Martin Miller’s Westbourne Strength Gin would sit neatly alongside Sipsmith in my Top 5 gins. (I think I might need to compile my definitive Top 10 soon).
I’ve written about the original Martin Miller’s Gin here and the Westbourne Strength is produced in the same way, and features the same botanicals, but is cut (diluted) at a higher ABV. The higher strength version was created in response to bartenders’ requests, as they prefer a stronger gin for cocktails and more complex drinks.
Over-proof gins are currently in vogue, but at 45.2% ABV, this gin is at the subtler end of the scale. The soft mouth feel conceals the higher strength and I had no problem sipping it neat over ice.
On the nose I smelt pine (from the juniper) and spice with a touch of citrus. Flavour was also pine, spice with citrus but also a hint of cucumber (rumour has it Hendrick’s followed Martin Miller’s into cucumber territory). The peppery notes were elevated with more heat on the finish.
Why would it make my Top 5? I like my gins to taste of juniper and Martin Miller’s Westbourne Strength ticks this box nicely. It’s also well-balanced, clean, fresh, (perhaps due to the Icelandic water?) and a good, versatile gin.
I should point out that this gin is at the ‘very high’ end of the price scale, but I do believe in paying for quality so I felt the price was justified.
Country of Origin: England (although blended and bottled in Iceland)