Monday, February 27, 2012

Kiwi Treasure Trove #2- Lighthouse Gin

A shining light for gin drinkers - Lighthouse Gin
It's 11am and 27 degrees outside. The perfect time then to drink some warm gin. The tipple I've poured myself today is Lighthouse Gin - another fantastic award winning spirit that harks from New Zealand shores.

Produced in Greytown - about 75 kilometers out of Wellington - Lighthouse is a classic distilled dry gin batch produced in a 200L copper pot still made in Masterton.  The spirit is produced by Greytown Fine Distillates - the brainchild of Neil Catherall, the company’s distiller and master craftsman, and Andrew Wright, a local businessman and distiller James Graham.

Lighthouse Gin, named after the late 19th century cast-iron Cape Palliser Lighthouse on the southernmost tip of the North Island, combines nine different botanicals including zesty New Zealand navel oranges, Yen Ben lemons (an Australasian cultivar not dissimilar to the Lisbon lemon) and local kawa kawa leaves (they have bitter peppery/minty flavour that I enjoy when bush walking back in NZ).

Juniper,  slightly soapy corriander seed and pithy orange citrus dominate the nose, but there is an underlying spiciness of warm ginger, black pepper and floral oris root too. On the palate this gin proves to be incredibly well poised with it's resinous and spicy qualities giving way to a lingering, tingling, zesty tang. The spirit has a generous viscosity with a smooth release of alcoholic heat that belies it's 42% abv strength.

It's excellent in a G&T with lemon, not lime. And after testing proves to stand up well in classic gin cocktails like Aviations and Negronis.

In short, I reckon the folks from Lighthouse have done a bang tidy job on this one. Go to NZ and buy yourself a bottle or easier still check them out online.

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