Updated: Sep 5, 2020
I'm kick starting my new gin blog with the newest and most eye-catching bottle in my collection - Jarrold's London Dry Gin. I first came across this gin on Instagram, and with its stunning stained glass window bottle design that would stand out on any bar shelf, I was eager to get my hands on it.
Distilled in Chichester, Jarrold's Gin is created by Jamie and Nichola, inspired by the range of ingredients they discovered travelling the world and tasting cuisines from many different cultures. Take one of their key botanicals for example - Persian limes. The couple discovered these while in Iraq, where Persian limes are used in a variety of food and drink recipes. This is one of seven botanicals used in the London Dry Gin, alongside juniper, grains of paradise, coriander, angelica, cardamom and calamus.
Jarrold's Gin is described by the distillers as "a fusion of Dutch and English gin traditions". While it follows the strict rules for a London Dry Gin, working from a neutral base spirit of at least 96% ABV and all ingredients being added through the distillation, the Dutch influence is the heavy notes of juniper that create this gin's striking unique flavour.
I first tasted the gin neat to fully appreciate the taste. Opening the bottle, you're hit with a big waft of juniper! It's a robust gin and on tasting, the juniper is very much the most forward botanical. It's a slightly peppery gin with a spicy finish. On it's own, Jarrold's Gin is certainly full of flavour, but at 48% ABV, for me, it's a little on the strong side to sip on it's own.
Nose: Earthy juniper with a touch of citrus
Finish: Citrus and spicy with a little heat
My favourite way of drinking gin is in a G&T and I tried Jarrold's with several tonics to decide how I liked it best: Folkington's Indian Tonic Water, Folkington's English Garden and Fevertree Mediterranean Tonic Water. I created my G&Ts using a double shot of Jarrold's Gin and 150ml tonic, with a slice of lime to garnish.
I started with Folkington's Indian Tonic Water and I was pleasantly surprised at just how unique the flavour of Jarrold's is - deep, warming and spiced. The juniper notes are more forward than I've experienced in any other gin before. It creates a super smooth gin and tonic and the juniper balances perfectly with the spice from the coriander and cardamom, creating a savoury G&T that is very pleasant to sip.
With the Folkington's English Garden Tonic, I was impressed at how much the flavour changed, and the tonic added a floral elegance to the nose. Juniper was still very much at the front of the palate, but the spice was much more present in the finish. Adding in a floral touch was maybe one flavour too many, and I preferred my Jarrold's G&T with Indian tonic water.
Finally, I paired my Jarrold's Gin with Fevertree Mediterranean Tonic. In addition to the lime garnish, I also added in a squeeze of fresh lime juice to add a zesty hit. Juniper was, of course, still the forward flavour, but that added touch of citrus makes the G&T a little more summery and adds a refreshing zing, which combines beautifully with the spicy finish.
What I found remarkable is that the botanical flavours are so strong, they don't get lost in the tonic at all. You could easily take a single measure and still be able to fully appreciate the gin.
Overall, Jarrold's Gin is a unique, versatile gin which has a perfectly balanced recipe of botanicals. Its refreshing and smooth, and I love the touch of heat in the finish. The intricate gold design on the bottle is stunning and it would be a striking addition to any gin collection.
Jarrold's Gin is available to buy from the distiller's website for £38.50