Cast your mind back to a couple of years ago… Before I had a Twitter… Heartbreaking, right?… I know it seems like I’ve been floating about talking nonsense for a long time… But I haven’t… Not on social media anyway…
Anyway… Bring your memories a little further forward to September 2018. A new gin was on the horizon… Led by a squad of gingers… And Deb.
I remember being on Twitter entertaining both of my followers and I saw that Mackintosh had samples that they were sending out… I fancied a piece of that action but, given my relatively unknown position, I wasn’t really optimistic… Figured I’d ask anyway. They told me to DM them and they’d see what was what.
I slid on into the DMs to put my name in the hat for a sample. I assumed they had only a limited number and, genuinely, didn’t expect to be sent one… But I was.
It’s kinda funny because I think that was the first sample/gin I was sent and I was so excited… I still get really excited when someone chooses me to taste their product… Its quite special and incredibly humbling…
Anyway enough reminiscing… The reason for that story was, quite simply, the type of folk you’re dealing with when you deal with the Mackintosheseses… It didn’t seem to matter to them how small a presence I had online… Either that or they never noticed…. Whichever it is it says alot about them I think… No judgement… I feel I’ve always been grateful to them for that.
Photos taken at the Gin To My Tonic Festival in Glasgow 2020. Left to right Jim, Debs and Steph Mackintosh and me.
The thing that makes a lot of the gins I bring your way different to some you might already have (or the more “mainstream” ones perhaps) is the fact that alot of them seem to come to fruition because someone made what seemed like a flippant remark… You’ll be surprised that Mackintosh is no different.
Mackintosh the gin is named after Mackintosh the family… Jim and Debs decided to create a gin after attending The Wee G&T Festival in Perth in 2016… They’d been picking up a bottle or two a month for a while preceding the event… That day they picked up their 50th bottle and Jim made the observation that they’d be cheaper just making their own gin… So they did… Sometimes things are as simple as that.
It does, however, take more than Jim and Debs to create the stunning (spoiler alert) gin that we all know and love. They utilise child labour (not really… their kids are all fully grown) meaning this really is a family affair… Steph, Charlotte and Alex all play their parts as taster, cocktail researcher and HR manager respectively… In fairness… Alex sounds like the only one who’s actually doing any work amongst the younger Mackintosheseses… Although, Steph and Charlotte have definitely got the best roles!!!!
The HQ is based in Angus, Scotland. The gin itself is contract distilled by Lewis Scothern and his company Distillutions.
In terms of the provenance of the ingredients used… You can check that out on their website…
- Coriander Seed
- Orris Root
- Dried Orange Peel
- Dried Lemon Peel
- Dried Lime Peel
- Fresh Grapefruit
ABV – 42%
Size – 70cl
RRP – £37.00
Website – Mackintosh Website
Treat Yourself – Mackintosh Shop
On the nose its punchy with juniper… This is followed by, what I reckon must be, the elderflower… A little floral, a little sweet… Then I think there’s a citrus kick somewhere at the back… Maybe orange?
Tasting this neat… The first thing I get is sweetness… I think it’s the elderflower… Not because I’ve tried elderflower but because it reminds me of the tonic. The sweetness is lovely and light straight on the tongue and lips. You then get the juniper. What I like about this is the juniper doesn’t feel traditional… It’s like they’ve got their own special juniper that they keep just for this… The pine notes aren’t strong as you’d usually find in a gin like this. One of the things that makes this gin a little special.
This is so smooth and there isn’t a burn from the alcohol but there is a lovely, soothing warmth… All the way from tongue to tummy.
With water I find the sweetness tones down a little. I get a *slightly* more savoury note… But not too much. The pine is still there and present but, again, slightly dimmer… This is to be expected when diluting this way. I think the lasting note is one of citrus but not the sweet orange from the neat taste… Probably more the grapefruit. It’s good… I’ll tell you that.
If memory serves (and by this I actually mean that I don’t trust my memory so checked the photo I took of the sample I was sent) the Mackintosheseses pair this with Mediterranian… either that or they got a deal on that tonic… Either way thats what tonic I’m using for this tasting.
Tasting it with the tonic I used a 2:1 ratio as per and garnished with a wheel of blood orange. Rather bizarrely I feel this is the most junipery version of the drink… How weird is that? Honestly I don’t think I’ve ever really experienced that… Anyway… The drink bursts with juniper and citrus… That sweet (probably) elderflower isn’t really showing up as much which is not a bad thing as it shows that, essentially, this gin has three different up front flavours depending how you drink it…. The Elderflower, for me, was dominant neat, the citrus steps up more on the water tasting and the juniper screams through the tonic.
I feel like this is a gin that would sit easily in most drinks… Its packed with flavour and a classic flavour profile but stunningly individual at the same time.
If you follow the Mackintosh clan on their social media then you’ll likely be aware that they regularly make mention of two cocktails – the French 75 and the Fitzgerald. Now, I’ve featured the French 75 on a previous review which means that I should really show you a Fitzgerald…. Right?
60ml Mackintosh Gin
30ml Freshly squeezed lemon juice
15ml Sugar syrup
2 Dashes of bitters
Very simply add everything to a shaker;
Double strain into a chilled glass;
Garnish with a lemon wedge
Kinda fruity… Which is pleasant but unexpected;
With a sweetness;
Really REALLY good;
Perfect balance of sour, sweet and some spice;
Reminds me of a lemon sweetie.
The long and short of it is this… Should you buy this gin? Yes, absolutely. It’s one of those gins where when people try it they go all googly eyed and fall in love… The gin, like the family, is extremely hard not to like.
You might tell me that, given how they were with me at the start, I’m biased… I’d tell you you were wrong as I’m very good at remaining totally impartial irrespective of contributing factors… As soon as you try the gin… You’ll get it… You’ll see you were wrong to call me biased… I’ll accept your apology.
I wanted to add in as well that, given the uncertainty in the air at the moment due to Covid-19 I urge you to buy your gins direct with the distiller. Mackintosh are in the process of releasing their Mariner’s Strength and Old Tom gins. At the moment if you order them through the website you are getting them for an absolute bargain… And, let me tell you something, these gins are worth far more than you’ll pay… Trust me.
Please please do yourself a favour and make Mackintosh your Payday Purchase for this month… As you can see this review was so well researched I finished my bottle!
This gin was but wasn’t gifted. I bought a bottle and Jim gave me two*… So… Its not not gifted but it’s not gifted… I dunno how this one fits…
As always thank you for taking the time to share your day with me.
Have you tried Mackintosh? Do you agree with what I’ve said?
I hope you’re all keeping your social distance and staying home when you don’t absolutely need to go out… I hope those of you negatively impacted by the current Corona situation come good at the other side.
Catch your cough.
Stay at home.
Keep your distance.
Till next month doods…
*For those curious where the second bottle went… I gave it to my dad who also enjoys a gin or two