Miller’s 10th Anniversary

May 22nd, 2009

Miller's gin tasting

Ten years ago Martin Miller and a few friends gathered at Miller’s Residence, a small boutique hotel owned by Martin, to select the gin that would become Martin Miller’s Gin. A decade later Miller’s standard and Westbourne strength gins can be found all over the world, and to celebrate their 10th anniversary they will be releasing a special high-proof gin in a limited-edition of 1000 bottles.

Last month a panel featuring Martin Miller himself, as well as Geraldine Coates of Gin Time, Alice Lascelles of Imbibe, spirits writer Ian Wisniewski, and some chancer called Jay Hepburn, assembled in Notting Hill, at Miller’s Academy just across the street from Miller’s Residence, to decide which gin would be bottled for the anniversary. Joined by company including Miller’s brand ambassador Craig Harper, Jason Scott of Bramble in Edinburgh, and Steven “Hurricane Higgins” Pattison of Drinksology, it promised to be a fun afternoon.

Five gins, each with exactly the same botanical mix, ranging in strength from 50% to 60% were sampled blind, both straight and in a Gin and Tonic. The difference between the gins was stunning, with just 2% ABV change making an incredible change to the profile of the flavour. For example, the 58% gin which was a little industrial when sipping straight, had a bold, earthy orris root note that none of the other gins displayed in such an assertive manner, which made for a delicious G&T. By contrast the 60% gin which you might expect to be even harsher was actually smoother, with stronger citrus and coriander notes.

Martin Miller

After comparing notes and having the strengths – which up to now were marked only by a coloured sticker on the glasses – revealed, we eliminated two of the gins leaving three for the final test, the Martini. At this point the 54% and 58% gins were joint favourites for me, but unfortunately the 58% proved a little coarse in the very dry Martini we were sampling, compared to the more balanced, nuanced 54% gin. After some further discussion all the judges were agreed – the 54% gin was to be the 10th anniversary bottling.

With a lovely spicey nose, plenty of juniper, and complex floral and citrus notes it was the clear all-rounder, making a great G&T and Martini and being surprisingly shippable for a 108 proof gin! The special anniversary bottling will be released in June, each signed and numbered by Martin and distributed amongst friends of Miller’s gin. I suggest you beg, borrow, steal, or do whatever else is necessary to get hold of this very rare, very tasty gin. Alternatively if you’d prefer a slightly more honest means of getting hold of a bottle Drinksology are currently holding a competition to win a bottle.

Thanks to Craig, Amanda, and everyone else at Miller’s, and of course to Martin Miller himself. I’m currently enjoying a G&T with the bottle of 58% I managed to swipe after the tasting. Cheers!

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Posted in Gin, Out and about

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6 responses to “Miller’s 10th Anniversary”

  1. Mike S. Mike S. says:

    My God, this is awesome. MM Westbourne is one of my absolute all-time favorite dry gins; I’ve kept a bottle in my stocks ever since it hit American shores. I’d love a bottle of the limited edition, but even more I’d love that 58% you seem to have snagged (too bad it got edged out in the “very” dry martini round; perhaps with a proper amount of vermouth it’d had been the winner?). And just imagine steeping a bunch of fresh sloes in that 60%, with just enough pure cane sugar…. High-proof gin is heaven.

    Seriously, I’m not kidding: How do I get a bottle of the anniversary stuff? I’ll of course willing to beg, borrow, steal, etc.

  2. Dominik MJ Dominik MJ says:

    Cool stuff – I am absolutely jealous, that you Jay had such a chance!
    Martin Miller though is still not available in Dubai…

    And why nobody told them, that every second bartender is waiting for more Old Tom variety???

  3. craig craig says:

    Mike, I think I should be able to get you a bottle sir, if you drop me your address to, when the 54% hits your shores, shall make sure you get a bottle.

    Dominic, there are a few lovely Old Toms out there already, we wouldn’t want to make one unless we were doing something genuinely great and different, and while we are not saying never, certainly not at the moment anyway.

  4. Mike S. Mike S. says:

    Craig — you are a gentleman and a scholar! Email sent, with my sincere thanks.

    And, for whatever it might be worth, I think an Old Tom (or a Sloe for that matter) based upon the MM botanical recipe would indeed be “something genuinely great and different” — just like MM dry gin is itself a genuinely great and different product. Just one opinion from a guy who really loves gin….

    Thanks again!

  5. ruth ruth says:

    I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to taste some of the 10th anniversary special edition Martin Miller gin, and by god the stuff is gorgeous ! It has spoilt me for other gins forever. I am wretched and bereft…

    Is this quality and strength ever going to be available again?

  6. Aaron Aaron says:

    I wish I could get my hands on the Anniversary edition. Martin Miller’s gin is the gin that won me over as a gin drinker in the first place.

    I love that the gin “revival” has brought us so many more limited editions and special blends, and I can only hope that I don’t have to wait for a 20th anniversary for another special blend from (in my biased opinion) the best gin maker out there.

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Photography by Jay Hepburn
Artwork by Craig Mrusek

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