Ginderella Gent – A Belgium gem

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Hailing from Gent in Belgium, Ginderella is the first gin produced by Haynsquared. Distilled by two brothers, Jan and Geert Heyneman, both graduates of Ghent University, this gin shows a deep understanding of nature.

Geert is an urban ecologist in Ghent who has a considerable knowledge of plants and edible weeds. This shines through in the varied botanicals that have been picked to flavour this gin.

The Botanicals

Herb Robert, Japanese knotweed and lesser swine-cress are among the herbs and weeds used to give this gin its distinctive flavour and aroma. In total there are 9 botanicals used in the creation of Ginderella:

Three invasive exotic weeds:

  • Japanese Knotweed

Foraged in Ghent, this weed is listed as a prolific, noxious, invasive, dangerous bad-for-the-world, the-sky-is-falling weed, but also happens to be very good for you! Its full of vitamin A and vitamin C and also contains potassium, zinc, phosphorous and manganese. Taste wise it’s somewhere between gooseberry and rhubarb.

  • Himalaya Giant

A very vigorous and thorny blackberry plant, which yields a large fruit. The blackberries are macerated for a minimum of one month in Whiskey and added as such after filtering. Forged in Ghent.

  • Giant Hogweed

Listed as potentially dangerous, if not handled correctly this weed can cause blistering to the skin…!! Don’t worry, though, once it’s cooked it becomes non-hazardous and tastes delicious. Forged in Ghent.

Three classical weeds:

  • Herb Robert

Known by many different names around the world, Herb Robert has been used in Medicine for centuries. This weed is thought to be a cure for cancer and blood-related illnesses. Foraged in Ghent

  • Lesser Swincress

Known as a Micro-mustard, Swinecress is often found cling to life in scatted little patches. Foraged in Ghent.

  • Ground Ivy

From early days, Ground Ivy has been endowed with singular curative virtues and is one of the most popular remedies for coughs and nervous headaches. Foraged in Ghent.

Three classical botanicals:

  • Fresh Black Pepper – bought in Ghent and freshly distilled
  • Kaffer Lime: zest of the fruit and the fresh leaves: freshly distilled
  • Juniper Communis: foraged in the Ardennes (originally in Ghent but now exhausted there/not economical to collect there)

While a number of distillers base their flavours on dried, imported, classic seasoning, all of the botanicals used in Ginderella (apart from the pepper and lime) have been freshly foraged which gives this gin a unique edge.

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Clean and simple – nothing too showy or extravagant. The bottle label has a lovely sketch of the different weeds/botanicals used and is the only indication of what this gin is about. Other than that the label gives nothing away as the character of this gin which makes it all the more intriguing,

Nose

On the nose, you get lovely earthy notes and subtle sweetness. I would imagine this sweetness comes from the Lime, Himalayan Giant and knotweed. There is also a slightly smokey scent which is produced by the Macerated Himalayan Giant.

Taste

When I first tasted this gin I instantly scribbled down the following notes:

  • Light
  • Smokiness in the background like a whisky
  • Juniper
  • Smooth
  • Earthy
  • Peat
  • Short finish

This combination of flavours in this gin is a new one on me. To have a gin that takes on some of the characteristics of a Whisky but still keeps the juniper backbone is fantastic. Every one of the botanicals shines through but also work in perfect harmony to create an intriguing gin that is light in the mouth and does not leave a lasting alcoholic burn like other gins (and whiskies) do. Mixed with my tonic of choice, fever tree, and you get pretty much the same – a lovely smokiness, with earthy high notes and a subtle hint of peat.

Conclusion

Not being a lover of whisky I was concerned that I would not like this gin. Luckily my concerns were short-lived as I really loved the flavour combinations. When tasting, I was very much reminded of a smokey negroni which I loved and I think my perfect serve for this gin would be chilled on the rocks. I also think it would make a great Martini but I am yet to try that yet.

My Perfect Serve: Chilled overnight and served on the rocks
Available from: http://www.heynsquared.com/en/sales-points

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