So, when the Naked Wines Christmas case included a bottle of gin from Spain, I was intrigued. Had I ever tried a gin from Spain? I don't think so.
The Rambla 41 Mediterranean Dry Gin is made in a small, artisan distillery in Spain by Stefan Lismond and Philippe Geeraert and is made just for Naked Wines.
According to the blurb, all the ingredients come from the Catalan region near Barcelona. The base spirit is made from Grenache and Carignan wine lees (the left overs from the bottom of red wine tanks). It is then infused with botanicals like Almonds, Juniper and Angelica which are apparently gathered by hand from the hills around Priorat. They then add orange and lemon peel and some special water from the gin makers' well. All impressive stuff.
I've never really looked at the ingredients of gin before, but much of the base ingredients seem similar to others I've tried. For example, Bombay Sapphire is made with Juniper, Angelica, Almonds and lemon peel. So although the method of production is more artisan, it shares many of the common ingredients to gins I've tried before.
However, the biggest difference in production seems to be the filtering method. Rambla 41 is non-chill filtered whereas most big brands chill-filter their gins as a cosmetic procedure in order to make the spirit clear.
Because Rambla 41 is non-chill filtered, it is slightly cloudy as the botanicals have not been stripped out.
Ok, so enough about the ingredients. What was it like?
Well, the bits floating around in the gin didn't bother me at all. I mean, once you've squished some lime in your gin, it always ends up slightly foggy anyway.
|If you look carefully, you'll see|
the botanicals floating about
But I have to say, it does have a unique taste. It is very aromatic and fruity and quite unlike any gin I've ever tried. It is also very smooth and not at all harsh.
But at £34.99 (£24.99 Angel Prices), it's not cheap. So is it worth it? Oh My Gin, I loved it. A really delicious treat that I will definitely buy again. On the Naked website, Angels can review things they've bought. And 98% of the 224 people who have reviewed this gin say they will buy it again. Which is a pretty strong accolade IMHO.
The gin makers recommend serving it with Fever Tree tonic, lime, a grape cut in two (presumably because a whole one would be a choking hazard - jokes) and some orange zest. I'll give that a go next time I buy some.