They say first impressions are everything and we knew Twin River would be different when we first saw it. For a start, the gin is cloudy, rather like a victorian lemonade. This is explained by the gin’s main alcohol component, the grain neutral spirit made from malted barley that all gins use, being made on-site. For those of you who haven’t been on multiple gin tours (like us!), you may not realise that more often than not the alcohol that makes up gin is normally bought in from somewhere else and made unique by adding in a careful combination of botanicals and flavourings. Yes, that does means you can make your own gin from strong vodka, but that sounds like too much like hard work!
On the nose, you are immediately hit with a burst of fresh lemon scents. Think: old fashioned lemon sherbet sweets. Yummy! Initially, on sampling the gin neat, we thought the first taste was quite strong - almost overpowering - but after a few more sips the sweet tastes come through, quickly followed by an spicier after taste. I think it's certainly a contender as a go-to-drink for those who like their drinks strong. It could also be argued that it's reminiscent of a Limoncello - although much more palatable!
The flavours are certainly complex and quite earthy and by simply adding a few drops of tonic, a whole new world of flavours were opened up! Unlike a lot of gins that can be drowned out by tonic, Twin River Naked Gin holds its own against the tonic and so can be added to personal preference. We tried with Light Tonic, Aromatic Tonic and Herbal Tonic. Each tonic provided a slightly different flavour but complimented the intricate flavours of the gin. The recommended serve is Pink Grapefruit or Lime, but I (Steph) think I much prefer the Pink Grapefruit. Sitting here sipping it, I am dreaming of sunnier days and enjoying the gin in the garden. The gin would make a tasty and refreshing long drink in the summer… all we need is that sun!
Twin River is based in Royal Deeside in Banchory. Banchory is a quaint wee village along the road from Balmoral, the Queen’s summer home. The name Twin River comes from the fact that the River Feugh meets the River Dee here. The distillery was founded in 2017 and already has a whole range of gins available including the Rhubarb Old Tom, Navy Strength, a Spiced Plum Special Edition Gin and the headline grabbing Uncut gin - which is being billed as the World’s Strongest Gin at a whopping 77% ABV. We are undecided on whether we fancy this one!
We knew that being joint Gin Bloggers that we may not always agree on the Gin of the Month and this seems to be the first one that has completely divided us. I loved the gin, I found it extremely moreish and loved the Bitter Lemon taste. Michael on the other hand did not enjoy it - he felt it was over sweet and the flavour was a little overpowering. If you like bitter lemon and citrus flavour we definitely recommend the Naked Gin, otherwise maybe try one of the many other gins Twin River have to offer... they all sound fantastic! Now, where's my shopping list...?!