Review of Hendrick’s Gin

If I have to think back to my first good encounter with gin it started with a Hendrick’s & Tonic at a Friday bar after work. The last time I checked if I liked gin, it wasn’t really my taste and I thought it tasted like pine needles. But I liked the fresh and flowery taste of the G&T – I guess this is where my gin obsession started. Let’s talk about Hendrick’s Gin.

Hendrick’s Gin – An Unusual Gin

In 1999 after many years of trying to come up with the perfect recipe for an unusual spirit the recipe for Hendrick’s Gin was finally in place. The gin launched in 2000 and got a lot of attention due to the label, bottle design and perfect serve with cucumber.

The gin is distilled in Ayrshire, Scotland where both their Carter-Head and a Bennett Stills are fired up to make this eleven botanical gin. Even though Hendrick’s Gin is well known world wide it’s still distilled in small batches with only 500 litres pr. batch.

The botanicals

  • Juniper
  • Chamomile
  • Caraway seeds
  • Elderflower
  • Yarrow
  • Orange peel
  • Coriander
  • Orris root
  • Angelica
  • Lemon peel
  • Cubeb berries

So beside the quiet classic botanicals like juniper, angelica, orris root, orange- and lemon peel they use three different flowers (chamomile, elderflower and yarrow) to give Hendrik’s some of its characteristic floral notes.

Isn’t there cucumber and rose petals in Hendrick’s or is it just one big hoax?

Actually cucumber and rose petals are not a part of the botanicals used in the distillation process but both cucumber and rose petals are used to infuse the gin after the gin has been distilled. This combination adds another layer of flavor and makes the finishing touches to the gin that no other gins have.

This is the gin that made me fall in love with gin and just like our first love they will always have a special place on our shelf (..and heart).

Bottle and label design

There is absolutely no doubt that the easily recognisable and unique black bottle with the rhombus label is an absolute stunner. The label design almost looks hand painted due to the choice of paper and the banner and juniper branch in the top of the label. The design takes you back to a different era which is also stated by their marketing material with references to the 1920-1930. One can’t ignore that this is a really successful design.

Let’s taste

Nose

Surprisingly, the first thing to hit me is juniper and actually a lot of it. The dry and flowery smell from orange and lemon peel is also very present with small hints of roses and some gentle earthy notes as well.

Mouth

The juniper and angelica are very present to begin with together with earthy notes from the caraway seeds. It’s followed by small hints of liquorice from the orris root or yarrow with a flowery aftertaste of roses, oranges and a small round taste of cucumber. The juniper is present from the first sip to the aftertaste and is present long after a sip.

Gin & Tonic

Hendrick’s Gin got famous for their take on a G&T where they served it with a cucumber slice instead of the classic lemon wheel. Remember that this was back in 2000 where a G&T was served with a gin with a yellow label garnished with a lemon wheel so Hendrick’s serve was quite revolutionary back then.

If you want to serve it differently that they did back in 2000, then use the following:

  • 50 ml Hendrick’s Gin
  • 100 ml Doctor Polidori Cucumber Tonic
  • A couple of cucumber slices
  • Elderflower (when in season) or dried rose petals
  • Lots of ice
  • Serve it in a Copa glass

Conclusion and rating

There is no doubt that this is a classic gin and it’s far from a lot of the new western craft gins out there where the juniper isn’t present as much as Hendrick’s Gin. It’s versatile to make cocktails from, different G&T’s and actually also great neat. Besides the taste the design of the label and bottle is both unique and beautiful. And probably most important of all; it’s easily accessible and very affordable.

This is the gin that made me fall in love with gin and just like our first love they will always have a special place on our shelf (..and heart).

Rating

★★★★★☆

Price

$$$$$$

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