Before reading this review of the Oriental Cigar Gin, you might want to take a look at our interview with Nick Hammond, the gin’s co-creator. It will certainly give you a better understanding of how this world- first liquor came about. But if you have read it, let’s jump straight in…
Just the tonic I needed
Like so many, I’ve been socially distancing for some time now. So, when it was safe to meet with Adam in the Dapper Chapper HQ’s garden, I grabbed a couple of sticks from the humidor, snatched the Oriental Cigar Gin I’d been saving in the freezer and hot-footed my way over; I’m ready for a good smoke, gin-tasting session and of course something we’ve all been craving – time with friends. It’s just the tonic I need.
Regardless of outside’s unkind temperature, I plonked the bottle in the middle of the garden table as we settled into our chairs and I dished out the cigars; it’s a Partagas Mille Fleur for me, while Adam went for a Romeo y Julieta Mille Fleur. But before lighting up, we need to taste the gin – neat.
First impressions: attractive on the nose and just as an intriguing on the palate. This London Dry Gin changes direction from subtle Indian spices when drunk neat and ice cold, to a refreshing mix of botanicals when ice and tonic water are added to the party. But for me, it really gets interesting when we light up our cigars. The smoke intertwines with the cold clear liquid, giving me – and what I believe is also thanks to the Partagas Mille Fleur – notes of hibiscus.
The range of experiences this gin brings is really quite impressive, especially how it complements the nuances of a fine cigar. But it’s just as exciting without one. Oriental Cigar Gin sits at 42.3% ABV, 4.8% ABV above the minimum for a London Dry. And while it is a Dry, this tipple delivers a smooth and delicate taste. I must mention that we didn’t garnish our drinks, but I can imagine it’s worth trying it with your preferred citrus fruit or even a sprig of rosemary.
The Oriental Cigar Gin has certainly found a place on the Dapper Chapper HQ’s bar. Not only for its unique taste, but how it serves as an excellent talking point amongst friends; I’m looking forward to sharing another glass or two as (fingers crossed) restrictions continue to ease.
You can pick up a bottle from the co-creator’s website – Leggets – right here.