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Kirsty's Gin
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It can be a bit of a double edged sword having a very good relationship with the manager of your local off-licence. Great in that he knows my tastes and is always willing to set aside the last bottle of something new just in case. Bad in that it invariably leaves me lighter in the pocket than I had intended. Ah well such is life. 

And so it was on an early Thursday evening when I popped in to Vino to pick up a bottle of Sancerre for dinner. The conversation started with "Hi Ciaran" and finished with "That'll be £54.90" as I picked up said Sancerre (£14.95) and agreed to purchase their last bottle of Kirsty's Gin (£39.95). Scotland's first "farm to bottle" gin had me intrigued. 

Made on Arbikie estate in Angus Kirsty's gin is genuinely farm to bottle. Unlike the vast majority of gins that use a neutral grain spirit, Kirsty's uses a potato spirit distilled on the estate from three different varieties all grown on the farm. It won't surprise you to learn that their first product (Kirsty's Gin is their second) is an award winning potato vodka. And it's this choice of base spirit that sets it apart from its peers. It gives the gin an unexpected creaminess that softens any drink made with it. Quite simply it makes a truly luscious martini and can even be served neat over ice. 

In keeping with the local theme the botanicals used include kelp, carline thistle and blaeberry all of which grow wild in the surrounding area. Although juniper is evident in the gin, both the nose and the palate have distinctive pine notes. It doesn't have the lip smacking dryness of the traditional juniper-driven London dry gins. I suspect, in part, due to the rich underlying base. There are hints of spice, citrus and liquorice, plenty of cracked black pepper and a pleasing reminder of cucumber. All of which combines to provide a memorable gin that lingers long after the final sip. 
Kirsty's Gin is a great addition to the growing number of premium gins available and one which, given its provenance, should appeal to lovers of craft drinks, especially as it is also gluten free. 

And why Kirsty's Gin? Quite simply, it's so good they decided to name it after the person who made it: their master distiller, Kirsty Black,


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