Tasting Sipsmith VJOP Gin for the first time was a little like falling in love. You remember where you were (Eau de Vie Melbourne) who you were with (not naming names) and you can’t think about anything else.
VJOP stands for Very Junipery Over Proof and is a triumph from master distiller Jared Brown. I had the pleasure of spending the day with this bon vivant and his encyclopaedic mind earlier this year, and he told me; “If I leave this world with people drinking better than when I came in, I’ve done my job”. With VJOP, he’s certainly done that.
Being a drinks historian, as well as a distiller, Jared always hits the books for some intensive research on old recipes before he creates his gin. VJOP is created by using three reformulated recipes for making London Dry gin, The Triple J method, as Sipsmith call it.
The first features a long maceration (3 times as long as a regular maceration), this is where the botanicals are soaked in neutral grain spirit to extract the flavour, before the distillation process.
Then, unmoderated Juniper is added, just before the run. And finally juniper from the Carter Head (featuring a basket where the botanicals are placed.) creates the “brightest expression” of juniper, according to Jared.
On the nose, there is pine, cedar wood with hints of citrus. Flavour is bold juniper (to be expected as they have added 75% MORE juniper) and spice with a long, dry finish
The strength of VJOP (57.7% ABV) comes from a desire to balance the juniper flavours, rather than create an overproof or Navy Strength gin.
Sipsmith VJOP gin can be enjoyed like a fine malt whisky, or as the base for a simply stellar martini. Personally, I enjoy sipping over ice to really enjoy the full juniper experience!
Country of origin: UK
ABV : 57.7%
Price: High (but worth it!)