2022 was a GINtastic year! Excuse the pun, but there really was a lot to be excited about.
Its was our 1st full year of trade in our Dullstroom Gin Emporium which saw more than 5000 gin lovers perform gin tastings (that excludes other patrons that enjoyed our G&T’s, cocktails and purchased bottles of our finest South African craft gins). We are also happy to share that we converted a few non-gin drinkers.
As you know, we put the spotlight on a particular gin every month. The list that follows below was our ‘Gins of the Month’ in 2022. The result below is a summary of the scores received through the year. We will follow this tradition in 2023 and will constantly be introducing more South African craft gins to you throughout the year.
We started 2022 with TWO gins for the month of January.
10 Oxes Distillery – Chocolate and Strawberry and their Black Pepper and Fig
Our ‘judges’ tasted both the Skulder (Black Pepper & Fig) black peppercorn with aromatic notes of wild figs and woody juniper dominating the nose, with a touch of fresh floral elderflower and lemon sherbet aromas, and the Dapper (Chocolate & Strawberry) with mild piney juniper & chocolate and generous amounts of fresh zested citrus, particularly orange and strawberry.
The verdict: Skulder 3.76 and Dapper 3.92 out of 5, with many consumers purchasing a bottle to take home.
Both gins are still available at our Emporium. Our FIG-A-Licous cocktail made with the 10 Oxes Skulder gin was a favourite through 2022.
During February, we celebrated the month of LOVE with the Belladonna Night Shade gin. This beautifully crafted bright pink gin is made from the Black Night Shade (Solanum Nigrum) berries. It is infused after distillation adding sweet and fruity tart flavours that sit right next to the juniper in a contemporary manner. These fresh, and slightly sweet, flavours linger in the mouth.
The verdict: Our Dullstroom Gin judges gave this gin an overwhelming 3.76 out 5 score which translates to a Woo-Hoo on our score card.
Belladonna is still available for tasting as well as in our Passion Potion cocktail.
Cape Saint Blaize Classic Gin.
The verdict: Our Dullstroom Gin judges rated it an overall 3.59 out of 5.
A bittersweet symphony of lime, fragrant carissa, elderflower and wild rosemary underpinned with earthy notes of freshly cut bark, honeybush and toasted spice. Rose geranium and caramelised rhubarb amplify ripe piquant kai apples. Aromatic juniper and pine meet with a late burst of citrus, delivering a slight sweetness with a long dry smooth finish.
Dullstroom Gin has all three of Cape Saint Blaizes’ gins available for tasting.
Dullstroom Birch Gin
A clear, crisp classic London Dry gin with character containing 9 botanicals including the unique Silver Birch, harvested in Dullstroom and used for the first time in a South African gin. Romantic lavender perfume aroma, refreshing taste of lively lemon peel and a fleeting sense of Turkish delight as ruby grapefruit defines on the finish.
The verdict: Our most tasted gin, scored 4.09 out of 5. Refreshing as a Gin and Tonic whilst our Coco Loco cocktail will transport you to relax on Dullstroom Beach. Simply delicious and moresome.
Old Tom Gin is a sweeter style of gin popular in 18th century London. Historically this style of gin was sweetened to mask the truly horrible flavour of the base spirit. By the 19th century distilling methods had improved and Old Tom simply came to mean a sweetened, heavier style of gin.
Using modern distilling methods, the Blackwood Spirits Old Tom Gin has been crafted based on research on methods and tools available around at the time. At the time Old Tom gin was being made when there were no glass bottles so gin was generally transported in a variety of casks or barrels from distillery to pub. As a nod to this Old Tom has been lightly rested in oak which has imparted a sweeter vanilla note. This, together with the addition of liquorish and cinnamon, has enhanced the subtle sweetness. Additional spices have been added to make this a smooth aromatic tipple.
The verdict: Our Dullstroom Gin judges scored this gin 3.75 out of 5. Most of them preferred this gin neat.
Old Tom is till on our tasting board and available for purchase at our Dullstroom Gin Emporium.
Drysdale Chilli Gin
This gin can be compared to the famous movie by Billy Wilder, ‘Some like it HOT’. The Chilli Gin was the perfect winter warmer gin for our cold and misty month of June in Dullstroom.
Drysdale’s Chilli Gin is directly infused with no less than 15 chillies per bottle. The base of the gin is infused with ginger and juniper to level out the intense flavour and create a well-balanced gin. By directly infusing the chillies in the gin, it ends up with a deep, natural red colour.
The verdict: Our Dullstroom Gin judges scored this gin 3.6 out of 5. Although Chilli is not everyone’s cup of (gin and) tea, this gin is a firm favorite amongst the braver and fun loving gin drinkers
July and December 2022
Dullstroom Gin – Christmas Gin.
We do Christmas in July in Dullstroom.
Our first produced gin. A real passion project. Our love for Christmas inspired this recipe. A complex, yet harmonious bouquet of 12 carefully chosen botanicals. The delicate, translucent champagne hue bears testimony to the subtle spicy and tart aroma as the cassia and cinnamon vie for dominance over the fragrant orange, ginger and apricot, whilst the crafty fusion of maple and vanilla bind them together in true Christmas spirit.
The verdict: Our Dullstroom Gin judges scored this a 4.08 out of 5.
Refreshing as a Gin and Tonic and absolutely GINlicious in our Ginger Slinger cocktail.
One33 Autumn Gin
A beautiful gin with an amber hue, fruity citrus nose with hints of honeybush and tastes of citrus and burnt orange.
The verdict: Our Dullstroom Gin judges scored this gin overall 3.5 out of 5. The Gin &Jam cocktail made with the One33 Autumn Gin and Marmalade was a firm favourite and has found a permanent spot on our Cocktail menu at our Gin Emporium.
Cape Saint Blaize – Floristic
A soft floral pink gin with gentle aromas of freshly cut flowers, plump strawberries and peppered grains of paradise give rise to notes of green rooibos and mint buchu. A subtle hint of juniper, coriander, honeyed pistachio, fresh black fig and vanilla deliver a mouthfeel that is both fragrant and exotic. Rich aromatics of saffron, toasted cinnamon, cardamom, candied grapefruit peel leads to a comforting smooth finish.
The verdict: Our Dullstroom Gin judges scored this gin overall 3.94 out of 5. We created a special cocktail, the Spring Surprise, full of floral and Cranberry flavours. Perfectly refreshing and has a permanent spot on our Cocktail menu at our Gin Emporium in Dullstroom.
The Karoo Prick’s Prickly Pear Gin.
Quintessential Karoo- a not-so-dry, fruit forward juicy sweet gin reminiscent of bubble-gum and hard-boiled watermelon candy. On the nose this gin is intensely fruity and has watermelon candy liqueur aroma. On the palate it is not as sweet as expected with a juicy fresh fruity floral intensity that fills the palate. Small batch prickly pear gin made with Juniper, Coriander, Cassia Bark, Angelica Root & Cardamom.
The verdict: Our Dullstroom Gin judges scored this gin overall 4.03 out of 5.
The Karoo Prick’s Prickly Pear gin is on our tasting boards at our Gin Emporium in Dullstroom.
Drysdale Summer Gin
Summer Gin was made as a refreshing gin. Light and crisp. Main botanicals are lime, ginger and green apple. Smooth and easy on the tongue, nice layers of flavours. Drysdale’s Summer Gin fully captures the refreshing taste of a cool drink in the heat of summer. The distinct aroma of the Juniper is combined with Lime, Green Apple and Ginger to give a refreshing introduction to this classic gin. The depth is then created by the addition of Angelica Root, Cardamom and 2 other minor botanicals.
The verdict: Our Dullstroom Gin judges scored this gin 3.81 out of 5. Summer gin is still available for tasting at the emporium
Thank you for everyone who visited our gin emporium, enjoyed the experience, had fun, became a Dullstroom Gin judge and left being a worthy gin snob.
We look forward to 2023 and to discover more new excellent South African craft gins together.