Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Oxley Cold Distilled Gin

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I am a big gin drinker. Let's face it, I am a big everything, but I do like a nice gin. Bombay Sapphire, my home made sloe gin, Plymouth, Larios, Tesco Dry London, Tanqueray or Hendricks (especially Hendricks), I'll drink it. The way I see it, short of novelty flavours, you are going to have to go a long way to pique my interest with something new on the gin front.

with their cold distilled gin, Oxley have done so.

The Oxley twist is that their ‘super premium’ gin is produced using a "cold distilling" process. 14 different botanicals are macerated in grain spirits, then the macerated grain is hand spooned into the kettle. Rather than heating the micture, in the traditional manner, a vacuum is then created, which causes the alcohol to vaporize at just -5°C.

The vapour then condenses in a secondary probe at -100°C, from where the liquid gin is hand collected in one of the 120 bottles a day which is produced. That is just 480 bottles a week - when you make gin this good you can afford a day off.

Obviously this all sound a little gimicky, so I had to taste it. I was pleasantly surprised. Apparantly "Oxley has a mild juniper bouquet that gives rise to intense, almost sweet, herbals on the tongue only to surprise with a return of juniper vapor. The mouth feel is very smooth and the martini it makes is excellent". All I know is that it was the cleanest tasting gin I have experienced.

Oxley also employ continuous distillation. Where batch distillation can mean that an amount of flavour is lost in the heads and the tails of each batch, where continuous distillation continually extracts the pure gin.

The Oxley bottle, with its sartorially worn galvanized tin bucket around the bottom a leather cord 'fashionably twisted around the neck' is quirky but tasteful, but it is not cheap at around $100/litre.

Indeed, it is too expensive for me, but . . . because of the low output, Oxley bottles are individually numbered. Whilst looking around I came across #00063 and my interest was aroused. Some time later we discovered #00073 and #00075 (which Dug purchased, it being the year of our birth). I was considering #00063, but had decided to leave it (it is very expensive gin) when #00069 was discovered.

I now own bottle number 69 of Oxley cold distilled gin. I just need to convince myself to open it.


Dug said...

I call "copy-paste" on some of those paragraphs young man!

Indeed, I do own Bottle 75; one to put away for special occasions.

Bryan Alexander Davis said...

Interesting gin and process. I had it last week and it made it to my top list.

One foot note: Continuos distillation is under normal circumstances inferior to pot distillation. With a vacuum distillation unit perhaps this is all wrong. But normally, continuos distillation leaves behind methanol which gives people the signature pounding headache in the morning.

Most vodkas are made by continuous distillation. In general quality products are single batched in a pot still (not to be confused with single barrel which means something different).