A recent trip to Waitrose revealed a greatly expanded gin range gracing their shelves. Alongside their normal gins were No. 3 Gin (which is fantastic news as it gives me somewhere local to buy it), Chase Gin and Bloom. Two new gins to choose from; the decision really came down to cost as I already had too much in the trolley.
Bloom gin has been on my radar for some time as I like floral elements in my gin, so it was with some excitement that I took it home.
Produced by Joanne Moore, (reputed to be the world’s only female master distiller, although I am not sure what Lesley Gracie, Master Distiller at Hendrick’s would say about that), Bloom forms part of the Greenall’s portfolio of spirits.
It is said by many that Bloom gin is obviously aimed at the female market due to it light floral notes and bottle design, but I rather like the bottle with its Art Nouveau vine-work and its tall elegance. Maybe I am just in-touch with my feminine-side.
The thing that marks Bloom gin out in the market is its botanical list…
- Cubeb Berries
There is a core of traditional botanicals there, but more than half of them are not usually found in gin.
Uncorking (yes it is stoppered with a cork) and sniffing the neck of the bottle punished me with a rather unpleasant scent of wet earth and slight mouldy/musty smells. Wiping around the inside of the neck with a clean damp cloth eliminated the smell and replacing the cork with one I had kicking around saw it banished for good. I assume this bottle was corked but luckily these unsavoury scents didn’t seem to taint the gin.
Pouring a little into a glass and sticking my nose in for a good lung-full revealed a slight alcohol smell and mild botanicals – generic fruitiness and very faintly floral. Bloom’s nose is certainly light on the juniper.
Sipping the neat product rewards the mouth with a smooth but undistinguished gin. The juniper is light, constrained, almost absent and there is a undefined slight citrus taste but little of the anticipated floral notes. There was an underpinning taste of alcohol that, while not powerful, was a major contributor to the overall taste.
Mixing up my standard G&T (1:4 with Fever-Tree) drove off distinctly floral and citrus notes. In the mouth, the Pomelo was in evidence but the floral aspects were hard to find. The juniper was weak and the all-in-all, the gin was somewhat lost.
Mixing stronger and stronger G&Ts eventually lead to a ratio that suited this gin. A 1:2 ratio allows this gin to shine and combines well with the tonic water. The floral notes really begin to come to the fore but I was unable to isolate honeysuckle (odd given that I have tonnes of the stuff in the garden and thought it would be instantly recognisable) or chamomile (another very distinctive taste/scent that dominates Tanqueray 10); the floral notes reminded me of a slightly softer version of geranium. There is a sweet fruity citrus undercurrent running through this gin and overall it reminded me of a slightly watered-down Whitley Neill; much less in the juniper department.
While the stronger G&T was very pleasant, I kept coming back to the similarities with Whitley Neill and how it doesn’t quite cut it in comparison.
For people who enjoy lighter gins, Bloom should be a great choice. If you like heavy-hitting monsters of juniper, you might want to give it a miss. I can imagine this gin working very well with elderflower but sadly, I had run out of both cordial and St Germain.