By Michael Hepworth
Hollywood, CA(Spiritsman)9/4/12/—You have heard of the Celtic Men and the Celtic women and maybe even Celtic football club, but now comes Celtic Gin. Distilled in Scotland at a whisky distillery, CAORUNN gin was recommended to me by writer and Bon vivant Anthony Dias Blue of Tasting Panel Magazine.Pronounced ‘ka-roon’, which is the Gaelic word for the Rowan berry, described in the press handout as the soul behind the gin.
The Scottish have been distilling gin for 300 years and have been shipping It down to England to complete the blend. Now following the success of Hendrick’s Gin and the renaissance of the spirit, new distilleries are popping up in Scotland all over.
For example Spencerfield is one to look out for in Edinburgh, and another one is called Blackwoods. Each Scottish gin tends to use botanicals that can be found in heir local area, and in the case of Caorunn, the unfashionably named bog myrtle is almost as important as the Rowan berry.
I tried Caorunn with Fever Tree Tonic from the UK, and it was one of the freshest Gin & Tonics I had tried in a long time. The bottle is rather unique as well, five sides allowing it to stand out from the pack, that represent the five Celtic botanicals.
Retailing for about $35 a bottle, I have not seen it on the supermarket shelves yet where the gin selection tends to be average at best, so you will have to go to a specialty retailer to pick it up.For a gin that is only distilled in small batches, the gin seems to be showing up everywhere, including the Cocktail night at the just concluded Los Angeles Times ‘Taste of LA.’
The distillery is called Balmenach, and is the first gin ever to be made at a working malt whisky distillery, and is made using pure grain spirit, soft Scottish water and 6 traditional botanicals and 5 Celtic botanicals. They use the slow distillation method along with the botanical infusion by using a Copper Berry Chamber.
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