McQueen Sweet Citrus Gin - 50cl - 42% ABV
McQueen Gin burst onto the scene on 3rd June 2016 with something of an anarchic air. There’s so much gin, they said, let’s make something bonkers, something different… Their range of four flavoured spirits was created on the premise that gin, especially when mixed with tonic, tastes like… gin. In their opinion, the market place for ginsmiths is so crowded that it can be hard to stand out, so rather than create a regular dry gin, they made Chocolate Mint Gin, Sweet Citrus Gin, Mocha Gin and Smokey Chilli Gin.
Dale and Vicky McQueen founded their Trossach’s Distillery in Callander, Scotland in July 2015, leaving a life of corporate software sales behind for something that required a little more derring-do. Though completely new to the alcohol industry, they had such a huge interest and fascination in distilling that it was almost an obvious choice for them. Gin, too, was obvious, especially for those who are trained to think in terms of sales – as Dale told us, it’s not hard to see that it’s a strong market right now.
The Sweet Citrus Gin has grapefruit, lime, lemongrass and kaffir lime amongst its botanical line up, meaning that it has no choice but to bow down to its tangy overlords. Lemongrass is the first to hit the nose, as strong as though you’d just bitten into a fresh chunk whilst feasting on a Thai green curry. There is a faint warm, caramelised smell, suggesting their are possibly some dried peels as well as fresh ingredients. It’s very green and clean smelling, with the lemongrass and grapefruit peel bringing real levity.
To taste, all four of the botanicals above rush forward at once, each initially indiscernible from one another. The lemongrass once more dominates, bringing a bright, fresh, hay-like taste. Juniper isn’t overly identifiable here, but it subtly underpins proceedings and helps the spirit transition into a finish which tips between lemongrass and lime, along with an oddly floral taste left on the tongue.
Dale’s suggested G&T garnish for this is strawberries and we can certainly see why – teaming the gin up with a classic tonic like Fever Tree and a handful of chopped strawberries will make for a delightfully sweet, tart and complex drink that would go down an absolute treat in the summer months. For winter, a clove studded orange may work well here.