Dà Mhìle Seaweed Gin Review

Bloody hell. My quarantined buddies, there are a lot of gins in the world. I have tasted a fair few of them. Enough of them, at least, to render me somewhat blasé about cracking open a new one. What surprises, after all, can remain to a seasoned gin hound such as Old Parn?

Well. This.

You see, Dà Mhìle’s Seaweed Gin is exceptionally good. Your schnoz tells you it’s going to be rather special as soon as you sniff the newly uncorked bottle. And your schnoz isn’t wrong. Your schnoz is so seldom wrong. Dependable schnoz.

I think this may be the freshest, most mouth-watering smell I can remember getting off a gin. It’s definitely up there with the best. All those familiar, delicious ginny touchstones you expect, but an extra dimension of— of what? Sea air? I don’t even know. It’s like the ephemeral scent of a new perfume on the lover you haven’t seen for a month.

The gins that I enjoy most, I think, are those that combine an unmistakable ginishness (plenty of juniper, dry, solid, punchy) with something subtly new or unexpected. Emphasis, there, should be on subtlety, though. The strong, classic foundation is the dominant element. Gimmicky gins might or might not be worthwhile, but even the really good ones I’d reach for only as an occasional dalliance, not as a staple.

This is not a gimmicky gin; it is a Gin With Interest. It’s made in West Wales, alongside a range of other gins and spirits I’m now extremely keen to try. Here’s why.

Dà Mhìle Seaweed Gin & Tonic

Fantastic. As I say, above, this still tastes like an honest G&T, not some funky nonsense. It has great heft and a full, savoury flavour. There’s a fresh, a green quality to it. I don’t know what seaweed actually tastes like (seaweed in a Chinese restaurant, sure, but that’s kale, innit?) but if it’s anything like this, I’m jumping into the car and caning it down to the beach at West Wittering — rules on social distancing be damned — to pick some up for supper.

There’s still plentiful juniper, plus citrus, coriander and the gang. Like I said, this is not an out-and-out weird gin. The freshness and delicate salinity is layered gently atop those familiar ol’ ginny flavours.

It is delicious.

G&T Verdict

Verdict: Neck it!

Serving-wise, I’d go with lemon here, and Fever Tree Light tonic.

Dà Mhìle Seaweed Gin Martini

This gin works excellently both in a classic martini and in a Duke’s-style — as it has the elegance and poise to carry off the latter without tasting overly boozy and fiery. In both contexts — especially Duke’s style — you get a distinctive minty, peppery zing to accompany that deliciously savoury first impression in your gob. Whereas the opening salvo of flavour is quite herbaceous, the taste broadens and deepens as the juniper and pepper step in. I love the subtle saltiness, for I am a salt-hound as well as a gin-hound.

So, yeah, are you following me? Do I need to spell it out for you? This is an absolutely bloody delicious drink. One of the nicest martinis I’ve made. And I’ve made a lot of sodding good martinis, let me tell you. The martini is my quintessential appetiser cocktail and the saline, savoury quality of Da Mhile Seaweed Gin is perfect in that pre-dinner context. And also post-dinner. Hell, don’t bother with the wine; give it to me during dinner too. On a drip.

Martini Verdict

Verdict: Neck it!

This is an exceptionally versatile Martini gin. I’d urge you to serve it with a twist rather than olive, as I think that’s a much more auspicious flavour combo, but feel free to try both. You can go pretty dry with this gin if that’s your bag.

Dà Mhìle Seaweed Gin Negroni

I can’t bear to lie to you: I don’t know. This gin is too damn good in a martini to waste on a Negroni. And I say that, you realise, as a man who adores Negronis. But when you have a gin with deliciously balanced subtleties like this, you don’t slosh Campari into it. Sorry.

Come at me in the comments if you want. I can take it.

So, in summary…

In case you hadn’t gathered, this gin gets top marks. I had a ridiculous cupboard of gins even before all you wankers started stockpiling. But while I was still finishing the first bottle of Dà Mhìle, I went online and ordered two more.

You should do similar. Given the current dismal goings on, I’d suggest you order direct from the distillery and support them directly. They’re offering free postage, and a 70cl bottle of this will set you back £34. You can also get it from Master of Malt for £29.95, though without the free shipping unless you’re spending £99+.

Wessex Gin Review

Let’s talk about Wessex, shall we? Back in the Dark Ages, there was no England (which must be a concept that’s upsetting for people like Mark Francois). Instead, an ever-changing mishmash of kingdoms, of which Wessex was one, incorporating, at different times, a sizeable chunk of the south of what’s now England.

One of the last kings of Wessex was Alfred, who seems to have been a fairly good chap. Not long after his reign, seemingly on the basis of much of his canny political manoeuvrings, Wessex expanded and became the dominant party in the newly unified English nation.

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Hampshire Navy Strength Gunpowder Gin Review

About as local as gin gets (for me, that is), this distillery is practically my neighbour. And the best kind of near-neighbour: one that supplies me with bloody good booze.

Why do none of my actual neighbours do that?

I mentioned Hampshire Gunpowder Gin before, en passant. But it deserves a proper review, I think. One of the things I want to do this year is — in a spasmodic bout of localism — to write more about drink and food from my surrounds, meaning Hampshire, Sussex and thereabouts (where I live) and perhaps also London (where I work). So what better, SEO-friendly means by which to do this than by reviewing something that’s actually got the (key)words Hampshire Gin in the name?

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Copperfield Gin Review

‘Do you like Dickens, sir?’

‘I don’t know. I’ve never been to one.’

That was a favourite joke of Mr Jarvis, my A Level English teacher. To the degree, I seem to remember, that he had to ask someone in the class to provide him with the setup question in order that he might triumphantly deliver the punchline. Which is nice for you to know.

What’s also nice for you to know is that Copperfield Gin may be the most handsomely packaged gin I’ve seen. Obviously I dig it because it’s literary, innit, and given that my idea of a perfect sitting room is one bedecked with books floor to ceiling, how could I not be seduced by a book-themed gin bottle? Or, at least, one so bloody well executed. Hats off to the designers, who presumably like Dickens.

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Boxer Gin Review. Punchy or Paunchy?

I mean, when a gin’s called Boxer, how am I meant to avoid the most bloody obvious metaphor? Christ. Give me something to work with. Fortunately, Boxer Gin does exactly that, in abundance, as soon as you get it into your gob. Here’s how it measures up.

I bought Boxer Gin because it was the gin of choice at Poco Tapas Bar, the excellent Bristolian tapas restaurant at which I first discovered the Negroni Manzanilla. And given my predilection for punchy gins and stooping to lowest-common-denominator wordplay, what could be more auspicious than a gin that is literally punchy?

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Fort Gin Review: Mighty Fortress or Crumbling Ruin?

Now, a fort is supposed to protect you against danger, right? I’m not convinced. Fort Gin, y’see, is pretty damn dangerous in itself. Take a gulp and you’ll understand why…

Portsmouth! Following last week’s account of our adventures at Portsmouth Fish Market, we’re back to Pompey today — but this time we’re swapping fish for fortifications. Specifically, Fort Gin (£31.95, Master of Malt), which is made by the Portsmouth Distillery.

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