Don't know how this one passed me by, but by the time I knew about the Gin Festival, there wasn't a ticket to be had! A great Festival started by couple Jym and Marie in 2013, who wanted to create a venue offering lots of gins in one place.
What followed was a waiting list and frantic watching of the website, in the hope that some poor person couldn't make it. After several weeks it happened and I managed to purchase two lovely tickets. Perhaps I should let them know I do some writing and should request a press pack etc. This I did. Well, I was truly impressed! I received a very informative email from admin and was put in touch with Laura who couldn't do enough to help. Complimentary tickets and a bloggers pack. All that worry for nothing. How efficient and how organised this team is. Having worked for years in a sales environment, it is always easy to spot the ones on the ball. Oh to be 20 something again. What a fabulous job!
All members of Gin Festival travel round the country, helping to ensure consistent continuity and it works!
Sunday morning arrived and so did the anticipation! Were instantly met by lots of smiling faces and Laura, armed with my pack, including guide book and bag, along with some tokens to set us on our merry way. A nice idea of pre-paid tokens instead of money, makes things much easier, but also easier to have more gin!! Great layout in the Briggait, an old fruit market, with four bars each stocking a unique range of gin. Music, food and some special guests showcasing new and existing gin. New tastings included Black Tomato from Holland, where a beautiful slight saltiness comes through from Sicilian tomatoes and seawater. If you love Harris, you'll love Black Tomato, although quite a treat at £47 for 50cl.
Tinker Gin is another new one on the block. Launched last year and a great traditional taste about it. They have taken traditional botanicals and given them a modern, Spanish twist. Brilliantly light with well-rounded berries and sherbet and distilled using juniper, coriander, orange, lemon, cassia, cinnamon, orris, angelica, liquorice, nutmeg and elderberries.
With thanks to Ian for a most enjoyable tasting experience!
Existing brands showcasing included Makar Glasgow Gin, Poetic License and Brockmans. What a lot of fun at the Brockmans table and a super masterclass talk too, although no gin tasting in the same room as the talk, due to Scottish laws! My first taste of this and was not disappointed.
Botanicals include almond, angelica and orris, but it is the fruitiness of blueberries and blackberries that adds the rounded harmony and smoothness to the gin.
The pocket-sized Gin Book was a great companion, helping us to decide on our gin choices based on botanical descriptions. What an afternoon and what a 'Funday Sunday' we had.
Thank you Jym and Marie and all the great Gin Festival team and Haste Ye