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Ginfluenced: Boatyard Old Tom Gin Is The Perfect Mashup Of Whiskey And Gin

It's unique golden complexion is giving us serious Christmas vibes

There are hundreds upon hundreds of gin brands in Ireland... Have you ever wondered why?

Truth is, there are many reasons for this popular spirit popping up left, right and centre.

Gin is trendy right now. It's low in calories, it's easy to drink and you can get creative with it - a change of garnish or tonic can completely transform the flavours in your glass. You can drink it with tonic of course, but it's also a great spirit to use in cocktails.

As well as this, Ireland is a nation that's famous for whiskey. We're now at a magical point where there's so many drinks entrepreneurs, brewers, vendors and mixologists studying the tricks of the trade and creating their own spirits. This generation are not one to sit back, we love to create and to put our own stamp in the community.

Whiskey takes quite a long time to make however, sometimes up to twelve years.

What's whiskey before it's whiskey?

Well, it's pretty much gin! Both spirits are made from fermented grain mash, the difference lies in the distilling process. Instead of distillation and infusion of juniper berries like gin, whiskey is aged in wooden barrels.

So here's my theory - most gin distillers are also secretly creating whiskey too.

The final reason and probably the most important reason for this gin influx in Ireland is that it's one of the best places to make it.

Why? you ask...

Well, Ireland is a botanists dream!

It's a country with stunning forests flourished with flora, sweeping lakes, unique boglands and an iconic coastline. As well as that, as much as we complain about it, we get a lot of rain. This is the lifeblood of our beautiful landscape.

A gin that most certainly relates to the above is Boatyard Gin.

Hailing from majestic county Fermanagh, famous for its mirrored lakes, lonely islands, babbling streams and serene drumlins - it's the ideal spot to make gin.

Welcome to Ginfluenced! A weekly series that will give you some GINspiration for your next drink.

This week I'll be introducing you to the intriguing Boatyard Old Tom Gin.

Of all my many, many (too many tbh) bottles of gin, this one stands out the most, mostly because it's golden.

Yes, golden.

It's the most whiskey-esque gin I've ever come across and I'm all here for it.

It's the second product to be launched from The Boatyard Distillery and the first of its kind to be launched in Ireland.

Here's everything you need to know:

The Bottle:

I have to say I adore this bottle.

From the shiny gold markings to the handwritten signature of the distiller - it really is special.

The bottle has cork top, which adds so much to the simple process of opening - that pop is like music to my ears tbh.

On the body of the bottle you'll find a large label with the Boatyard logo and the things that go into making it such as tractors, boats, plants and the iconic rope from the boatyard.

One of the most interesting features however, is the golden cat that lies across the bottom.

Old Tom Gin was a gin recipe popular in the 18th Century, where the illegal, home-made, harsh gins of the time were sweetened with liquorice or sugar to make it more palatable to the masses.

Some say takes its name from an illicit method of dispensing gin in the 18th Century. A sign was erected outside Captain Bradstreet’s premises in London carrying the image of a cat. Thirsty passers-by would deposit their penny in a slot and receive a slug of gin from a lead pipe under the cat’s paw in return.

Background:

The Boatyard Distillery is a farm-to-bottle distillery located on the banks of Lough Erne in Fermanagh. They use only organic ingredients and the main botanical, Sweet Gale, is foraged from the family bog.

Founder, Joe McGirr, has utilised his background in spirits and whiskey knowledge to build his dream of the first legal distillery in Fermanagh in over 130 years.

Boatyard Old Tom is made using Boatyard Double gin distilled with 8 different botanicals including Sweet Gale harvested on the family farm. It is produced in ‘Doc Brown’ a 250-litre still. The collected spirit rests for a minimum of 4 months drawing flavour and colour from the cask, Fermanagh honey is added for natural sweetness.

Botanicals:

  • Juniper
  • Coriander
  • Honey
  • Angelica
  • Lemon
  • Grains Of Paradise
  • Sweet Gale
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One The Nose:

Straight to the nose you'll get a powerful whiff of juniper berries, a classic smell for most gins. Following that you'll get the sweet smell of honey and lemon - aromas I'd often think of as being whiskey-based.

For me the smell ignites warm, cosy vibes - being home by the fire.

Straight:

This unique gin has notes of candied lemon peel, vanilla and cinnamon spice, with a silky orange finish. It's slightly sweeter than London Dry Gin.

It has a Christmasy feel to it and it has a very smooth finish.

With Tonic:

You can drink Old Tom gin with tonic but ginger ale really brings out its flavours.

It's super sweet and has strong hints of orange as well as being quite peppery and fresh.

Signature Serve:

Pair Boatyard Old Tom with Fentimans Ginger Ale and an orange wheel. The slight spice and sweetness of the Ginger Ale compliments our Old Tom perfectly, with the citrus adding a refreshing twist.

Where To Find It:

A Bottle of Boatyard Old Tom Gin will cost you €59.95.

You'll find it in Celtic Whiskey Shop, O'Briens Wine, Marks & Spencer, Wineworks and The Vineyard as well as gin bars across the country.

Cheers to that!

Header image: @boatyarddistillery @theginaddict

READ MORE: GINFLUENCED: CHINNERY GIN EVOKES THE ROMANCE AND FLAVOURS OF GEORGIAN DUBLIN AND OLD CHINA

Written By

Eadaoin Fitzmaurice

Multimedia Journalist. A lanky video-head living her best life by capturing what Ireland has to offer. Can be seen roaming around Dublin city vlogging herself and eating everything that crosses her path.Email: eadaoin@lovin.com Social: @bandeadd

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