Poetic License Old Tom Gin - 70cl - 41.6% ABV
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Poetic License, based out of The Roker Hotel Bar in Sunderland, is a celebration of locality and experimentation. Founder Mark Hird began his adventure into booze by opening a brewery, named Sonnet 43 after the famous poem of neighbour – albeit separated by a hundred or so years – Elizabeth Barrett Browning. The poetry angle stuck, with whimsy weaved into every bottle created at the distillery.
This is a different take on an Old Tom, with no sugar in the mix at all. Instead, all of the sweetness is derived from liquorice root. Poetic License, in a bid to replicate storage of the old days, also gave theirs a small stint in some wood, which has imparted a soft amber colour and a light toasting.
Rose petals lead the way, landing gently in the mouth. Hibiscus is here, too, with both of the flowers fluttering in and out of view. Cubeb and citrus compliment these elements, while the soft oak cuts through it all. Gentle and sweet, this is a curious fellow just asking to be mixed into a Martinez.
To serve: Indian Tonic and a sprig of rosemary.