Winchester Distillery Hampshire Gin

Buy Twisted Nose Gin here.

Are you looking for a Hampshire Gin. Then look no further! Twisted Nose Gin is now available at Fareham Wine Cellar.

Edit 15/05/15: Twisted Nose Barrel Aged Gin, Twisted Nose Wasabi Vodka and Twisted Nose Extra Dry Vermouth now available.

Edit 13/01/17: Since I wrote this blog post, the Winchester Distillery has moved to near Arlseford in Hampshire and since then has been labelled at Twisted Nose Watercress Dry Gin and is now packed in 70cl bottled with a new label.

Winchester Distillery Hampshire GinTwisted Nose Gin is made in Winchester, Hampshire by Paul Bowler. It was first released in May 2013, so it is a relative new-comer to the increasingly crowed UK gin scene. It does have a very good unique selling point. Well two, in fact. It is the only Gin made in Hampshire and it is the only Gin to use watercress as one of its botanicals.

As you may know, watercress grows locally around Winchester and the Meon Valley where the crystal clear chalk streams provide an ideal habitat. Watercress is from the genus Nasturtium (not to be confused with genus of flowering Nasturtiums which is actaully Trapaeolum). In Latin Nasturtium means “twisted nose” and is said to be named after the effect on ones nose after eating the spicy, peppery leaves. Hence Twisted Nose Gin.

The water used to make this gin is, of course, local New Forest Spring Water. Watercress is only one of 10 botanicals used to make Twisted Nose Gin.

Twisted Nose Gin Botanicals

Watercress – sourced from The Watercress Company, 3 miles to the north of Winchester

Juniper – Obviously, you can’t make gin without juniper berries

Coriander – crushed coriander seeds bring a citrus-y, spicy note

Pink Grapefruit Zest – adds richer citrus flavours than lemon or orange

Cassia Bark – adds cinnamon type character

Fennel Seed – for a sweet Anise flavour

Lavender – locally sourced from Long Barn Growers and Distillers near Arlesford

Orris – brings flowery and woody aromas

Angelica – remember the green, crystallised stuff people used to bung on the top of cakes, that is from the Angelica root. I am not sure what part of the plant goes into Twisted Nose Gin!

Liquorice – brings a touch of sweetness

Twisted Nose Gin is only made in very small batches of around 50 bottles. It is distilled in a traditional copper pot still, a descendent of the alembic still, used to make batches of spirits, unlike the continuous distillation of large, more commercial column stills. Pot stills produce a very fine grade of spirit. The botanicals are gently crushed, mixed and macerated pure, neutral spirit to release the oils that give the gin its characteristic flavours. The spirit and macerated botanicals are then re-distilled in the pot still and only the heart of the distillate is used for the final bottling.

Tasting Notes

Twisted Nose Gin has a good clear colour with a slightly blue-ish tinge.

Nose: The nose is spicy and peppery. There are floral notes, a big hit of citrus fruit and some more spicy coriander and anise (fennel) notes

Palate: The citrus really comes through on the palate with lots of pink grapefruit. There are more floral and fennel flavours.

Finish: Very nice, clear, dry finish with very good length.

If serving as a gin and tonic use a slice of pink grapefruit or pink grapefruit zest instead of lemon or lime as a garnish. If you are feeling playful you could also garnish with a sprig of watercress. Of course, it will be great in a Martini and recommend cocktails include a Salty Dog which is basically gin and grapefruit juice, which ties in nicely with the pink grapefruit used as a botanical.

Salty Dog Recipe

2 parts Twisted Nose Gin
5 parts Grapefruit juice, pink grapefruit juice would be good

Shake the vodka and grapefruit juice with ice in a cocktail shaker. Strain into a salt-rimmed highball glass and serve straight up, without ice.
Edit: 08/10/16 New branding and packaging, as well as a new 70cl bottle size were introduced in 2016.

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