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.
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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