Now here’s an eye-catching gin. Stoli Group’s Tulchan Gin hit shelves last summer and while the gin may be London dry, the bottle is all Scotland. Made from a royal blue glass, a la Bombay Saphire, it’s stamped along the side with the official Tulchan tartan in tribute to the Speyside estate for which it’s named. The label features the Tulchan mascot, a hilarious yet very dignified Grouse Piper playing bagpipes, and the heavy wooden and metal topper sports a Scottish thistle stamp (whatever that is). As for what’s inside the bottle, Stoli Group has the deets:
Born on one of the most admired estates in Scotland, Tulchan Gin™ is inspired by its natural surroundings with botanicals including sloe berries, elderflower and blackberry leaves which are found on the Tulchan Estate. One unusual botanical is asparagus, which provides the gin with a bitter edge and unusually long finish. The distillation takes place in Speyside using the Estate’s recipe.
Blackberry leaves? Asparagus? Can’t say I’ve ever had a gin with asparagus in the botanical bill. Let’s drink our vegetables, shall we?
The aroma is fairly classic London dry with a thick note of sappy pine that’s more sugary than sharp, as can sometimes be the case. It’s crisp and inviting and, with a little time to open, evolves with more dried juniper, dark berries, and green herbs. The juniper keeps apace on the palate, again syrupy without much earthy bite. It coats the palate with soft, sweet notes of spruce tip, raw honey, a bit of lemon peel, and black licorice. The finish is generous (thank the asparagus?) with a gentle, gingery spice and lingering notes of elderflower. I’m not getting much in the way of veggies, but this one is certainly well-built enough for a memorable cocktail or even just sipping neat over ice.
A- / $40 / tulchangin.com [BUY IT NOW FROM TOTAL WINE]