Price: £33 (70cl)ABV: 44.9%
Key notes: Smoky aged gin with juniper still at its heart
Henstone Distillery was first conceived in Shropshire in 2015, when four friends - Chris and Alexandra Toller, and Shane and Alison Parr - decided to set about producing a whisky. They travelled to Germany to meet Ulrich Kothe, famous for his copper stills and asked him to build them a custom 1000 litre pot/column hybrid still – now affectionately called Hilda.
The distillery opened in 2017 at the established Stonehouse Brewery run by Shane and Alison, with the aim of creating “sophisticated, classic spirits, but with a small batch twist”. Inspired by a gin tasting experience in Germany and whilst they wait for their first batch of whisky (which will be ready for release in 2021), they set their sights on creating a gin.
Today they produce a London Dry, a Navy Strength and the gin we are reviewing here, their aged Rosé. A perfect marriage between the gin and whisky sides of the business, the Rosé is aged at 65% in new American oak cask, taking on a golden hue before being bottled at 44.9%. It was a runner up in the Cask Aged Gin category in The Gin Guide Awards 2019 that GinRag.com Editor Andy Burrows helped judge.
Many cask aged gins can lose their essential gin characteristics, being overwhelmed by woody flavours to become a sort of whisky-lite. However, on tasting Henstone Rosé, it is clear this is still a gin. Whilst there are the delicious smoky, woody flavours you’d expect, a juniper base is still present, added to nicely with earthy spice and just a touch of vanilla sweetness.
Henstone Rosé goes best not with tonic, but instead with ginger ale – you cant go wrong with Fever-Tree – and a slice of fresh ginger over lots of ice. It’s well worth trying neat over ice as well, garnished with a piece of orange.
Traditionally a whisky cocktail, the Old Fashioned is the perfect cocktail for Henstone Rosé. Crush a brown sugar cube with 2 dashes of Angostura Bitters and 25ml of the gin in a mixing glass and stir with ice. Keep stirring and adding more ice as it melts, until everything is perfectly mixed and freezing cold. Ad that point add another 25ml of gin and serve in a short glass.
Competition - Henstone Rosé Gin Giveaway - CLOSED
We gave a stunning 70cl bottle of Henstone Rosé Gin worth £33 to one lucky winner. Make sure you follow us on Twitter at @GinRagUK and on Instagram at @GinRagUK so you don't miss out on our famous weekly competitions.