These are opinions only. We all have different tastes, one ladies trash gin can be another ones treasure…Gin…That’s why there is two of us.
All Opinions are own, including any grammar & spelling mistakes…because…Useless!
Monterey Helford Gin
Location: Helford, Falmouth, Cornwall UK
Distiller: Helford River Distillery
Price Approx: UK £40-£45
This was kindly gifted to us by Monterey to review. Batch 003. Bottle 010. 43%vol
If you look at Monterey’s Instagram or website you will see this phrase “Gin for the Discerning” meaning that a person has a good sense of judgement. Now do we think we have a good sense of judgement? Life lessons and relationships would say Noooooooooo, BUT we are talking about Gin here so as you read we will let you come to that conclusion.
Monterey Helford Gin began in 2016 after three friends were discussing their love for Gin and what is best suited in cocktails. Unable to all come to an overall agreement, as any group of friends would do they decided to create a gin.
From that, In the last few years they have worked at distilling by hand distinct variations of botanicals, experimenting and using different techniques to finally come to the bottle you see now. Although the process has taken longer then they anticipated, their personal drive and love to bring this bottle out, they have not cut corners. These bottles are not mass produced but sold as limited batch runs, this is so that they can make sure that every bottle contains the quality and exact principles of their gin.
Monterey uses the ‘Single Shot’ Method, which, unless you are completely savvy with distilling terminology. Below is quoted from Gin Mag https://gin-mag.com/
“Single–shot – “Once the botanicals have been distilled, the resulting spirit is diluted with water, in order to reach the alcoholic strength required for bottling. And that’s it. Bottles are ready to make their way into the outside world”
Which is opposite to the equally other savvy distilling lingo…
“Multi-shot method utilises a greater quantity of botanicals than single-shot, in order to produce spirit with a more concentrated flavour (which explains why it’s referred to as ‘concentrate’ in the industry). Once distilled the concentrate is diluted twice. The first dilution is with spirit, invariably the same spirit used for distillation, which adjusts the flavour profile of the concentrate, and increases the
volume of liquid. The subsequent dilution is with water, to reduce the alcoholic strength for bottling”
“Single-shot is the original method, with multi-shot established by the early 20th century (though the exact origins remain elusive). Which method is most appropriate depends on the production capacity required, in conjunction with production capability. This is in turn determined by the size of a pot still, and the number of pot
Further reading & to learn more on distilling processes take a look at Gin Mags article:
Lets Talk About The Bottle
Further to your education whilst reading this, Monterey is derived from the Endangered Monterey Pine Tree. This pine is native to the central coast of California, however, although notable other countries introduced this pine, this can also be found on the banks of Helford River in Cornwall UK…Cornwall! When Monterey Gin first purchased their Copper still Shirley they planted a tree in its honor.
The bottle is distinctive standing tall at 33cm or just over a foot. its glass silhouette resembling to me elongated diamonds (that do not exist that big haha) that fittingly go with the label including a much loved glass topper (The easiest way to open gin) Friends, your gin shelves need adjusting to accommodate this bottle.
The label design as you can see is very much 20’s 30’s Art deco Americana we all wish we could visit dressed in our Great Gatsby attire & Martini glasses. Just minus catching the Spanish Flu or Polio. Its Emerald background enhances the bottle to stand out with its eye catching gold detail reminding me of walking into The Empire State Building in New York. The design is cleverly thought out with its equilateral lines pointing straight to its name.
But What About The Gin?
On the bottle it explains this is an organic grain based spirit, suitable for vegetarians and vegans, 11 botanicals meticulously picked. Botanicals include Juniper (of course) Coriander, Cardamom, Keffir lime, Sea Buckthorn, Gentian Root & Citrus.
On opening the bottle its Juniper & cardamom is distinct. If anyone knows what Sea Buckthorn smells like, allegedly it smells like the sea, salty. However I do not come across this when first opening. Notes of citrus, however I cannot work out which Citrus family. I want to say lemon, which is why I initially paired it with this, but i could be totally mistaken.
Straight in a glass the smell changes, the juniper still there but less so. Tasting the coriander and cardamom come out more then the juniper, quickly following into a sweet aftertaste which was unexpected, maybe as I have thought about the taste of sea buckthorn that there is a slightly salty taste which pairing with the sweet makes this quite pleasant on its own.
- Lemon Peel
- Fentimans Natural Tonic water
Although we will update this review, when we ourselves experiment with this gin, especially in cocktails, we noticed one thing missing from their site. There is no words of advice in what to pair this with, or tried and tested cocktails. When it comes to the first time we like to be told what the makers prefer how we serve. Pairing this with the lemon we could be completely misleading its botanical flavours and we hate to feel we are not giving this gin its true justice review. That said…
The lemon peel works perfectly with this gin.
Using the citrus, brings it out of the gin. It becomes even sweeter with the garnish and tonic especially its aftertaste. If you leave it to the side as you think about the aftertaste it makes you want to drink more (because thats not a worry haha). its higher volume isnt obvious nor does it give you any kind of harsh spirit aftertaste. The coriander is also there which pairing with the lemon peel softens its taste, although just a slight spice. This is a well thought out Gin.
Monterey Helford Gin should be proud of themselves that they have taken their time to bring this bottle out, just from a conversation between three friends. It will be interesting what they decide to create in future and we will be following along with them.
Let Us Know Other Combinations
If there is any combinations you think we should try with this Gin? Let us know and we will give it a go.
All photographs property of @twogindependentwomen