In House Tasting - Copper in the Clouds
Now we're back in another lockdown I've become largely reliant on virtual experiences all over again, whether it be a virtual quiz night, virtual gin tasting, or even virtual bottomless brunch! My latest virtual experience was with In House Tasting, trying out their virtual gin tasting experience, which features a selection of Copper in the Clouds gins.
Easily recognisable by the stunning artwork on their bottles, Copper in the Clouds Distillery have some truly unique flavours that I've been eager to try for a while. The Hertfordshire based distillery is owned by founder James Grant, who also hosted the virtual experience, so you're hearing all about the gins directly from the expert. Copper in the Clouds actually began as a gin subscription club, producing limited edition bottles from British distilleries, but James was eager to be more involved in the creative process and apply the distillation skills he'd learnt from working at a gin and whisky producer in London. The majority of ingredients are sourced locally and traditional techniques are used, distilling the gins using two flame-fired copper pot stills.
The In House Tasting pack includes five miniature 50ml Copper in the Clouds gins - Hertfordshire Dry Gin, Flowerbomb Gin, Mango & Black Pepper Gin, Marmalade Gin and Lychee & Raspberry Gin, in addition to two cans of Folkington's Indian Tonic Water, a tasting handbook and access to the tasting video, which you can watch at any time. The handbook was super useful in preparing for the tasting experience, containing information on the gins, perfect serves, cocktail recipes and even a shopping list so I could make sure I had all the garnishes I needed!
The tasting experience begins with an introduction to Copper in the Clouds Distillery and what to expect from the tasting. It's a 34 minute video and you can pause it at any time (useful for when you're pouring a drink but don't want to miss anything!). James explains that we'll be tasting the gins from driest to sweetest, before introducing their flagship gin, Hertfordshire Dry Gin.
Hertfordshire Dry Gin
The Hertfordshire Dry is a classic herbaceous gin, with botanicals including lemon verbena, lemon balm, angelica root, lavender and whole lemons. Tasting neat, it's rich and full of juniper flavours with herby tones. In a G&T with a lemon peel garnish, the gin comes to life and is really fresh and citrusy. The serve is bright and full of zesty lemon flavour with a herby finish. It's the perfect introduction to Copper in the Clouds and for what's to come.
The second gin of the experience is the one I've been most eager to try - while floral gins aren't usually my go-to, the beautiful bottle design just implies you're in for a treat with this one. Packed full of floral botanicals like rose, heather flowers, lavender and hibiscus, Flowerbomb Gin is really pleasant to sip neat - it's light with a delicate floral flavour. With lemon peel to garnish, this gin makes a light, fresh G&T with sweet flavours that turn to a bitter finish. Overall the drink is soft, subtle and well-balanced - one I'd definitely want to have again.
Mango & Black Pepper Gin
Moving on to the first of the flavoured gins, the Mango & Black Pepper is a gin I'd heard very good things about. Hearing the backstory to this one was interesting, with James explaining how a team of food scientists analysed what the best garnish would be for a G&T - apparently this is mango and black pepper! Tasting neat, the black pepper is the dominant flavour, providing a good spicy kick! The gin is transformed in a G&T, which I garnished with additional mango and black pepper. The taste is tropical and refreshing. The flavours weren't as intense as I expected, instead rather light, with mango aromas on the nose but pepper more forward in the taste. It makes a very summery G&T with a nice warming spice.
Lychee & Raspberry Gin
I love anything raspberry flavoured, and combined with lychee and mint botanicals too, I was excited to taste the Lychee & Raspberry Gin, the newest gin in the Copper in the Clouds collection. It's made by resting the gin on fresh lychees and fresh raspberry juice is added. Tasting neat, the gin is gorgeous - sweet, fruity and packed with scrumptious berry flavours. I don't tend to drink gin neat and would always opt for a G&T, but would have happily kept sipping this without adding any mixer. Saying that, I of course wanted to try the gin in a G&T too, which I garnished with fresh raspberries and a sprig of mint. This was easily my favourite gin of the tasting, with a fresh fruity sweetness that was really delicious.
Having tried many orange gins, I was eager to see how the Copper in the Clouds version compared to my current citrus favourites. With botanicals including grapefruit peel and seville orange peel and the addition of marmalade that's made in-house, this was the sweetest of the five gins. Neat, it's bursting with citrus flavour and made a delicious G&T with a fresh grapefruit wedge garnish. It's refreshing and sweet, while slightly thicker than the other gins because of the added marmalade. It's more of a dessert drink, but the sweet flavours aren't at all sickly or artificial - it's very tasty and fresh.
Overall, I was really impressed with the In House Tasting experience. The video was the perfect length, engaging and felt really personal, like having a chat with the distiller. I also loved the fact that I was able to do this at any time that suited me (pre-lockdown I was always reluctant to commit to virtual plans in case non virtual plans came up!). Copper in the Clouds is the perfect distillery for the tasting experience, with a great variety of gins and exciting flavours.
Fancy trying the experience yourself? The kit is available on the In House Tasting website for £34.95.
The team at In House Tasting kindly gifted me the gin tasting kit to try.