Drumshanbo Gunpowder Gin – Review

A great sipping gin, bringing the flavours of the Orient all into one glass

No, you’re not going to get a whiff of cordite from this delightful Irish gin. The name comes from the Gunpowder tea with which it’s infused. What you will get on the initial nose is a lovely light floral note, followed by sweet and sour citrus notes. Think of grapefruit, that burst of acid and sweetness as you bite into the pulp, the sharp surprise as the flavours change in the same mouthful. The nose continues to develop, dancing back to the floral and a hint of rose petals, liquorice and sweet spice.

That spice makes itself known more pronouncedly on the palate. White peppercorns and coriander seeds give the gin a sharp bite, immediately softened by whole cardamom, the whole wrapped in juniper. And then there’s the tea. The slight bitterness of dried green tea leaves. The hint of citrus reminiscent of the bergamot in Earl Grey. 

Patrick Rigney traces the taste of his gin across his meandering journey from China to Ireland, with elements of all the wonders he tried and tasted along the way. His wanderings have worked very well indeed. This a complex, comforting flavour explosion in a glass.I did not do it the disservice of diluting it with tonic, or even club soda. This is a sipping gin. A cube or two of ice is all it needs. That, and a glass raised to a gentleman named Marco Polo who first travelled a trail similar to the one that Mr. Rigney appears to have followed. That original explorer is credited for introducing noodles to Italy. We can now thank him for helping give Ireland a very fine gin.

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