There are some things in life that attract my attention… One is a smart looking bottle of gin and another is words that I can’t pronounce. Luckily for the good people at Wild Knight, Boadicea has both of these (boh-ad-uh-see-uh according to dictionary.com… but, honestly there was about four thousand versions).
I was away feeling sorry for myself at a residential treatment facility getting my very very damaged back (thanks work for your lack of care, concern and general non-chalance towards employee wellbeing *insert sarcastic thumbs up emoji here*) looked at and missing home when I got a message from the lovely Steph from Wild Knight. We got to chatting and, long story boring, Steph offered me a bottle to review…
Now first thing I always do at this point is read up on the gin and check out who we’re dealing with here and try and get a feel for the brand. I noticed Wild Knight offered several spirits including a couple of gins and they had several recommended serves and it tickled me so I said I absolutely would be game. So she fired a bottle of their finest in the post and sent it hurtling through the Royal Mail (or a courier company… I can’t remember which) into my arms.
So, as always, in the interests of transparency the gin was provided free of charge by Steph and the lovely people at Boadicea Gin for the purposes of the review and Q&A…
So what we have here is a husband and wife team – Matt and Steph Brown.
Images courtesy of Wild Knight Distillery
Way back in 2010 Matt sauntered off to Mongolia to be the best man at his brother’s wedding. In Mongolia vodka is fairly central to life and, as is the tradition, the wedding began with a bowl (?) of vodka.
The result of this trip was a desire to make a cracking vodka that could be drank for enjoyment and savoured as opposed to just fired into a glass and tanned… The outcome of this was Wild Knight Vodka. After this was established they launched “Nelson’s Gold” which is a caramelised spirit… Sounds wacky right? It was a crowd-pleaser…
In June 2018 they launched Boadicea Classic Gin, they then brought out their Boadicea Winter and most recently their entry into the pink gin market – Rosa.
Today we’re trying and discussing the Classic. As much as I fancied the other two (Winter in particular) its always best to start with the classic style of gin from a brand I’m new to as I think it gives you an “untouched” flavour and lets you see what they’re all about.
Boadicea has a barley base, in part, because it grows in the fields surrounding the distillery in the Royal County of Norfolk. The other reason they chose this barley was, quite simply, it’s the best. This barley has been growing commercially for over 500 years. The Iceni were using it and now some of the world’s finest beers and whiskies are made using this very stuff.
In terms of the distillation process the lads and lady lads at Boadicea use a copper alembic still. All-copper stills create the smoothest spirit possible. The guys also suspend the botanicals to vapour infuse them.
The name is taken from Boadicea (also Boudicca) who was the Queen of the Iceni tribe of East Anglia who united British tribes against the Romans about 61-60 BC. She captured and burnt London to the ground (called Londonium at the time… I wonder if the end part of the sign burned off and the council decided to change the name and leave the signs as London instead of investing in replacing them… Isn’t history fun, kids?). Anyway she was Celtic, ginger and hard as nails… Like me.
Boadicea was based in Norfolk and through the course of her revolt devastated three main cities in Roman Britain.
After a massive loss in her final battle she retreated back to Norfolk and ingested a deadly poison. The last ruler of the Inceni royal line she was apparently buried with all the treasure in a grave that has remained secret since.
So that’s the name… What about the gin?
- Orris root
- Three types of citrus
ABV – 40%
Size – 50cl
RRP – £31.97
As always I kick off with the gin neat. On the nose I’m picking up lungfulls of juniper, lime (I think) and some lemon. Underneath this is a lovely feeling of warmth and a sweetness I can’t quite identify.
Left-hand image courtesy of Wild Knight Distillery
I then taste it… It tastes far more herbacious than the sweeter scent would’ve had me believe it would. There is a lovely green feeling to this as I drink it with the juniper and some citrus (possibly that lemon) lingering on the back of my tongue for a while as the flavour eventually fades away.
Next I add in a squirt of water. I feel the thyme becomes more apparent and really comes into its own front and centre.
The next step is obviously to put it into a G&T… I went with a 2:1 tonic to gin ratio (this is my personal preferred ratio as I really like the gin to come through but, as always, I recommend adding it bit by bit, tasting as you go to find your sweet spot).
Looking at the botanicals in this I wanted to really allow the lemon and thyme to hit hard on this… Also I LOVE a herb garnish as I feel you get stronger sensory experience with them as the smell that comes off them can be wonderful… So, with this in mind, I popped in a wheel of fresh lemon and a sprig of “just out the garden” thyme. The flavour profile didn’t differ too much from the water tasting. Juniper very much at the forefront leading the charge, quickly followed by the refreshing citrus (predominantly lemon) flavour. The difference with this and the water tasting was that the thyme didn’t dominate but was, in fact, the sort of lasting flavour at the end.
Images courtesy of Wild Knight Distillery
The official recommended serve for a G&T for this lady is elderflower tonic and garnish with orange and thyme. For me personally this made the whole drink a little too sweet. The thyme does it’s best to calm it down but it’s just not enough for my personal taste… I think it is worth noting that I’m not a huge fan of elderflower tonic. I’d suggest giving it a try and seeing what you think BUUUUUUUUUUT it’s not for me, no sir.
I’ll likely stick to regular light tonic for is cheeky wee lass
As I mentioned earlier the Wild Knight website has numerous serving suggestions for all their liquids. The one that caught my eye was the Sapphire Martini. The recipe for this is;
- 25ml Boadicea Classic English Gin
- 2 dashes dry vermouth
- 2 dashes blue curacao
- 25ml elderflower tonic
- Garnish: orange twist
- Chill a cocktail glass
- Add a couple of dashes each of dry vermouth and blue curacao to the glass
- Pour in the Boadicea Gin
- Top up with the elderflower tonic
- Garnish with the orange twist.
If you like you can mix the ingredients in a Boston Shaker and strain into the chilled glass.
I’ve copied the above from their website, however, in respect of using the Boston Shaker I, personally, wouldn’t add the tonic until after you’ve shaken up everything else… Essentially add everything but the tonic to the shaker with some ice… Shake it up, strain it into the chilled glass then add the tonic. Give it the briefest of “mixes” with a bar spoon then add your garnish… Just my suggestion… Do it… Don’t do it… Its your life!
Either way this cocktail is not only unbelievably photogenic but also tummy-genic in that your tummy will love it… Because it’s delicious… Obviously.
I’ve also tried this without the tonic water and its still very very nice… I’ll be honest that I also increased the blue curacao when I did that!
To sum up this review I thoroughly enjoyed this gin (I’ve actually nearly finished it). It’s an incredibly smooth and versatile gin that sits quite happily holding it’s own with some tonic whilst, at the same time, settling nicely into a variety of cocktails given its stunning flavour profile. I tend to find that gins that can be sweet and citrussy as easily as they can be herbal and almost savoury are excellent for cocktails and Boadicea sits firmly in this category.
I had a lot of fun playing with this gin and experimenting to see what it could do. It held up well to most things and I recommend messing about with it when you pick a bottle up… This fun I had with it was the inspiration for a more jovial, lighthearted and fun “trailer” for this… I felt it suited the mood…
To see the “trailer” click the link;
Make sure you have the sound on!!!
I’ll happily sit here and tell you to go out and pick a bottle up for yourself… Wait till your done reading this though then use the link up the page a bit to go grab some!
As always thank you for reading, give the review a wee share about because thats how social media works and give me a follow on my ACTUAL social media if you don’t already…
And, of course, thank you to Steph and Matt for sending out a bottle of their wonderful Boadicea English Gin for me to sample and review and for taking part in the Q&A (coming Sunday).
Also… I have a Q&A with Matt and Steph coming later this week so keep ’em peeled!
Till next time.