GSN Review: Whitley Neill Handcrafted Gins

Whitley Neill Gin was created by Johnny Neill, a direct descendant of a long line of distillers, whose heritage stretches back as far as the Baobab trees found in Africa today. Inspired by his family’s sense of adventure, Johnny strove to create his own signature blend of Gin: a tribute to his English distilling heritage, and a homage to the enigmatic beauty of his wife’s African homeland. The result is Whitley Neill Handcrafted Dry Gin; a distinctive Gin that blends classic Gin botanicals with exotic African botanicals to create a liquid with a flavor as unique as its heritage.

Whitley Neill Handcrafted Dry Gin (86 proof)
Visual: Clear.
Nose: Lightly sweet and overlaid with a tight blend of citrus and juniper.
Taste: Mild and crisp with a soft London Dry style that fades into a slightly bitter finish.
Finish: Medium long. An almost tannic flavor at the tail end.
Overall: A perfect gin for a Martini or a G&T.
GSN Rating: B+

Whilst most of Johnny Neill’s inspiration for his award-winning Gins comes from his ancestor’s intrepid exploits abroad, this Rhubarb & Ginger Gin harks from fond memories made slightly closer to home. Post-war, the Whitley Family, now settled into rural England near Daresbury, cultivated their garden with thrilling flavors, serving as inspiration for both the table and indeed their experimentation with new Gins. Johnny’s latest Gin evokes childhood memories of visiting his grandparents on their farm by taking a firm Whitley family favorite in rhubarb and placed a warm twist on this with the addition of fresh ginger.

Whitley Neill Rhubarb & Ginger Gin (86 proof)
Visual: Clear.
Nose: Fruity, slightly spicy and quite summery. Appetizing.
Taste: Quite sweet and very much with a rhubarb flavor. The gin adds a medium amount of heat which really works hand-in-glove for the overall effect.
Finish: A berry-like finish that goes on for quite awhile.
Overall: I could almost drink this on it’s own were it not for the high proof. A really lovely and unique gin.
GSN Rating: A-

A passion for discovery runs through all eight generations of the Whitley Neill family tree. So it’s perhaps fitting that while honeymooning in the beautiful Sicilian countryside, Frederick Neill and his new wife fell in love all over again, this time with the vibrant, zesty flavor of Sicilian blood oranges. Using his finely-honed distilling techniques, Johnny strove to create a gin recipe that would evoke the memories of that Sicilian honeymoon. And it’s this recipe that led to the creation of Whitley Neill Blood Orange Gin.

Whitley Neill Blood Orange Gin (86 proof)
Visual: Clear.
Nose: Orange omnipresent with a much more reticent juniper character.
Taste: The orange flavor comes through somewhat artificially and the gin itself is quite sweet. That being said, this is one of the few orange gins on the market and it is one that will work for those obscure cocktails that call for it.
Finish: Medium long with the orange flavor retaining it’s mark for several minutes.
Overall: I had hoped for a more fresh and natural flavor, but overall there is nothing wrong with this entry.
GSN Rating: B

At the turn of the century, Frederick Neill found himself on a voyage through Persia, where he discovered a range of exotic fruit, herbs and spices to add inspiration to the Greenall Whitley family’s collection of Gin recipes. While there, he was surprised to discover quince fruits growing in the ancient mountains. And it’s the unmistakable sweet tang of Turkish quince, blended with a heady mix of Persian herbs and spices that gives Whitley Neill Quince Gin its distinctive taste.

Whitley Neill Quince Gin (86 proof)
Visual: Clear.
Nose: More of a juniper nose than the previous three gins. The quince is quite subtle.
Taste: A tart and somewhat apple-like flavor from the get go. Oddly, the juniper seems to be almost non-existent. Regardless, this is a very nice gin that begs for experimentation.
Finish: Medium. Most of the flavor dissipates rather quickly.
Overall: I’m reminded of some German apple schnapps. An interesting spirit.
GSN Rating: B

For more information go to: Whitley Neill

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