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Shakespeare Distillery rhubarb gin – 40% ABV
Overall rating: 4.5/5
In a nutshell: A herbaceous, punchy gin from a distillery influenced by the Bard. Botanicals like lovage, rosemary and sage shine through, and the drink has a pleasing pink hue thanks to pressed rhubarb stalks.
Shakespeare Distillery is an independent producer based in Stratford-upon-Avon, which is perhaps most well known for being the birthplace of William Shakespeare. The distillery’s pot stills are even named for Shakespearean characters, including ‘Ophelia’ and ‘Portia’.
The distillery’s signature Stratford gin includes botanicals from a typical Tudor herb garden, like aromatic lovage, rosemary, sage, lemon balm and a small amount of rose. This is the base for its pretty pink, full-strength rhubarb gin.
The herbaceous rosemary notes from the classic gin are still very much present in this rhubarb version, both on the nose and the palate. There’s a pure, clean aroma, like walking through an herb garden on a cold, crisp day.
Nothing artificial has been added to achieve this fruity flavour – the rhubarb stalks are simply pressed, with the resulting juice added to the gin along with a small amount of sugar for balance.
Silky smooth and decidedly rich, we were impressed with the level of fruit flavour present. We’re also big fans of the rosemary, which is dominant throughout. But for some this might be overpowering.
We were warned that we may find a little bit of sediment at the bottom of the bottle, but there was none present while we were tasting. But this may be something to think about if you foresee it sitting on your drinks trolley for a prolonged amount of time.
The perfect pour
This stands up well to mixers such as ginger ale – we garnished it with a twist of orange. Alternatively, a Mediterranean tonic complements the rosemary notes – add a fresh sprig for decoration.
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