Portobello Road No.171 Savoury Gin 70cl 42% ABV
Portobello Road No.171 Savoury Gin
As with a few of their other expressions, Portobello Road No.171 Savoury Gin started life as a Distillery product, served exclusively at their home at 186 Portobello Road. It started out as a gin they called King Theodore of Corsica, an experiment which was once again inspired by their delving into the history of gin drinking in London. Sounds like a curious name for a gin, ‘King Theodore of Corsica’, but once upon a time there were many curious names for gin, such as Madame Genever, Diddle, Crank, Hearts Ease, Cats Water, Lighting, Daffy, to name but a few!
Taking the idea of a gin for the King of Corsica as their jumping off point they decided to create a gin inspired by the botanicals of Corsica and the surrounding Mediterranean area. Joining the classic set of botanicals that they use for Portobello Road London Dry Gin, they also add, bergamot, rosemary, basil and green olive, and like with their Navy Gin they add just a tiny pinch of sea salt after distillation to give it that slight hint of coastal air.
On the nose, this gin is exactly what you’d expect from both the name, the packaging and the list of botanicals, it’s still clearly gin, lots of juniper lots of citrus, but it is those delightful herbal notes from the basil and particularly the rosemary. In the mouth hits bright and vibrant, again with a nice dry finish, perhaps a little less spicy in flavour than some of the other gins but still with that lingering nutmeg heat, and like with the navy strength that tint hit of salt leaves you wanting more and the green olive gives us a lingering sense of dryness. It transports you to the heady sunny days of summer and holidays to the Med. Great with food too, if you don’t feel like opening a bottle of wine.
Perfect Serve: Pair with Fever-Tree Mediterranean Tonic Water and garnish with a slice of lemon and a sprig of rosemary.
Nestled away on the top two floors of a 19th century public house on London’s world famous Portobello Road is The Ginstitute: London’s second-smallest museum and home to their 30L alembic still, Copernicus the Second. It was here, whilst putting together The Ginstitute, that Ged, Jake and Paul decided that if they were going to provide this experience it really wouldn’t be complete without a gin which could call The Ginstitute home.
Portobello Road’s base spirit is distilled here in England from English-grown wheat. Their nine botanical ingredients come from around the world; these include juniper berries and orris from Tuscany, Spanish lemon peels, bitter orange peels from Haiti or Morocco, nutmeg from Indonesia and cassia bark from South East Asia.
In the nine months of experimentation that followed the character of the gin was slowly created – a little more of this, a little less of that, this one makes a nice Martini, that one makes a nice Negroni, well you get the picture. Slowly but surely something they could be proud of emerged. Thus Portobello Road No 171 Gin was born.
Bottled at a punchy 42% ABV these ingredients combine to create a uniquely versatile gin, with enough of those robust gin flavours like juniper, citrus and coriander to make a gin & tonic that tastes of gin not just of tonic, enough elegance to work in a Martini and because of the spices they use, enough depth of character and intensity to work in drinks like the Negroni or the multitude of modern cocktailian creations where it’s going to come up against other powerful flavours.
Copernicus the Second, being somewhat diminutive in stature and volume, the decision was taken to find somebody with the knowledge, talent, artistry and wherewithal to distill Portobello Road Gin on a larger scale. This was when they were lucky enough to find ninth generation distiller and former chairman of the Worshipful Company of Distillers, Mr Charles Maxwell – a man whose family have been involved in distillation in London for over 300 years and the owner of The Thames Distillery in South West London.
Born on something of a whim, Portobello Road Gin has quickly established itself as a favourite amongst connoisseur consumers, bartenders and gin fans everywhere. Taking home a Gold Medal from the 2014 San Francisco Spirit Awards, it seems the judges are fans too.
After nine months of experimentation and rigorous taste tests from industry experts, Portobello Road Gin is founded, launching with what was to become a multi-award winning, London Dry Gin.