Spirit of the Year 2017
We've spoken to some of the finest brains in the drinks business to help choose The Whisky Exchange Spirit of the Year for 2017, including bartenders, writers and experts. A shortlist of eight bottles is drawn up, based on the best spirits we've tried over the past year.
Yet again, we've been blown away by the quality of spirits on offer, with some phenomenal examples of Cognac, rum, vermouth and much more. This year, though, we've chosen a gin from the Cotswolds region of England: Capreolus Garden Swift Dry Gin.
Garden Swift is one of the finest gins we’ve tried in years – scroll down to find out why we like it, how to serve it and how to get hold of a bottle for yourself.
Swift Dry Gin
Capreolus Garden Swift Dry Gin is fresh, aromatic and fruity – a wake-up call for the senses. Made with an impressive 34 botanicals, including blood-orange zest and lime-tree flowers, Garden Swift has a great depth of flavour that works equally well served neat as it does in a cocktail or with tonic.
Tasting Notes By Stuart Peskett
- Nose: Big, expressive nose of clean juniper, freshly cut grass and cherry blossom, along with orange peel, floral notes and a touch of herbs. Very enticing.
- Palate: Mouthfilling and fruity, with zingy orange lifting the base notes of juniper and clove. Complex; layers of flavour reveal themselves over time.
- Finish: Clean, fruity and long lasting.
- Comment: The higher ABV adds weight and punch – this would work wonderfully well in a Martini.
How To Enjoy It
Capreolus master distiller Barney Wilczak recommends serving Garden Swift gin neat in a tulip glass at room temperature. His other favourite serve is in a Chamois cocktail – here's how to make one:
- add a scoop of ice cubes to a large wine glass
- add 25ml Garden Swift Dry Gin, 25ml Genepi liqueur and top with 100ml cloudy apple juice
- float a sage leaf on top
Capreolus also makes intense, pure eaux-de-vie from a range of fruits, with painstaking attention to detail. They make superb aperitifs and digestifs.
Capreolus takes its name from the Latin term for the roe deer who roam the land near the distillery in Gloucestershire in south-west England. Master distiller Barney Wilczak makes small-batch gin and eaux-de-vie, with many of the ingredients hand-foraged and the utmost attention to detail. Barney described it as 'incredibly gratifying' to be awarded TWE Spirit of the Year.
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