Forest Gin

When I relocated to Cheshire some 3 years ago, it was important to me to really get to know (and love) my new adopted county. I have come to love up here in the North West, having grown up in Staffordshire and then lived in London for several years. I was also delighted to discover that there is an incredibly vibrant gin community in the North West with many exciting distillers!

Dare I say it, the most notable is the multi award winning Forest Gin of Macclesfield forest, Cheshire. In their own words:

We are a truly family company. Lindsay & Karl Bond are the husband & wife team in charge of the still, bottling, management, sales & shipping.
Harriet Bond (aged 8) is the BOSS. She leads all foraging missions, and is an expert in knowing the best spots for juicy bilberries & ripe raspberries. Hattie would actually prefer it if you did not buy our Gin, as any left over berries end up in her porridge every morning. Our goal is to make the best tasting Gin that we possibly can, from the finest locally sourced ingredients where possible. We do as much as possible by hand – right down to the bottling.

Forest gin has developed an incredible reputation within the industry in an impressive space of time. In fact, one of their earliest clients was Harvey Nichols of London. 2016 has been a big year for Forest gin as they received not one, but two separate Double-Gold medals at the San Francisco spirit awards. As Karl explained to me, they were a little taken a back when they discovered the results… “We nearly fell off our chairs when this was announced, as this places the Gin amongst the Worlds very Finest Spirits”.

Forest gin is an unfiltered London dry gin made with the finest ingredients and local spring water. The botanicals are as follows:

  • Organic Juniper berries
  • Organic Coriander seeds
  • Superior quality Licorice root, Vanilla pods, Angelica and others…
  • Wild berries, Rasberries and Blackberries
  • Peak district Moss & Fern
  • A sprinkling of wild flowers, bark and pine

The botanicals are ground by hand in a pestle and mortar before being distilled in Cheshire. The alcohol vapour and botanical extracts are then added to the copper condenser, where they are immediately cooled. The spirit is then blended with spring water collected from 1200ft above sea level and blended with the spirit to produce a fragrant London Dry Gin of the highest quality.

Smell – You are greeted by a healthy hit of Juniper, as with most London Drys, but this gives way to a beautiful fragrant aroma. The moss and fern are there along with more subtle floral notes which make for an attractive nose.

Neat – There is a wonderfully smooth balance between the dryness of the juniper and the sweeter notes of the berries and flowers. The sweetness is not at all overpowering and there is a lovely earthy undercurrent. With the aftertaste, I couldn’t escape the raspberries.

In and G&T – I’ve tried this in quite a few different ways, as you would expect but my favourite has definitely come to be a double measure (is there any other way?!) with a more simple tonic, in my case Franklin & Sons, with a garnish of cracked black pepper and a sprig of fresh Rosemary, as per Karl’s recommendation. I find the Rosemary a fantastic addition to this gin and the black pepper really works well with the earthier side of the gin.

As I said before, I will be going into much more depth and fact about Forest in the interview to come, but in the mean time if you have the opportunity to try this fantastic gin, you will not be disappointed!

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