Downton Explorer's Gin - 70cl - 44% ABV
Named not for the TV show but for the ancient manor house upon which its distillery is based, Downton Distillery is one of the latest adventures to come bursting out of the building's woodwork. There’s something about it that excites us greatly – the bottle is gorgeous, the couple behind it are just lovely and the gin itself manages to merge local ingredients with the rich history of the building that birthed it.
Explorer’s Gin was created as a tribute to those from the Golden Era of exploring, who brought back wild and exotic ingredients to England’s green land. Using a combination of maceration and vapour infusion, the gin is a multi-layered flavour journey that manages to celebrate both the hyper local and the exotic.
The juniper that really sings, but the first impressions are of grapefruit followed by a huge, delicious, dose of red western cedar. Szechuan pepper and pink peppercorns bring bright spice, while lemon verbena adds a waxy, herbal citrus twinge.
It is gin in all senses of the word, with cedar bringing an additional pine hit to a lingering finish. One of the best new craft gins of 2019 and given the bottle is as beautiful as that, a must have in any gin cabinet!
To serve: classic tonic and a grapefruit wedge.