Tarquin’s Dry Gin from Southwestern Distillery in Wadebridge, the first Cornish gin for over a century, won Gold at the prestigious International Wine and Spirits Awards (IWSC) in 2014, the year it launched.
Distiller Tarquin Leadbetter gave up life behind a desk to pursue a career in distilling, the result is Tarquin’s Dry Gin and intriguingly, a Cornish Pastis (no, not pasties). As the name suggests it’s in the London Dry style, but Tarquin told me “I tried to create something familiar but at the same time slightly different, a nod to the classic London Dry gins that I love, but the aim was to create something a little bit more modern, and unique.”
Not only unique, but very small scale. South Western Distillery’s pot still Tamara (named after the Cornish river Tamar) is tiny by industry standards, and only 300 bottles are created per batch.
Unusually, she is fired by flame, which Tarquin believes adds a level of complexity to his gin.
Tarquin’s Dry gin botanicals
The traditional gin botanicals are all present; juniper, coriander, citrus (the fresh zest of sweet orange, lemon and grapefruit), angelica, orris root and liquorice.
Tarquin has also included cinnamon giving a slightly sweet spice note. The surprising botanical are the leaves from Devon violets, a nod to Tarquin’s childhood in the West Country.
On the nose, Tarquin’s is a balance of citrus and juniper, that is matched in the flavour. Piney juniper notes lead into bright citrus flavours, with a hint of orange blossom. The finish is dry, savoury with a lengthy finish..
Drinking Tarquin’s Dry gin
Tarquin’s Dry Gin makes a brilliant gin and tonic (I garnished mine with fresh lime peel and edible violets) and a magnificent Aviation cocktail where the citrus notes worked well against the maraschino liqueur. A lovely gin that you should definitely try!
County of Origin: UK