Product of: United Kingdom
A distilled gin flavoured with traditional gin botanicals such as juniper, coriander, angelica and cubeb berries with basil, sage, French lavender and Kaffir lime leaves to produce a delicately spiced gin.
Starting with her preferred botanical base of juniper, coriander, angelica and cubeb berries, Joanne Simcock, Greenall's master distiller, was inspired by the English Physic Garden in her quest to add a lightness, green-ness and fresh herbaceous notes. Basil, known as 'the king of the herbs' was her first choice and this adds peppery green tea notes to the gin. Sage came later as she searched for a botanical that would soften and round the high green notes of the basil. French lavender was an obvious choice but added heavy oily notes so she choose Kaffir lime leaves which add a sherbet lime note which cuts through the oiliness of the lavender.
Initial lab distillations of what was known as 'Recipe No.5' produced a fabulous gin so a larger scale test distillation was tried in the company's small 220 litre capacity No.8 Still, known as 'baby'. Much to the amusement of her fellow still workers this produced a green distillate. Not perturbed and learning from this, Joanne then made a further more gentle distillation with the basil, sage and lavender placed in a cotton bag in the style of a bouquet garni.
Like other Greenall's gins this was left to steep for 24 hours before starting a much gentler distillation, running the still at a very slow rate to simmer rather than boil. This gentle reflux of the botanicals better allowed the release of the delicate essential oils and resulted in a perfectly clear distillate. The result was a very upmarket tasting gin so the name 'Berkeley Square' seemed appropriate.
Review and Tasting
Sampled on 03/02/2012
Deliciously aromatic with lime cordial, basil, crushed lavender, menthol eucalyptus and piney-freshness.
Wonderfully balanced traditionally juniper led palate with a creamy mouthfeel. Obvious basil and sage influence.
Alpine-fresh finish with lingering lime, basil and sage.