So a wee while back I fired up a post on the Twitters about tonic recommendations and these guys made a suggestion… We then got to chatting… And the rest is, as they say, history.
I’m trying really hard to put a lot of focus onto the Scottish gin industry given my International Scottish Gin Day supporter status and I loved the fact that this was one I wasn’t overly familiar with I was thrilled to learn a little more about them and be able to do a review of them.
AVVA means a few different things. In Dravidian it means an old and respected woman – like a grandmother for example. In Hebrew it means to overturn or ruin which, they say, links nicely into the fact that gin is often referred to as “Mother’s Ruin”.
The copper still, named after the founder’s grandmothers, Jessie Jean (J-J) was built in Elgin by Speyside Copper Works. The guys at AVVA believe this is the first Scottish made gin still in the UK within the “small batch sector”.
The fact that they have named the still after their grandmothers ties in wonderfully with the name. I love when stills are dedicated to a loved one… it really instills the heart into the distiller and, I can only imagine, inspires the distiller to make the best possible liquid.
The bottle may look nice and simple with its clean cut design but its been specially selected due to its traditional apothecary style appearance. I like the simplicity… I sometimes think things these days can be overly complicated. To have something thats simple but still carries itself well is a rare thing and AVVA have done it exactly, perfectly right.
AVVA then enlisted the help of graphic designers in order to put together the logo and general look of the labeling. They included a “rose window” inspired by what the window on the iconic Carthedral – The Lantern of the North – at the heart of Elgin’s history, may have looked like.
This is a small batch, hand crafted gin which is bottled by hand and Master Distiller Jill Brown personally hand signs and numbers each bottle… I can’t even imagine how nippy her hand must be by the end of that shift!!!
ABV – 43%
Size – 70cl/20cl
RRP – £38.00/£15.00
- Coriander seed;
- Angelica root;
- Orris root;
- Citrus peel;
They also forage locally for the following…
- Rowan berries;
- Red clover;
Let me kick off by saying that, for the purposes of a review, AVVA sent me a 20cl bottle of their Scottish Gin and a 20cl bottle of their Navy Strength (to be reviewed at a later date).
The first thing I did when I sat down to sample was read through the leaflet that they sent. I saw one of the botanicals was mint… That’s always an odd one and it worries me slightly when I see it as its a very definitive flavour. It can easily overpower other more subtle tastes… Think about how long it is after you brush your teeth or spit out your gum before you can taste anything else!
So I poured a wee nip and tried it neat. I noticed the juniper which was nice and then I realised it was a very clean gin which I usually associate with the presence of citrus. Right at the very very end you notice this really subtle, quiet bit of mint… Its quite strange but so pleasant… I was surprised.
I then tried it again with a little water and was quite surprised to note that it really didn’t alter it at all. All the botanicals I caught previously all still shone through. Not that adding water drastically changes what you’re tasting, it doesn’t. It simply removes that “alcohol” feel and lets the flavour shine more… Thing with this one is the alcohol side wasn’t too great in the first place and so the flavour was able to come through anyway. The addition of the water just highlighted it that little bit more.
Next I added the garnish and tonic. I garnished with lime on my first taste and red apple on my second. Both times I used Franklin & Sons tonic as that’s the tonic they sent me and what they recommended.
I really enjoyed this as a long drink with the tonic. The smooth, clean, fresh flavours are really something and it makes for an overall very very pleasant G&T.
Both garnishes make for a really enjoyable drink with the apple making it slightly sweeter.
All in I thoroughly enjoyed this gin.
It’s an interesting gin with two very different garnishes recommended for it. The lime highlighted the citrus peel through the botanicals and really felt refreshing. The red apple as a garnish worked really well and sweetened it up ever so slightly from the lime… A nice way to vary the gin and get something a little different!
So as always you can stalk me through Twitter and Instagram and its socially acceptable because its online and classed as “following” so you won’t get the jail… Unless you make it weird…