A Nightingale Sang, and it’d Make Anyone Whistle
Review by: Martin Pilkington
Cards on the table, I am a fan of Greenall’s gin. Their basic stuff just marketed as Greenall’s is a good, honest, no nonsense bottle the equal (or better) of many bigger brand names. Bloom, the (unsurprisingly given the name) floral offering created by their master distiller Joanne Moore manages to innovate without losing touch with what a gin should be. And Berkeley Square takes things one step further.
Mention at the outset must be made of the squared-up bottle, a thing of beauty in itself – it looks like something from a 19th century chemist’s shop, and it feels right in the hand – a minor consideration were the liquid contained within not up to snuff, but this certainly is, so the enjoyable experience begins even before pouring a measure out.
For me the dominant flavour – other than juniper – is lime, apparently from kaffir lime leaves. The lavender is notable on the nose and in the mouth, but my palate failed to detect the promised basil as basil, though there is a herby background. The overall effect, however, tends towards the sweet side of London Dry, odd though that sounds, perhaps the lime leading the way there. Perfectly adequate in a G&T, it is actually probably better enjoyed on its own, deeply chilled Dutch-style.
The one gripe I would have is that at 40 per cent ABV it is perhaps a bit under-strength for what is undoubtedly a premium gin, and one too that appears aimed at the gentlemen’s club end of the drinking spectrum. That is a minor matter; this is a major addition to our Great British gin heritage.