jump out of the gin; but without any one taking dominance.
The other advantage to 45% ABV base spirit is that there is simply more alcohol to hold all the flavours. This means it literally has more flavour than a gin with a lower strength. Usually this would mean the spirit also tasting stronger, harsher and with more burn: but this is where our bespoke base spirit comes into play, alongside Dr John’s distilling expertise.
Even at 45% ABV, this gin is smooth enough to sip neat: there’s more of the good stuff and less of the bad stuff (the heads and tails) that burn in your throat, which is the same bit that gives you a hangover the next day. Yes, that’s right: this gin will give you less of a hangover. This goes for all of our spirits, but it’s such an important factor that it’s worth mentioning again!
And last but not least, it's lovingly and artisanally handcrafted with care and passion: just in case you weren't sure.
Vivid juniper, fragrant coriander, and bright citrus notes: underpinned by macadamia nut. You can actually taste each botanical: how’s that for a change?
You’ll also notice that the gin lingers well after it’s left your palate. In fact, we like to think this covers the whole ‘taste spectrum’: a concept so rarely discussed that we’ve had to make up a name for it. Have you ever sipped a very tasty gin that seemed to disappear off your palate as soon as you swallowed it? Well, this is the other end of the scale; the result of a spirit that has been relentlessly tweaked at every single stage of its production process. From first contact right through to the last smack of your lips: you’ll be treated to a gorgeous & emergent flavour experience in a league of it’s own. You really have to try it to see what we mean.
First of all, we advise either chilling Dr J’s Gin in the fridge, or serving over ice. The preference of some is to store in the freezer: but a little known fact about this is that some of the flavour molecules will get too cold to volatilise in your mouth.
In Dr John’s words: “If the tasty bits don’t evaporate and hit the sensory bits in your nose, then you’ll not be tasting much and that is such a waste. A chilled sandwich doesn’t have much taste does it?”
On Dr John’s favourite serve:
“I like my Dr J’s Gin one to one with crushed ice and a few (usually three) salted capers - the ones preserved in salt crystals as opposed to brine. Occasionally, I’ll plop a slice or wedge of freshly cut lime in too.”
Any quality tonic works well with Dr J’s Gin, although we recommend diet or slimline: as there tends to be less flavour in the tonic and therefore more room for the gin flavours. As for garnishes: the versatile botanical selection leaves you with a flavour profile that lends itself to a range of garnishes: cracked black pepper works well, as does a slice of lemon or lime.
For a good gin martini: abandon the vermouth entirely (in the style of Winston Churchill) and instead, stir with a torn bay leaf.
In cooking, Dr J’s Gin makes a great base for a white sauce to pair with either chicken or rabbit. It also lends itself well to a sorbet. Or take a look at this shorthand recipe for a delicious Smoked Cod Loin with Dr J’s Gin and Tarragon Sauce:
RECIPE: SMOKED COD LOIN WITH
DR J'S GIN & TARRAGON SAUCE
Shiitake mushrooms sauteed with capers in butter; deglaze with Dr J's Gin; add mushroom stock, and reduce. Add double cream, comte and fresh chopped tarragon. Set to one side.
Mix acacia honey, gruyere and chopped chives and a trickle of olive oil. Top your smoked cod loin with this. Hot skillet, hot oven, 14 mins.
Serve with new season asparagus and fresh black pepper.
For full recipe details, get in touch via the Contact Us page.