A PANEL OF GIN FANS GO TASTING
WHERE WE WENT: 40 St Pauls,
40 Cox St, Birmingham B3 1RD
This intimate bar has won awards for best gin menu and best gin bar in the country, and with 140 different gins on the menu, seemed best suited to the job in hand. Presided over by Aman Johl, aka the Gin Whisperer, the bar has its own gin bible, listing every gin in the world with tasting notes.
The Gin Whisperer guided us through our drinking experience. We each told him what we did and didn’t like, and like a mad apothecary he conjured up the best gin-based cocktails.
TASTED BY ALL Rhubarb and Custard Slushy
Slingsby Rhubarb Gin, Licor 43, rhubarb
cordial, lemon. This was the most delicious pre-cocktail slushy. It tasted like frozen rhubarb-and-custard sweets dancing on
TASTED BY AM Slingsby Rhubarb Gin and ginger
This Harrogate Gin is listed as “the best rhubarb gin we’ve ever tried”. It was! Great with ginger ale too.
TASTED BY EW Larios 12 G&T
The Gin Whisperer described this as “tasting of orange blossom and unicorn tears” – Spanish gin in a G&T with orange, kumquat, lemon and lime added.
TASTED BY MR Ki No Bi martini
Citrus and green herbal notes mingle with bold juniper. The spice leads to a warmth
and a rounded fruitiness. Ginger biscuits and creaminess finish off this stunning Japanese gin. MR detected a hidden taste of sake.
TASTED BY EW Hepple G&T
The Gin Whisperer said “it was reminiscent of an English summer garden". Which makes sense, as chef Valentine Warner and his gardener friend Walter Riddell created this gin which is floral with lavender notes and a fruity touch. This G&T had the prettiest lemon, strawberry and viola garnish.
TASTED BY MR Zymurgorium G&T RATING 5/5
From Manchester, this masculine gin has a honey-beer base which gives a sweet flavour with incredible body. To balance this, the pungent spice components within the gin are pumped up with fruit notes and a floral finish. What a combination.
TASTED BY AM Love Gin with tonic RATING 5/5
AM's perfect match. The Luscious Eden Mill gin from St Andrews has soft juniper and rhubarb leading the charge. The taste veers towards the fruity with a touch of vanilla. The finish is rose and other floral notes. This G&T had a garnish of pink grapefruit, raspberry and rose. Love. So aptly named.
TASTED BY MR Blackwoods Vintage 60 RATING 5/5
This gin is the strongest on the menu, but also clean and light. Sea pink and wild-water mint give this gin an herbaceous freshness. MR had this straight up with rosemary, cucumber
TASTED BY EW Half Hitch and Fever-Tree RATING 5/5
EW loved the juniper, spice and black tea combination, and that this G&T was garnished with lemon and hay.
TASTED BY MR Da Mhile Seaweed RATING 2/5
Another savoury one for MR, with the saltiness complemented by a bright citrus note. The notes say this is best served as a Dirty Martini. MR went straight up.
TASTED BY AM Nolet Silver Dry
The richest, fruitiest and most floral gin on the menu. Delicious peach nectar and rose, this hint-of-a-gin from Amsterdam was very fragrant and prettily garnished with rose, raspberries and viola.
TASTED BY EW William Chase Sloe & Mulberry RATING 5/5
EW wanted a night cap and chose this “satisfying fruit gin from Hereford”.
The addition of mulberries lends a darker edge to a traditional sloe gin. Delicious.
TASTED BY MR Stratford Gin
Shakespeare Distillery has created a savoury gin supported by juniper and a floral touch. MR enjoyed the old English rose, lovage and thyme and the local theme.