Peter Morrell enjoys this fresh and complex gin from Aberdeen in Scotland
The motto for Porter’s gin is ‘Made in a Bar, not in a Boardroom’ and is indicative of the ethos that created this unique quality gin.
The three founders of Porter’s Gin, Ben Iravani, Josh Rennie and Alex Lawrence were brought together through the desire to create light, refined gin recipes. They spent years in conjunction with Aberdeen University developing a vacuum still that allows for the cold distillation of the gin. This unusual method of distilling retains the brightness of the botanicals used for the flavour.
The botanicals used are Juniper, Pink Peppercorn, Coriander, Angelica, Orange, Lemon, Orris, Cinnamon, Liquorice, Almond and Buddha’s Hand. This last botanical is a very rare and difficult to source citrus fruit grown in China. Shaped like a cluster of fingers (see above) it gives Porter’s gin it’s unique flavour profile.
Before writing about the gin, the attractive label, made from 100% cotton is well worth a mention. On the front of the bottle is a drawing of the Buddha’s Hand fruit and on the rear is a Juniper bush and berries,
My first tasting was to drink the gin neat. There were strong aromas of Juniper and Citrus on the nose supported by intriguing base notes in the background. The Juniper and Citrus persisted on the palate and was joined by the taste of the pink pepper which added a further interesting dimension. The lingering finish has a spicy character giving glimpses of cinnamon and coriander.
So far, very good, now for a Gin and Tonic. Ice cubes, 50ml of Porter’s Gin, a good quality tonic to taste and a wedge of lime. Delicious, with the juniper and citrus powerfully asserting itself over the flavour of the tonic, the ideal summer refresher.
My next cocktail was a Negroni, one part each of Porter’s Gin, Campari and Cinzano Rosso poured over ice in an old-fashioned glass, then stirred and garnished with a twist of orange peel. A real winner, with the dryness of the gin contrasting with the bitterness of the Campari.
The last tasting just had to be the most famous of all gin-based cocktails, the Martini. A shaker full of ice, one part Noilly Prat, two parts Porter’s Gin, then ‘shaken not stirred’ and poured into a chilled martini glass and garnished with an olive. This was bone dry with the citrus flavours of the gin working well with the herbs in the vermouth.
My final verdict, a top-class gin, with a unique flavour profile that can be drunk both neat and as a base for a vast range of cocktails.
In case you are wondering, the gin’s name is in honour of the person who created the equipment for the vacuum distillation, Professor Andrew Porter of Aberdeen University.
Porter’s Modern Classic Gin
Available direct from Porter’s gin online shop for £31.95 and from good spirit merchants.
*There is a complementary product to Porter’s Modern Classic Gin with a different flavour profile. Porter’s Tropical Old Tom, features a classic juniper base lifted by exotic notes of passion fruit, guava and white tea. It is also available from Porter’s website.